As a gift to my Yoga teacher I wanted to get a Tablet, my budget was around Rs.5000 (USD 80-90). My Yoga teacher was a novice to Computers, he carries a basic model of Nokia phone, so I wanted a tablet that is simple to use. I envisage his usage with the Tablet to be mainly for YouTube, email & music. For this usage, I suppose any of the basic Android tablets will work fine.
Since the budget was small, I couldn’t wish for everything and kitchen sink in the tablet. After doing some comparison on what’s available in India I narrowed the minimum features to good touch (Capacitive), Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 7 Inches and 1024 x 600 Pixels, 1 GB RAM & solid build of the hardware. I would have liked for 3G Data option but adding that pushed the price above Rs.10000 (or) it meant dropping the features I was particular and even then those devices included only 2G (which would have been useless for YouTube).
With the number of devices available in market made by numerous OEMs I had to spend two days looking online for the device. The choices were overwhelming, I wish we had lesser choice!. My search narrowed to devices from MicroMax, HCL & ASUS. After reading the online reviews I bought Asus MeMO Pad ME172V (Specs at GSM Arena). Purchased the device from Flipkart for Rs.5899 including taxes and an additional Samsung 16GB MicroSD for Rs.873.
It comes with 7 inches 1024×600 LED Backlight screen, Android 4.1 OS, 1GB Memory, WLAN, 1MP Front Camera, Micro USB, Micro SD slot, 7 Hours battery life and weighs 358grams. It was a nice touch by ASUS to be shipping the MicroUSB (male) to regular USB (Female) cable so that you can easily connect regular USB Flash drives. I tried connecting few USB thumb drives and the device played almost all the regular video, audio & picture formats that were in the drives.
I got the device few days and the device lived out to what I expected. The build was certainly good, especially the back side was easy to hold with the rubberised plastic. The screen was good on direct viewing, at angles the visibility droped sharply-something you expect at this price-point. The speed of video playback and browsing were fine too.
My only complaint was the placement of Micro SD. The slot had a small ledge with gaps on either sides (above and below the ledge) with no markings to guide the insertion of MicroSD card. It was confusing and I ended up inserted the card on the wrong side of the ledge and it got stuck. After few weeks I am planning to collect the device back from my Yoga Master, take it to ASUS service centre to have the MicroSD card removed.
Verdict, a good device at this price point but be careful on inserting the MicroSD card.