I finally got the low cost BSNL Penta IS701R tablet today and here is the Unboxing video and review. This low cost tablet came for a price of Rs. 3,250 3,999 plus shipping charges of Rs. 140. The shipping charges may vary depending upon your location. IS701R is also seen as a tough competitor to the Aakash 2 tablet. Aakash 2 will need to come up with a tab as good, or better than the BSNL Penta tab.

This BSNL T-tab comes with android 2.3 and is powered by a 1 GHz processor with 246 MB RAM. This unit houses a 2 GB internal memory and supports microSD card. Wi-Fi is built in and you can use microSD card for additional storage. I had booked this tablet in end of Feb and it is now that I got it. I made the cash payment at PNB (read my article on how to book the BSNL tab) on 27th march and got the delivery on 4th April.

BSNL Penta IS701R review

The built quality is really impressive, looks sturdy, easy to handle and give you a firm grip. The tab is made of plastic and is light weight. The front side has 3 physical dedicated buttons and a VGA camera just above it. The power button, mini USB, 3.5 mm audio jack and TF card slot is present on one side. There is no HDMI port. This tab does come with built in speakers.

BSNL Penta IS701R box pack
BSNL Penta IS701R box pack
BSNL T-Pad box pack
BSNL T-Pad box pack

Display screen and touch quality
The display screen is 7 inches supporting 800 by 600 pixel resolution. The quality is not so good, not sharp enough. Move your head a little bit left or right and you can see the pixels. This is a resistive touchscreen which makes it very difficult to operate especially if you have used a capacitive tab before.

The touchscreen material is of matt finish and when you swap your fingers it feels as if it is moving a bit with your finger. As far as the touch screen response is concerned it is disappointing. Furthermore multi touch is not supported. The box pack says 800 x 600 pixel resolution but actually is 800 x 480 pixels.

IS701R 7 inch resistive screen
IS701R 7 inch resistive screen
IS701R tablet back view
IS701R tablet back view

There is a built in Wi-Fi which works good. It is switched off by default. The other option is to use a 3G dongle but make sure the model is supported. There is 3G dial app which I think works with the BSNL dongle or USB modem. I bought this tab without the BSNL scheme.

BSNL Penta tablet ports
Tablet ports

There is this front facing camera of VGA resolution which works with the camera app. You can click images, record videos and also video chat using Skype. There is one issue with the camera and that is the camera is placed on the edge so to get your face right in the center of the screen you need to tilt it.

Apps and Multimedia
This tab comes with some pre-loaded apps which will get you going plus the IS701R also supports android market place so you can download more apps as and when needed.

I could connect the USB pen drive and the tab detected it and was available via Video player and image viewer apps. I tried the 1080p HD video and worked pretty well. The only issue was the quality was not that sharp but still viewable and for Rs. 3999, it’s worth it.

There is not GPU so you will not be able to play high end games but you can play the popular angry birds game, but you will need to download it as it does not come pre-installed. I found it difficult to play the anger bird game with the resistive screen.

When I opened the box pack the battery was fully charged. I will drain the battery and then plugin for a full charge and then will update this page.

Quadrant Benchmark
As expected without the GPU the scores are disappoint, 356 as compared with the Xtab A10 which got 1700+.

Bsnl tablet benchmark

Connect Pen drive using Mini USB to USB cable

Mini USB to USB cable with pen drive
Mini USB to USB cable with pen drive
Mini USB to USB cable close up
Mini USB to USB cable close up
Pen drive into USB  and Mini USB can be plugged in Mini USB slot
Pen drive into USB and Mini USB can be plugged in Mini USB slot

The built quality is good but there are few issues like the resistive touchscreen which at times is unresponsive, the CPU seems to do the work well but at times does lag. HD video work fantastic. When I plugged in the micro USB cable it did not lock, the USB drive did work but anyone can accidentally pull it out without any efforts.  The camera is placed on the edges, no doubt it is a bit out of range and you will need to adjust the tablet to get a better view.  I also found the tablet getting heated up a bit.

Watch the unboxing and review video

This is an excellent low cost tablet for students and for those with low budget. The IS701R is many times better than the Aakash 1 that got some pretty bad reviews.

Dongles supported on BSNL T-PAD
E1750 Wcdma, E153 Wcdma, E156G Wcdma, E1732 Wcdma, E1780 wcdma, EC189 Evdo, E173 Wcdma, E1820 Wcdma, E169G Wcdma, EC1261 evdo, E398 Wcdma, K3765 Wcdma, EC1260 evdo, E170 Wcdma, K3715 Wcdma.

Ac2736 Evdo, AC2746 Evdo, Ac2736 Evdo, MF190 Wcdma, MF110 Wcdma.

To buy this tablet head on to the http://pantel.in/.

By Rajeev Rana

Founder and Chief Editor - gogi.in