Sunday, 27 November 2011

Mercury mTAB Review

Mercury mTAB

The budget tablet market has been getting a new member almost every month now. The newest addition comes in the form of the Mercury mTAB, a 7-inch tablet priced just under the Rs.10,000 mark. Back in the nineties, Mercury were pretty popular for their computer peripherals, mostly speakers. Today, the company has expanded into the tablet market as well and why not, with all the the hype surrounding these new gadgets, it’s only natural for a company to want to cash-in on some of the limelight. So, let’s find out if the mTAB is really worth your while.

On Video: Mercury mTab Reviewed

Design and Build
Taking it out of the box, the mTAB is pretty lightweight at 400g and is very comfortable to hold, too. It’s not particularly slim, though, which may be a turn off for some. The mTAB is built entirely of plastic, with a black bezel and white back. The front has a glossy finish, which easily attracts fingerprints. There are two physical buttons on the front, for ‘Options’ and ‘Back’. The front-facing camera is placed in the bottom corner, which we felt was a rather odd place. Overall the mTAB is decently built with no creaking parts. It may not score many points in the looks department, but what more can one expect from budget tablets?
Not much of a looker
Not much of a looker

It has a decent set of connectors including mini-HDMI, microSD card slot, mini-USB with On-the-go functionality and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There are physical buttons for volume, home and power. For some reason, the mTAB simply refused to reset to the default settings. We even tried a hard reset using the button on the back, but to no avail.

The mTAB is powered by a 1.2GHz single core processor and runs Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread. The 7-inch screen is capacitive, so using it is not too painful. It responds well to touch and two finger multi-touch is present as well. Unfortunately, the resolution is pretty low and also the colour gamut is not very wide, which causes major banding in photos and videos. The screen, while bright is not able to display rich colours, so the end result is a washed out image. Also, since there’s no ambient light sensor, you’ll have to manually adjust the brightness.
Not much of cutomization
Not much of cutomisation

As expected, Mercury haven’t tampered too much with the stock UI except for some shortcut switches in the notification bar, whose same functions can be done through the physical buttons making them pointless. Linpack gave a score of 15.4 for single threaded and 14.6 for multi-threaded, while AnTuTu spat out a score of 1983, which is very near to the Google Nexus One.
HDMI is present
HDMI is present

Although there’s no SIM card slot, Mercury claim that there’s support for a 3G modem, but since they didn’t send the USB adapter along with it, we could not verify that. There are options in the settings for a 3G modem, as well as TV-out resolution settings.

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