Review: The UbiSlate 7Ci is All Hype But No Substance

The Indian Review: The UbiSlate 7Ci is All Hype But No Substance Reviews tablet maker Datawind launched the UbiSlate 7Ci Android tablet in the US in mid-December 2013, and I have had my hands on it for a couple weeks now.

In that time I have come to the conclusion that this $48 tablet is one of the worst tablets I've ever had the misfortune to meet. In my opinion this tablet has no redeeming value other than its price, and I'm not sure even that is a strong recommendation.

I know that I have a reputation to maintain for thorough and fair reviews, but in the case of the UbiSlate 7Ci I can't find anything nice to say.

Review: The UbiSlate 7Ci is All Hype But No Substance Reviews

This 7" tablet has a low resolution (800 x 480) screen which scuffs easily and has a narrow viewing angle. It's running an adware-infested version of Android on an underpowered 1.5GHz single core CPU with 1.5GB available storage and 1GB RAM. The overall construction quality is poor, the single speaker on the rear of the tablet is quiet, and the VGA camera takes a photo that is so low quality it would best be described impressionist art.

The performance of this tablet is so underwhelming that I think it even fairs poorly when compared to the other single core tablets I've tried (here, here). It is such a weak tablet that it actually failed the Antutu benchmark test the first time around, which was a first for me.

Folks, I can understand the need to buy as cheap of a tablet as possible, and I know that a lot of cheap tablets achieve a lower price at the expense of quality, but sometimes the low retail price comes with too much of a penalty. This tablet is a perfect example.

What You Should Buy Instead

Rather than buy a $48 UbiSlate 7Ci, I would strongly urge you to buy the HP Mesquite ($99). Yes, it costs twice as much but I have tried it and I think it offers a good value.

But if you don't want to spend that much, I would still recommend against getting the UbiSlate 7Ci. Instead I think you should spend a little bit more than the $48 price of the UbiSlate 7Ci. For only $10 to $15 more, you can get a tablet that is nearly twice as good.

As I sit here writing this post on 9 February, Walmart (to name just one retailer) stocks several 7" and 8" Android tablets at the $60 price point.

One tablet carries the RCA brand, while the other 2 tablets were made by generic tablet makers. The generic tablets each have a dual-core CPU, giving them double the performance of the UbiSlate 7Ci. They have better quality and higher resolution screens and more internal storage.

Those 2 generic tablets present much better values, and that's not all. If you buy one and they turn out to be junk, it will not be difficult to return them. Walmart might not have the most pleasant customer service but they're not bad.

Datawind, on the other hand, was slow to ship the tablet and slow to respond to my requests for tracking info. I don't have a good feeling about their willingness to process a return or promptly issue a refund.

I've seen occasional mentions of this company in the press, but I haven't really had any experience with them until I bought the UbiSlate 7Ci. Datawind has reportedly had great success in marketing a budget priced tablet in India (both to consumers and as part of the Aakash educational tablet program), but as they expand into the US, UK, and other markets I expect that they will have less luck selling to consumers that have more options and more money.

image via Wired.co.uk (because their photo was better than mine)

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

5 Comments

  1. Doug9 February, 2014

    Really appreciate your coverage of the low-priced tablet sector, especially naming recommended products.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder9 February, 2014

      Thanks!

      Reply
  2. Igor Borski10 February, 2014

    Would add Ainol Venus 1280×720 to the mix – obtainable at $100-120.
    Fairly impressed with the toy, screen is good (IPS), if not bright enough.

    Reply
  3. M Singh11 February, 2014

    “Datawind has reportedly had great success in marketing a budget priced tablet in India (both to consumers and as part of the Aakash educational tablet program)”

    Not True. We all laugh at Aakash tablets here. Nobody, that i know of, has actually used a datawind tablet. It is a government funded vaporware to siphon off corruption money

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder11 February, 2014

      Thanks.

      All I had to go on was the press coverage, which made Datawind sound more competent than I saw in my dealing with them. I didn’t have any first-hand user accounts.

      But I’m not surprised by what you say. India makes or can cheaply import anything sold in the US, so I would have expected that this tablet was junk even for the Indian market. I was somewhat puzzled that it’s still being sold as part of the Aakash program, but I guess I shouldn’t have been.

      Reply

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