Mercury mTAB Review- A Mid-Range Tablet
Mercury mTab is a budget tablet that was launched for the common Indian consumers. A series of new versions has been added to its family where we have recently heard about Mercury mTab Rio Android ICS tablet just for Rs. 11,999. Now we are here to review the predecessor Mercury mTab that comes for a price tag below Rs. 10,000.
Dating back to nineties, Mercury was one of the leading brands in the market selling good computer peripherals, especially speakers. And now the company has expanded its business in tablet market by offering low cost good featured devices.
Design and Display :
The first noticeable thing about mTAB is its lightweight design. The device weighs just 400 grams and is very comfortable to handle by one hand. The device cannot be said as slim, but still it gets that slim nature. The dimensions measure 193 mm by 117 mm by 14 mm (HxWxD). The mTAB gets plastic-body, but does not look cheap due to the adornment of black bezel and white-finished rear body. The front body of this device gets glossy finish that attracts fingerprints over it. You will find two physical buttons one is for ‘Options’ and another is for ‘Back’. Overall, the device gets decent look and good build quality, but cannot score much points. The tablet also includes a range of connector options including microSD card slot, miniHDMI, mini-USB On-the-go, and 3.5 mm headphone jack.
Physical buttons for home, power and volume can be found available on the device. However, one thing that has been witnessed is that the device does not easily reset to the default settings when we try to. There are much of the flaws that are needed to be fixed. The device is intended for the common consumers and not for businessmen who demand high-end tablets. Rather you can carry this lightweight device along with you whenever you want and can stay online and keep working while traveling.
The tablet sports a 7 inch capacitive display (800 by 480), so you can easily touch and get good response. In fact, the screen runs smoothly on two-finger multi-touch options provided by Mercury. One disappointment can be the low resolution screen and color which is not very wide. There is a lack of screen brightness and so the richness of color is not experienced. And the end result is washed out images and videos on the display. There is also no ambient light sensor and you need to adjust the brightness manually.
Operating System :
The Mercury mTAB comes loaded with Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread operating system which is still in demand and is considered as a successful OS with good speed. Still the new versions of Android are making people to choose.
The device gets 1.2 GHz Telechip 8803-Cortex A8 processor with GPU support.
The device comes equipped with 1.3 megapixel camera which is basically useful for video calling.
Mercury has not added much of the stock UI. All you can find are some shortcut switches available in the notification bar. You can use the same functions by accessing the physical buttons. There is Linpack that gives you both single threaded and multi-threaded options. On the other hand, AnTuTu gives good access and stands close to the Google Nexus One.
Owners will have to face disappointment as the device does not hold SIM card slot. However, the company says it will let the device support 3G modem. The mTAB is provided with TV-out resolution settings as well for the convenience of users. The device also features stock music player that only supports MP3 and several other formats like WAV. Well, if this is not enough then you can at least install a third party music player. The same condition we found for videos. You get 1080p MP4 video formats to use that runs smoothly without any lag. You can extend the format with the help of Moboplayer.
The audio quality of the speaker (built-in) of this device is decent, loud and clear. However, if you use a good earphone like EP630 then expect the audio to be at par from stock player. In this case, you will enjoy PowerAmp. The device comes loaded with one or two apps like appInstaller that enables you to manage all the apps you have in this device. There is another app called ESFileExplorer that gives access for browsing through folders saved in this device. This app is pretty useful though.
The Mercury mTAB comes packed with built-in 4 GB memory, but users can only use 219 MB. Rest is dedicated to the apps and other things. For expanding the memory, you can add up to 32 GB microSD card. This is bizarre to say as the site of Mercury say that the device can support up to 16 GB and here we experience that it can capably read up to 32 GB. Well, whatever it is’ at least it’s good news for the users.
The device comes with Wi-Fi support, but is only limited to b/g. Due to this low graded support, the tablet will sometimes have to struggle for receiving strong signals even if you are in close vicinity to the router. There is HDMI out offered that gives you access to HDTV. However, you need to buy the cable separately as HDMI cable does not come in the box. 3.5 mm headset jack is available to connect to both computer and this device. Up to 32 GB expandable SD memory card can also be accessed. You can use USB On-the-go function where if not the cable then at least you can use pen drives. Connect the device in mass storage mode and you can then easily drag and drop files in this device from your computer. mTAB also lets you access stock apps such as YouTube, Gmail, Gtalk, and Latitude. However, there are no pre-installed internet-ready apps. Well, well, there is also Bluetooth support available.
The Mercury mTAB is powered by a Li-ion 4000 mAh battery, which is a good advantage. You can at least run this device for longer. However, the company promises that mTAB can give a full run of around 4 hour 30 minutes, which stands on par. In comparison with other 7 inches of devices in the market, this device comes as average. So, if you run Wi-Fi or other apps, we are sure that this will not be a good choice, not at least for those who want it run while travelling.
Mercury mTAB comes for a price tag of Rs. 9,500 which makes it a moderate-range tablet in the market. Still as per the price the device is not that great. There are many other tablets available in the market with good and advanced features such as ICS, powerful dual core processor and better battery life; all comes for Rs. 4000 to 6000.
At least some good features are provided in Mercury mTAB such as HDMI port and USB On-the-go. It is a polished plastic product, but users will miss several key features that are lacking like better Wi-Fi support, better battery life and lack of ambient light sensor. Worst of all, the device sports poor screen quality which might disapprove by the users. Still, video watching can be fun, but you get less format options on both video and audio. Overall, you can just have a tablet, but not a good package to keep you busy and entertained.