There is an Android tablet at various price points and though big companies are trying to lower the price of their tablets, it is the Indian companies who have rolled out cheap tablets. One such company is Zync that may not be well known in the tablet market but it managed to grab some eyeballs last month when it became the first company to launch India’s first Android 4.0 tablet. The Zync Z990 made its way in the market running the latest Ice Cream Sandwich OS and carrying a price tag of just Rs. 8,990. We managed to get an in-depth look at the tablet and this is what we think.
Zync bundles Z990 with a sleeve cover, screen protector, AC adapter, mini-USB cable and earphones.
Build Quality & Design:
Zync had a clear motive of keeping the price down and it shows with the build. The Z990 has a mediocre build quality that has a cheap feeling to it. As for the design, the front is graced by the 7-inch display, a VGA camera whereas the sides boast Home, Esc, Menu buttons and variety of ports like USB 2.0, mini USB AC adapter, headphone jack, mini HDMI.
The tablet as mentioned above has a 7-inch capacitive display and it disappoints on that front as well. Its not about the display size but the resolution which supports 480×800 pixels (WVGA resolution). The resolution takes away all the crispiness of the text and images. Also, the screen is reflective that makes it hard to be legible in bright light.
Another issue we found with the display was that switching from portrait to landscape and vice versa would mess up the screen. As you can see from the image, Where’s my Water icon placed on another home screen can be seen on the current home screen.
The Z990 runs Android 4.0.3 that makes it one of the few tablets to run the latest Android OS. The tablet offers a stock Android performance, has Play Store access and is pre-loaded with couple of apps like Astro File Manager and Vortex media player. The tablet is powered by a 1.2GHz single-core processor and 1GB RAM that helps to give a decent performance. There are occasional lags and freezes but given the price at which the tablet goes for, we can say it as workable.
Multimedia playback is one of the biggest advantages this budget tablet has. Z990 can play virtually any file and handled even a 1080p video file pretty nicely.
As for camera, there’s a single front-facing VGA camera which is satisfactory to conduct a video call and can shoot videos, if need be.
Zync Z990 offers Wi-Fi, 3G, USB 2.0 and mini HDMI as connectivity options. The Wi-Fi works as intended but 3G is supported only via an external USB dongle that goes inside the USB 2.0 port. Zync promised that 3G worked with almost all Huawei and ZTE-made dongles but we couldn’t get it work with our Tata Photon+ which is based on a Huawei modem.
The USB flash drives can be attached to the USB 2.0 to copy or move content from the drive to the device.
Finally, the mini HDMI allows users to connect the Z990 to their HDTVs and enjoy full HD content.
Zync Z990 has a battery rated at 3600mAh which gave about 3-4 hours of battery life with video, a bit of surfing and music. One peculiar thing to note is that Cell Standby hogged a lot of battery draining the battery pretty fast than usual.
Another charging issue we faced that the tablet charged the battery only when the tablet was turned off or if the display was on.
When you combine the latest Android OS and a sub-Rs. 10000 price tag, it becomes difficult to resist. However, Zync’s Z990 has a decent amount of flaws that cannot be overlooked. Hopefully, Zync issues a firmware update pretty soon to address all the issues or else Micromax’s Funbook could spoil their party that goes for Rs. 2,500 less.
Pros: Multimedia support, Price
Cons: Display issues, Erratic battery performance