The Karbonn Smart Tab 4 is one of the first tablets released in India powered by the latest Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). The Smart Tab 4 is positioned in the low to mid end of the tablet market and targeted at people interested in bigger screens and good processing power at reasonable prices. The tablet is aimed at other affordable but feature packed tablets in the same price range like the Micromax Funbook Pro and the HCL ME series. The Karbonn Smart Tab 4 is positioned between the cheaper entry level Micromax Funbook and the expensive Samsung Galaxy Tab series of tablets. Karbonn’s first Jelly Bean powered tablet comes with a bigger 10.1 screen and high powered 1.5 GHz processor which can support multitasking.
Though lacking the wow factor, the Smart Tab 4 is fashionably designed and looks pretty swanky. The dust resistant outer case is made of good quality plastic and gives a premium look to the tablet. The tablet is available in two colours, white and black. The outer case features a non-slip finish making it safer and easier to carry it around. The Smart Tab 4 comes with a good quality 9.7 inch capacitive touchscreen which is protected by corning gorilla glass. The screen is also completely scratch resistant making the tablet idle for students and travelling executives. The design of the Smart Tab is quite sleek and slender offering excellent portability.
The Karbonn Smart Tab 4 is one of the first tablets in the world which was launched with the latest Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). So, the tablet can support almost all the apps available in the Google Play Store. Karbonn doesn’t tweak the original Android OS with its own skins and custom interfaces. But, users will have access to all the latest improvements available with Android 4.1 like voice typing, improved search, and notifications.
The Smart Tab 4 is powered by a 1.5 GHz single core processor which gives quite an impressive performance. Even though the processor is not dual-core, it has superb multi-tasking functionality and can swap between multiple apps with good speed. The 1 GB RAM complements the high powered processor and aids in the astounding performance of the tablet. The tablet also has an internal memory of 8GB to store all your data.
The design of the Smart Tab is modern and is comparable with most of the tablets available in this segment. The anti-slip and dust resistant outer case and the scratch resistant corning gorilla glass are simply a steal for the price at which the tablet is offered. The 9.7 inch capacitive touchscreen has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and is good for watching movies and browsing the internet. The screen can also play videos in HD quality (720p). The built-in music player and video players in the tablet can support multiple audio formats like mp3, AAC, and AAC+ and multiple video formats like WMV, Avi, and mp4.
The Smart Tab 4 has two cameras. The 5 megapixel rear camera can capture images with a resolution of 2590*1944 pixels. The quality of the pictures shot using the rear camera is decent and can supplement a standalone digital camera. The front facing VGA camera with a resolution of 640 * 480 Pixels is good for video chatting over Skype or Google Talk. The tablet also has multiple connectivity options. It can connect to the internet through 2G networks and Wi-Fi. Other connectivity options are Bluetooth and USB Port. The tablet also supports voice calls over the regular telecom networks, a feature generally missing in many tablets in this range.
What’s not so great?
The lack of 3G connectivity is a big limitation to the connectivity of Smart Tab 4. You need to buy a separate 3G dongle in order to access 3G networks. On the other hand, the USB dongle support will enable the tablet to connect even to 4G networks once they widely become widely available in the country. But for now users will miss high speed 3G connectivity on the move. Other connectivity options like HDMI Port which is available in peers like Micromax Funbook Pro too are missing from the Smart Tab 4.
As tablets are increasingly replacing the regular computers for many tasks good memory is turning out to be important. The Smart Tab 4 has just an internal storage space of just 8 GB. It is also not possible to expand the memory as the extendable memory card slot is also missing from the tablet. This could be a big limitation for music lovers and movie buffs. The HD playback supporting display and multi format video and audio players will not be of much use due to the memory limitations.
Micromax FunBook Pro
Priced in the same price range, the Micromax Funbook Pro is a good alternative to the Smart Tab 4. Funbook Pro also comes preloaded with Android Ice Cream Sandwich and hence supports most of the latest apps. The 10.1 inch TFT LCD screen with a resolution of 1024*600 pixels is slightly bigger and has better brightness and contrast than the display of Smart Tab 4. Funbook Pro can also play Full HD videos. In addition to the 8 GB internal memory, Funbook Pro has a micro SD card slot which can expand its memory by an additional 32 GB. The 1.2 GHz processor of Funbook Pro is a bit lagging when you are multitasking but good for routine tasks. Funbook Pro can also be connected to bigger screens through HDMI.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 priced slightly more at Rs 12,599 is also a good alternative to the Smart Tab 4. Even though the Galaxy Tab 2 comes with a slightly smaller screen (7 inch), it has many features that are missing in the Smart Tab 4 like high powered battery, extendable memory, and high speed dual core processor. 3G is not available even through an external dongle and the users have to contend with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The Galaxy Tab 2 is a good option for people who can spend a bit more and are comfortable with a smaller screen.
While the Karbonn Smart Tab 4 has the latest Android OS, good processor speed, and good quality screen, it lags behind in many other areas. The lack of 3G connectivity and extendable memory are big limitations even for a tablet in this price range these days. Other similarly priced budget tablets like the Micromax Funbook Pro and DOMO Slate X3G are some other great options for well-informed buyers if the most advanced OS does not hold overriding significance for them. All said, the Karbonn Smart Tab 4 just expands the number of options available in the tablets in the Rs 10,000 range. Karbonn needs to go for a steep price cut of nearly 40 percent if has to make the Smart Tab 4 a good value for money product.
Price and Availability
The Karbonn Smart Tab 4 is available for a retail price of Rs 11,000. The tablet is available in all the major electronic stores like Next and Ezone. You can also get the tablet online for a discounted price at online stores like Naaptol and Indiatimes Shopping.