Elite-group Computer Systems (ECS) recently launched two Android tablets in Pakistan. Packed with Intel Atom processors these tablets are available in 7-inch and 10.1-inch sizes and will be sold through Intel’s retail network in Pakistan.
We managed to get our hands on the 10.1″ ECS TM105A tablet and here is a short review we prepared for you guys.
Design & Build quality:
The ECS TM105A gets most of its design inspiration from the Nexus 10, though it doesn’t have the front facing speakers and has a sliver bezel. The tablet dimensions are 272.9mm x 174.4mm and it is 13.25mm thin. It weighs 685 grams, making it extremely hard to hold in one hand for a longer period.
On the front we have 10.1″ multi-touch capacitive TFT screen, with a resolution of 1280×752 pixels or 160ppi, which is quite low for such a big screen. Other than that the tablet has very poor viewing angles, the big size of the screen makes it worse especially when you are watching videos. Another drawback is the low sunlight visibility.
Just above the screen in the top left corner there’s 0.3-megapixel camera for video calling along with microphone. The camera also has a blue LED which turns on when you are using the camera.
The silver coated frame has all the ports on the left side, which includes; microSD card slot, mini-HDMI port, 3.5mm headphones jack, USB and charging ports. The power key along with volume rocker is placed on the top.
The soft touch matte finish on the back features a primary 2-megapixel camera on the top right and two speakers at the bottom along with the Intel trademark in the center. The matte finish ensures a comfortable holding and prevents from slipping the device but its a finger print magnet. The good thing is that you can easily remove the smudges.
Check below the images of Intel ECS 105A:
The hardware specifications of this device aren’t very impressive. TM105A is packed with Intel Atom Z2460 Medfield SoC, featuring a single core 1.6GHz processor. It also packs a 1GB DDR2 RAM along with 16GB on internal storage which you can expand with microSD card upto 32GB.
The tablet is powered by 6000mAh battery. It also features Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 along with G-sensor and Ambient Light Sensor.
Operating System and Performance:
TM105A comes with Android 4.0.4 ICS out of the box, which is really an outdated operating system. Most of the recent devices feature at least Android Jelly Bean 4.1. ECS hasn’t done any customizations in the operating sytem so all you get is the stock version with the regular applications. Good news is that the device comes pre-installed with Google Play, so you don’t have to worry about installing applications you love.
The mediocre hardware and outdated OS makes the device very laggy and you will notice it everywhere. The device also has some serious software compatibility issues, like force termination of certain applications, including the stock browser and frequent device reboots. I am not sure if its due to Intel processor as most of the Android applications have binaries compiled for ARM.
You can run almost every resource hungry application on it with lowest settings, I have tested the performance by playing some 3D games like Asphalt 8, Real Racing 3 etc on it which runs great but not as smooth I want it to be. On the other hand VoIP applications like Skype, Viber and WhatsApp work flawlessly.
Have a look at some of the benchmarks, which aren’t so impressive either:
Camera and Video Calling:
This tablet features a primary 2-megapixel camera and a 0.3-megapixel front facing camera for video calling. Unfortunately both the cameras preform very poor. Colors are washed out and images are blurred. The primary 2-megapixel fixed focus camera seems to do a little better in sun light but indoor image results are way below the bar. It can also record VGA videos but just like the still images videos are also blurry.
The video-calling experience on this device isn’t so fascinating either. The other party can only see a washed out pixelated image.
The stock camera applications doesn’t offer much options to play with. Also the huge size of tablet makes it very difficult to take images or record video.
Check below the sample pictures taken by ECS105A:
Click on images to view the original size and quality
TM105A is powered by a 6600mAh battery, which according to company offers you a 7 hours continuous video playback. However, the battery didn’t live up to the expectations and in our tests it ran out of juice after approximately 2.5 hours of video playback.
The battery can last for a single day for normal users, but those who love to play games or browse the web — might have to recharge it multiple times in a day.
The battery takes almost 2-3 hours to completely charge. It merits mentioning here that the tablet doesn’t support USB charging, so you have to rely only on the charger provided with it.
Pricing and Availability:
ECS TM105A is available all over Pakistan, through Intel’s retail network for a price of Rs. 22,000. Currently the device is available only in black color and it comes with a 3-6 months manufacturer warranty, which you can claim at any Intel support center in Pakistan.
Over the time, the Chinese brands have captured most of the Tablet market. Its not about Pakistan only but the fact is that many other developing countries are giving Samsung, Lenovo and Sony a tough time.
The ECS/Intel tablet, with all its better build quality as compared to “Chinese Tablets” available in the same price range, is seemingly betting on its brand name and not the specifications.
Chinese tablets – with almost same price tags – from Ainol & Apex feature better hardware such as quad-core processors, bigger RAM, better screen with gorilla glass protection and the latest OS installed on them.
And this is where TM105A doesn’t stand a chance.
TM105A, however, can get positive reviews for its better build quality, authorized warranty and the brand name.