Onda Vi40 Tablet Review
The Onda Vi40 tablet is a budget 9.7" Android based Tablet that comes with some really premium features. Just a heads-up, none of the pictures can truly justify how good looking this tablet is and how it feels. The tablet has been introduced into the indian market by Veedee and I really appreciate them for the move and tried to get something new in this otherwise boring lineup of budget tablets. So lets see how this tablet is, here are the pro's and con's of this tablet in brief. Do read the rest of the review for an in-depth analysis.Pro's
- Lovely IPS screen
- Very nice Build quality
- Aluminium back
- 1GB DDR3 RAM
- Dual camera (5MP back, 1.3MP front)
- Good Headphone audio output quality
- Average speaker output (in movies)
- Allwinner A10 1.5GHz with Mali-400 GPU
- 1GB DDR3 RAM
- Android 4.0.3 ICS
- 16GB internal storage, expandable to 32GB via micro SD card
- 9.7" IPS Capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 1024x768 pixels (~133ppi)
- Wifi (3G via Dongle)
- Front camera - 1.3MP
- Rear Camera - 5MP
- Mini HDMI out
- USB OTG
- Built in Speakers
- 6500mAh battery
Since it is a 10" tablet, the box is obviously much larger than what you see with 7" tablets. I gotta say, just looking at the box and the design, it made the tablet feel 'richer'. Some basic tablet information and pictures are on the box. On opening the box, you can find the tablet placed safely on the top compartment. In the bottom compartment, you can see the manual/warranty card, headphones, charger, USB Data cable and USB OTG cable. Was hoping they would add some premium goodies such as a case or HDMI converter.Looks and Design :
I was really impressed by the build quality of this tablet. Definitely better than other 'budget' tablets including the micomax funbook. The tablet feels really sturdy and even the physical buttons (which I generally dislike) don't look bad at all. Talking about buttons, there are only a few buttons on the device. One is the power/screen on/off button, then the 3 buttons on the front face (Home/menu/back). There is no physical volume rocker. You would imagine this would be an issue, but trust me, its not. The on screen volume controls are more than sufficient.
The tablet is very similar to the original iPad in many ways, but the Vi40 is slightly slimmer(Vi40 -12mm, iPad 1 - 13.4mm, iPad 2 - 8.8mm). The tablet feels kinda heavy, but not in a bad way. It has a really good aluminium back
, which gives it a more iPad-ish feel. It has dual speakers,more on their quality later in the review.
It comes with the standard output options. It has one mini USB out and a mini HDMI out. I tested the tablet on my 42" Toshiba LED TV and it work perfectly. The image will initially be in 4:3 ratio since the device itself is 4:3, but your TV should have an option to stretch the image, which looks fine when watching movies. The Screen :
The screen is easily the best thing about this tablet. Its a 9.7" IPS
Capacitive touch screen. The colors are amazing at any angle you look at it. I think is factor is really important since most of the time you use the tablet it will be at a slight tilt and that can cause colors to fade away very easily. This is specially the case when watching movies. The screen response is pretty good and brightness is sufficient. I mostly keep it between 30-50%. The screen is rather reflective, but thats the case with almost all smartphones/tablets these days. Sunlight visibility was fine, you will have no issues out door unless its under direct sunlight (you might have to tilt it away to use).
Top view: Front view: Left view: Right view: Bottom view:
Another thing I noticed is this switch on the bottom of the tab, it works as a lock screen, so it basically turns auto rotate function on/off, pretty useful during browsing(on bed), so the screen does not auto rotate when you lean on one side, you save effort by not going into menus 10" Vs 7" :
I think this is the major deciding factor for most. Whats the difference between 7" tablets and 10" tablets? What does the bigger screen provide?
Having used both 7" as well as 10" tablets, I can easily say that browsing is much easier on this tablet. Having a bigger screen as well as higher resolution make browsing a much more pleasurable experience. The websites are not cramped and overall appearance is much better. The text is more clearly visible, which also is a plus when it comes to reading ebooks.
When it comes to movies, there is not a lot of difference. The screen has a ratio of 4:3 , so widescreen format movies dont take full advantage of the added real estate. But coming to this particular tablet, the IPS screen makes it a much much better experience.
Gaming is more or less the same. Since the hardware is almost the same but you got a higher resolution screen, benchmarking scores (you will see them later in the review) take a hit. But the overall gaming experience is still good enough and you will have nothing to complain about. Operating System : Android 4.0.3 Ice-cream sandwich (ICS)
The tablet comes preinstalled with Android 4.0 ICS. The tablet has a 1.5GHz A10 CPU and 1GB RAM, against 512MB on most other tablets, hence the experience is very good, not laggy at all. At idling, RAM usage is around 250MB, so you got plenty for your apps.
The tablet comes pre-installed with the google play market, but as usual, its locked. You can unlock it by installing the newest firmware available here (along with instructions) :Onda Android 4.0 Tablet PC News - How to update Onda Vi40 Elite to the latest Android 4.0.3 V1.1 FirmwareHow to Upgrade the Onda Vi40 Elite | Top Notch Tablets
The tablet has no issues in playing HD video, which is the strength of the A10 CPU. But I did have occasional issues playing music (.flac @950kbps) along with some games, I did experience a slow down, but that will happen on any tab,not isolated to this.Camera :
The tablet comes with dual cameras. The front is a 1.3MP camera and the rear is 5MP. Both do well under sufficient, natural light but images get noisy in low light. I also experienced a slight bug in the camera when the image went green, but it has an easy fix, just re launch the camera app.
Front camera:Rear camera:
Video recording is not very great, the recorded video is kinda choppy. Definitely not its strength. Blonde moment :
Forgot to take the pictures and video from the tablet before returning it. Really sorry guys.Browsing, music and movies:
I tested browsing using Dolphin HD browser. Browsing speed was fine, the tablet had no issues in rendering images. On a bigger and a higher resolution screen, browsing was a better experience. Things were not squeezed and buttons on websites were easier to reach.
As for music, i tested it with some of my favorite tracks from metallica. I used .flac format, so it pretty stressful on the hardware as its around 930kbps. The audio quality was good from the speakers, it was both loud and clear with less static.During movies though, I found it kinda insufficient and I had to use headphones. The output from the 3.5mm jack was very good. I could not bear it beyond 50% volume(40% was more than sufficient), so it should work well with some med-high impedance headsets/headphones. As usual, it had no issues with playing 1080p HD video. The movies were a pleasure to watch, specially because of the IPS screen.Performance and Battery life:
The performance was going to be similar to other tabs we have reviewed before since they all have the same CPU. This one has 1GB of RAM, but that did not make much impact on the synthetic benchmarks. The neocore score seems low at first sight, but do remember, this tablet has a much higher resolution with the same hardware, hence you see the performance drop. But you need not worry, games I tested we just fine.
Quadrant Standard : 1779
Neocore : 40.0fps
The 6500mAh battery was really tested with the 10" tablet. Initial thoughts must be that it should be a lot lot more than other 7" tabs that have around 3000mAh batteries, but you need to consider the larger screen, hence things even out.
I got 6hrs and 30min of HD playback. The tablet was charged to 100% and playback was done till, pretty much, the tablet just shut down. This is really good IMO, where other tabs just manage 5-6 hours.Tests were done with Wifi ON and brightness set to 50%. You can save battery by changing these settings.Conclusion :
I would firstly like to thank VeeDee for getting the variety of tablets to the indian market, i think its really brave of a small company like them to do so. The onda Vi40 is one of the first (if not the first) budget 10" worth considering. Its got very ipad like features, such as an IPS screen and an Aluminium body. Performance of the Allwinner A10 CPU is also good. The tablet is available at veedeedirect.com with a price tag of Rs14,990, it will be kinda expensive for our average budget minded indian, who wants everything under 6k and those who can shell out the money, might feel that it is better to go with the iPad 2 (you can get it for around Rs 21,000). So this tablet might not have a lot of buyers. But see the positives, it gives you the iPad like feel with android, for a slightly more expensive (if you compare to 7" tabs) or cheaper (if you compare to iPad 2) price tag.
With all this in mind, I give this tablet a 8.5/10
. To put it simply, its a great priced product,but I don't think its the right market or timing.
I would like to thank Mr. Devesh from VeeDee enterprises for sending in this review sample. I thoroughly enjoyed using it.
Comments, queries and criticism (constructive) are welcomed!