The technological market scene keeps changing, and we must say for good. The recent tablet splash has a wider outreach than one may have expected a couple of years back. Whether you like it or not, Apple has a huge contribution towards this. The string of tablets following the launch of the iPad will vouch for it. On the Indian tablet scene, last year Olive walked in with its Android enabled Olive Pad VT100. As we get to lay our hands on this tablet, here’s an exclusive review of the Olive Pad. Let’s see if it is just another tablet or has some substance to talk about.
As this Olive solution entered our review labs enclosed in a black box, we didn’t really have to put in efforts opening the almost unpacked and wearied box. It carried the device in an Olive case while a USB cable was the only accompaniment we received. Clutching it into our palms, we felt it a tad heavier. The design could not win over an iPad for sure. The tablet is bulkier with a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen as it also comes across much thicker. Looking straight into its front side, one could see the dominant 7-inch screen with a front facing camera above the screen and four touch buttons below it (the device in vertical orientation).
The edges of the Olive Pad VT100 go all metallic, infused with necessary slots and buttons. The back surface is black and glossy showing off the 3 megapixel camera with auto focus and Olive scribbled at its center. Holding it in the landscape mode, the top edge carries volume controls and slots for memory card and a SIM. The speakers have been embedded on both right and left edges while the latter also embeds the power button. The lower edge has reset, microphone, audio jack and USB cluttered on its one side. Though the device oozes good looks, we weren’t quite happy with the build quality. The steely buttons did not appear rugged solid nor did the frame covering its sides.
Dipping our fingers further, we were glad to see the Olive Pad come with the upgraded OS version as it ran on Android 2.2. As we pushed the power button, the screen took a couple of seconds to flash the Olive logo. The aforesaid touch buttons namely Back, Search, Home and Menu can be used to navigate through the interface. Fueled with ARM11 600MHz processor, it equips a Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset. The built-in 512MB memory can be expanded up to 32GB using the included microSD card.
It is like using a huge smartphone with Android 2.2 measuring 110mm (W) x 11.5mm (D) x 179.4mm (H) and tipping the scale at 375 grams. The user interface is quite interactive and organized. Besides easily switching between five home pages, shortcuts to Browser, menu and Phone take on the right side of the screen while the left side has a launcher showing shortcuts to Email, Documents, Media and Browser. However, we couldn’t customize the launcher. One can view all five home pages in a single view on long pressing the Menu icon. The Menu can be seen only in the landscape mode, but then on the orientation is smooth using the GSensor.
Well, moving further, Olive has included varying apps like Gmail, Documents to Go, Aldiko, Mobile Maps 10, Zenga TV, RSS Reader, Google Search and more. Needless to say, you can personalize the home pages according to your preferences. Holding the 5-incher Dell Streak seemed a little weird while answering or making calls. Now, the 7-inch Olive Pad brings in an even weirder experience as we held this huge rectangular piece inviting stares by passes-bys. The Phone icon brings in options like Call Log, Contacts and Favorites. The network reception wasn’t good while the call quality seemed loud and clear. Though the tablet infuses call functionality, the 7-incher device bends towards the netbook. So, the large screen brings in a great viewing experience. The screen is bright and vibrant while it quickly responded to our touches.
The Olive Pad VT100 has been integrated with a 3MP sensor and a front facing VGA camera. Thus, along with voice calls it also supports video calls. The camera can take decent and quick snapshots. The pictures emerge above average in bright light but turned out to be quite disappointing in low light conditions. At times, the missing flash capability was evident through the photos. Similarly, the video recording ability of the device also proved to be decent but nothing out-of-the box.
Connecting to Wi-Fi was hassle-free. We then turned to web browsing where pages loaded quite quickly. Viewing sites on such a huge screen with utmost portability was a rejuvenating experience. Zooming into a particular article with touch gestures was smooth. We did encounter a few lags but overall the web surfing experience was good. While testing the device on its multi-tasking ability, the tablet didn’t bring in a smooth experience. So, do not go for heavy multi-tasking.
The Olive Pad VT100 tablet emits decent audio quality but wasn’t loud enough. Try using quality earphones for a better audio experience. The screen let us choose from 480 x 800 and 320 x 480 screen resolution. Further, viewing videos was a fun-filled experience. As soon as you connect the device to a PC, it is easy to sync Contacts and Calendar with a few simple steps.
Setting up a Google account didn’t take much time and accessing Android market was a swift affair. We downloaded a few games and apps. Gaming was again fun as playing these games on a small smartphone screen couldn’t be so refreshing. Live wallpapers included in the device further enhance the screen appearance. The battery life stretched up to a day with slightly above average usage.
The 7-inch screen enables a good viewing experience, whether one is surfing the web, watching a video or playing games.
The microSD slot lets one opt for memory space depending upon their preference (up to 32GB).
Though the camera does not offer the best quality, its inclusion is worth appreciating.
Typing was quite comfortable while our unit also came with the Android 2.2 upgrade.
The device comes across a tad bulkier. Further, the build quality wasn’t pleasing as well.
Multi-tasking isn’t smooth and one may experience several lags while doing so.
This 3G tablet is all in all a pretty decent device. Leaving aside its bulky form factor, we feel it is pretty much suitable for Indian audiences. We don’t say it’s better than the iPad as the Olive Pad leaves a spacious room for improvement. On the price front, the Olive Pad VT100 is appropriately priced at Rs. 25,000. Now, we say so because some of the high-end smartphones surpass this price by a huge margin. However, the recent official entry of the iPad at a starting price of Rs. 27,000 does not give us a reason enough to ditch the iPad for an Olive Pad. The tablet has earned a rating of 7 out of 10 from us.