“The pair of Windows tablets launched by Croma in cahoots with Intel look like good value for money”
Croma, the Tata-owned electronics retain chain has launched a pair of affordable slates in the country. Sporting screen sizes of 8-inch and 10.1-inch, both run Windows 8.1 and are powered by Intel Atom processors. In fact, apart from the screen size, the two tablets only differ in terms of connectivity and the bundled keyboards – the core specs are identical. The processors running the show are Intel Atom Z3735D quad-core chips clocked at 1.33GHz, and they go about their work with help from 2GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage, expandable via microSD. While the larger sibling boasts 10-point touch, the smaller one only features 5-point touch support. The 10.1-inch model also sports a 3G SIM slot, and comes with a magnetic keyboard dock, while the 8-inch model only includes a compact USB keyboard.
We managed to get our hands on the 8-inch slate that carries the model name Croma 1179 for a few minutes, and here’s a very quick peek at how it looks. Clad in black, it looks rather ho-hum… so don’t expect to awe others when you walk into a boardroom or pub with it in hand. The front is all screen, with the 8-inch, 1,280 x 800 display taking centrestage and the 2MP front-facing camera located on the top left corner when the tablet is held in the landscape mode.
Turn it around, and you’ll see the rubber-finished rear. It feels nice the touch, but could be prone to smudges. The 2-meg primary camera lens is here, sans a flash. You’ll also find the speaker grille, plus tons of branding covering Croma, Intel and Windows. On the sides, you’ll also see markings indicating the controls and ports placed on the spines.
A Windows key and a volume rocker are placed on the top spine, while the right and the bottom of the slate are completely barren.
The left spine is where all the action is, with all the ports crammed here. Apart from the power key, you’ll see an audio socket, a micro-USB port, a mini-HDMI port, a microSD card slot for memory expansion, a microphone and a separate port for the power adapter.
Based on the few minutes we spent trying it out, we can say that usage seems quite smooth, though we’ll wait till we can review the slate properly for a final verdict. At first glance though, the Croma 1179 does seem like good value for money considering its Rs 13,999 asking price, ample storage and the bundled one-year Office 365 subscription.