iBall Slide i701 Review: Don’t Judge Books by Their Covers

iBall Slide i701 overview

How low can costs go? iBall’s announcement of the launch of its newest pill, the Home windows-based Slide i701, made us sit up and take discover. Our first response was disbelief, after which we had to withstand the urge to dismiss it as a joke. There have been loads of merchandise through the years promising superior performance at unbelievable costs, and most of them have been absolute junk.

Such merchandise infuriate us not solely as a result of they’re basically e-waste earlier than they’re even out of their bins, but in addition as a result of the individuals who truly purchase such issues are usually those who have no cash to spare within the first place; ones who belief ads and hope that they are getting a killer cut price solely to be devastated a brief manner down the road. Low-brow producers know this and intentionally prey on those that are the weakest, which is one thing we can’t abide.


We could not assist however be suspicious of the iBall Slide i701’s shockingly low price ticket. This factor is even inexpensive than the not too long ago introduced Intel Compute Stick, and it has a display and battery. Added to that, it appears like various iBall’s finances went into the packaging and equipment slightly than the pill itself.

Nevertheless, we took a have a look at the iBall Slide i701’s spec sheet and could not discover any apparent factors of failure. The Intel Atom processor and comparatively mainstream configuration gave us hope. With query after query on our minds, and greater than slightly scepticism, we set about reviewing this system.


iBall Slide i701 Appear and feel

The entrance of the iBall Slide i701 is fully clean apart from the digital camera lens above the display. If not for that, there would have been be no strategy to know which manner was up. We have been stunned to notice that there isn’t a Home windows or Microsoft branding – there is not even a capacitive Begin button. iBall ships the Slide i701 with a protecting scratch guard already utilized, and it is turn into regular for us to see this achieved badly resulting in bubbles below the floor.

The system’s sole Micro-USB port, which is used for charging, peripherals and storage, will be discovered on the highest together with a Mini-HDMI video output, a three.5mm audio socket, and a reset button pinhole. The amount and energy buttons are on the suitable, and there is an uncovered microSD card slot on the left.


The rear of the pill has a soft-touch texture which will get fairly slippery, and in addition tends to choose up mud and smudges very simply. The digital camera lens protrudes only a tiny little bit. The rear appears very busy, with labels for all of the ports, slots and buttons across the edges and loads of branding. From prime to backside, all in a line down the centre, you may see the digital camera lens, a pink slash to match iBall’s Slide emblem, the signature of a Bollywood actress who endorses the model, an Intel Inside emblem, a full iBall Slide emblem with one other pink slash for good measure, and some traces of regulatory textual content. There’s additionally a speaker grille off to 1 facet.

The Slide i701 could be very reasonably priced, however iBall has by some means managed to pack the field with equipment. There is a skinny sleeve and never only one however three brightly colored plastic shells; a tiny chamois material for the display; extra pink slash stickers; a charger with a set cable; and a USB-OTG adapter. The field, which optimistically describes the i701 as a “efficiency pill”, additionally guarantees that you will get an HDMI cable (presumably Mini-HDMI on one finish) individually totally free.


The pill is fairly small, however not particularly skinny or gentle. It might have felt good within the hand if not for the slippery rear. Development high quality is nearly okay – the rear flexes when touched and the entire unit looks like it is held along with glue.

iBall Slide i701 Specs and software program

The processor is a surprisingly strong Intel Atom Z3735G, a quad-core Bay Path mannequin working at as much as 1.83GHz (although extra doubtless at its 1.33GHz base velocity more often than not). This is identical processor we have seen in 2-in1 tablets within the Rs. 15,000-20,000 worth vary, such because the Micromax Canvas LapTab LT666 (Evaluate), Notion Ink Cain (Evaluate), and Swipe Final Tab 3G (Evaluate), so it is attention-grabbing to notice that iBall managed to squeeze it into such a low finances, and makes us ponder whether the Slide i701 would possibly stay as much as its “efficiency” declare. Alternatively, there’s solely 1GB of RAM and the display decision is barely 1024×600.


There’s additionally solely 16GB of storage, so do not anticipate to be putting in many packages. MicroSD playing cards of as much as 64GB are supported so no less than you may retailer numerous media to play. There’s additionally Bluetooth four.zero and Wi-Fi b/g/n, and iBall helpfully factors out that 3G will probably be potential utilizing a USB dongle. There aren’t any sensors aside from an accelerometer for computerized display rotation, and the battery appears slightly weak at three,200mAh. For some purpose there’s a 2-megapixel rear digital camera and a entrance digital camera which in all probability is not higher than VGA high quality – iBall did not even hassle specifying its decision.

Due to Microsoft’s concern of Android, iBall was capable of supply Home windows Eight.1 and the now-standard one-year Workplace 365 subscription thrown in at no further value. That is the pill’s most unusual promoting proposition in addition to its greatest level of failure – Home windows Eight.1 is by no means suited to run on such a tiny system. Utilizing the Home windows desktop with contact alone is irritating as it’s, however this didn’t work in any respect, as we are going to quickly clarify intimately. These contemplating this pill ought to perceive that they’ll largely be restricted to Fashionable UI apps and may keep away from the Home windows desktop altogether.


iBall Slide i701 Usability

There’s loads to love in regards to the iBall Slide i701 on paper, however truly utilizing it proved to be a neverending supply of frustration for 2 enormous causes: the display is completely horrible, and Home windows Eight simply can’t be utilized by contact alone on such a small system.

We had anticipated the display to be at finest a letdown, and we have been appropriate. The decision of 1024×600 is laughable; decrease even than Microsoft’s personal revealed minimal of 1024×768. Textual content is horribly jagged, thanks partially to Home windows’ incapacity to scale, but in addition as a result of color copy and distinction are so poor.


Viewing angles could be the worst we have ever seen – in reality it’s inconceivable to make use of this pill whereas it head-on. You must tilt it round in your arms until you discover only a considerably workable angle, after which strive as laborious as you cannot to maneuver it in any respect. Colors shift and invert while you tilt the system even a couple of levels. In truth, you may’t even give attention to the whole display directly as a result of regardless of the place you look, the remainder of it’ll turn into a multitude. Black areas are particularly problematic, for instance the darkish on-screen keyboard which stretches throughout the display turns into distorted and unreadable.

Multitouch is restricted to 5 factors, however you may by no means want that as a result of there simply is not sufficient sensitivity to carry out even fundamental gestures similar to pinching and scrolling. That could be attributed to the display safety movie although. One other downside was the shortage of a Begin button, which meant we needed to rely loads on Home windows Eight’s contact gestures and the Charms bar, which, to be sincere, we have grown accustomed to ignoring through the years. This specific system actually highlights the pondering that went into crafting the unique Home windows Eight touch-first expertise, which has since been watered down.


We continuously discovered ourselves wishing there had been a stylus within the field slightly than three shells. In the end, we needed to hook up a keyboard and mouse utilizing a USB hub via the included OTG Micro-USB adapter. This was the one manner we managed to run our Home windows benchmarks, however it was hardly sensible (and the slick again made it tough to prop the pill up too). Charging the pill turned an issue as effectively, as a result of the only real Micro-USB port was occupied.

Apparently, we have been capable of obtain Fashionable UI apps from the Home windows Retailer and snap them to both facet of the display, though Microsoft explicitly says this should not be potential because of the low display resolutioni. We should always observe that consumers will qualify for an improve to Home windows 10 when it releases later this month, however after putting in it they’ll lose entry to the Home windows desktop and solely be capable to run Fashionable apps. Home windows 10 will behave largely like Home windows Cellphone on sub-Eight-inch gadgets similar to this.


iBall Slide i701 Efficiency

By way of benchmark check outcomes, we discovered the efficiency of the iBall Slide i701 virtually indistinguishable from that of the Micromax Canvas Laptab LT666 we reviewed a short while in the past. Render time for POVRay’s built-in check was 25 minutes, 10 seconds. SunSpider and Mozilla Kraken took 525.6ms and 9664.9ms respectively. SiSoft SANDRA reported subsystem scores practically equivalent to these of the Canvas Laptab LT666 apart from barely weaker SSD efficiency and reminiscence bandwidth which was solely half nearly as good, indicating that the 1GB of RAM on this pill makes use of a single controller channel.

Full-HD video clips performed with out stuttering however weren’t very pleasing due to the display high quality. Audio was loud sufficient however not significantly good. Images and movies taken with the rear digital camera have been completely dreadful.


We tried a couple of informal video games from the Home windows Retailer, together with Lower The Rope 2 and Microsoft Mahjong, and so they ran with none bother. By pill requirements, they have been truly pleasing. Nevertheless, the rear of the pill did get fairly heat after about 10 minutes of play.

The battery lasted solely 2 hours, 24 minutes in Battery Eater Professional’s normal state of affairs. That is terrible by pill requirements, however we won’t actually complain at this worth level. We additionally noticed that the system was very sluggish to cost.



There may be nearly no state of affairs wherein the iBall Slide i701 could be a pleasure to make use of. It is inconceivable for us to conceive of getting any work achieved on it in any respect. If the usability does not kill any function you might need had for it, the battery life will. That mentioned, even Android tablets at this worth level aren’t all that good, and we get the sensation that the Slide i701 would no less than be extra versatile. By itself, utilizing it’s an train in masochism. Mixed with a USB hub, Bluetooth equipment and an exterior show, although, issues might get very attention-grabbing.

Let’s not lose sight of the truth that this can be a full-fledged Home windows 10-capable X86 pc which prices half as a lot as merchandise such because the Intel Compute Stick. In that sense, it’s actually pathbreaking. We might simply see college students and hobbyists use it to construct initiatives with. We might additionally see ourselves strapping it to the again of a monitor and turning it into an inexpensive, no-frills desktop. We are able to even think about folks shopping for these, gutting them for his or her components and constructing some actually attention-grabbing low-cost gadgets (and we surprise how reasonably priced a tool of this calibre minus the display and equipment may very well be).

We admire iBall for bringing this product to marketplace for lower than Rs. 5,000. Those that want a pc and may solely afford a lot now have an possibility they by no means did earlier than. If the corporate is critical about worth slightly than simply low costs and may pull off a much more helpful product for perhaps Rs. 1,000-2,000 extra, we might be actually impressed.

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