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XOLO Play Tegra Word review

         

After releasing the Android primarily based moveable gaming console, Protect, NVIDIA is now coming into the favored 7-inch tablet class with the Tegra Be aware. Similar to the Protect, the Tegra Be aware tablet makes a speciality of gaming but in addition bundles in stylus performance at an awfully sexy value level.

In contrast to the Protect, NVIDIA received’t be promoting the Tegra Observe tablet instantly. As a substitute, it is going to be manufactured for NVIDIA via OEM companions the world over and offered beneath their very own manufacturers. What we’re taking a look at these days is the XOLO Play Tegra Observe, which is manufactured and bought by using XOLO for NVDIA in India and is much like the Tegra Notice tablet provided with the aid of different OEMs similar to Gigabyte, EVGA and ZOTAC in different markets. So let’s take a better take a look at NVIDIA’s first tablet.

Design and Construct

The XOLO Play Tegra Word takes the type of a standard 7-inch Android tablet with a widescreen show up entrance. The design, you’ll discover from the location of audio system across the display and the sample on the again, is supposed for use essentially in panorama mode even if it really works completely advantageous in portrait as neatly.

On the front, the XOLO Play Tegra Note looks quite nondescript, with the glossy display in the center and two matte plastic strips on the side with the stereo loudspeakers. The placement of the loudspeakers is perfect and makes a lot of difference when you are playing multimedia content. The stereo effect is all but non-existent in portrait mode, though. There is also the front facing camera above or to the left of the screen, along with an ambient light sensor.

Along the sides we find the volume rocker and an open microSD card slot on the right, the stylus slot and a bass-reflex port for the loudspeaker on the bottom, a magnetic strip for holding the optional folding cover on the left and the power button and ports on top. The ports include the microUSB port, micro HDMI port and a headphone jack.

On the back of the device you’ll find a mix of glossy, matte and rubberized plastic, with the NVIDIA and XOLO logos. The lens for the 5-megapixel camera is also located on the top right corner.

In terms of design, the XOLO Play Tegra Note is nothing worth writing home about. It’s not unattractive as such but it’s also not a particularly fascinating design to look at. In comparison, both versions of the Nexus 7 look quite favorably. But where it really disappoints is in build quality. Whereas the Nexus 7 never felt cheap despite its price tag, the XOLO Play Tegra Note definitely does, with feel of the materials and the general fit and finish definitely giving a strong ‘budget device’ vibe. It gets worse when you hear it creak in your hands, right out of the box. The XOLO Play Tegra Note is a device made on a small budget and unfortunately, it shows.

In terms of handling, the XOLO Play Tegra Note is a bit chunky and feels slightly unwieldy in one hand. Two-handed usage, however, is problem-free and the device feels great to hold in landscape mode while gaming.

Display

The XOLO Play Tegra Note has a 7-inch, 1280×800 resolution IPS LCD. The display offers natural, if slightly muted colors, ample brightness, great viewing angles and good amount of sharpness considering the resolution and size. It’s not the best display around and definitely can’t match the one on the new Nexus 7 but you can do a lot worse at this price. Actually, “not the best” doesn’t do it justice, because it is actually a very good display and fares better than even the display on the more expensive iPad mini (non-Retina).

There are a couple of options to mess around here for the display. First, NVIDIA allows you to set the display color profile to either the panel’s native or sRGB. The former offers deeper blacks and richer colors but the latter looks more natural to the eye. There is also the NVIDIA PRISM mode, which adjusts the display contrast according to the content being displayed to save battery life. This is slightly annoying and I’m glad there is an option to switch this off instead of being on all the time the way some companies do.

Hardware and Software

The XOLO Play Tegra Note runs on NVIDIA’s latest Tegra 4 SoC. It has four Cortex A15 CPU cores clocked at 1.8GHz along with a companion power-saving core for menial tasks, and a 72 core GeForce GPU. The CPU is clocked only slightly lower than the one in the Shield (1.9GHz) due to the tablet’s different thermal characteristics (the Shield is bigger and has a fan). In terms of memory, the Tegra Note has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage space with a microSD card slot.

On the software side, the tablet ships with Android 4.2.2, which is currently the latest available for it. NVIDIA is responsible for pushing the updates to these devices and so far it has done a decent job with the Shield (it runs 4.3, if not 4.4) but the Tegra Note is somehow lagging behind as of now.

In terms of nature of the OS, it is very close to what one can call stock Android, only with a few extra apps and settings. This, in a way, is better as it does make up for many of the shortcomings of stock Android. For example, NVIDIA ships the Tegra Note with Camera Awesome app instead of the stock Android camera app, which is way better. There are several changes made for the stylus as well but we’ll get to that later.

NVIDIA has also added a power saving mode with three settings, with a frugal, balanced and performance mode. In the first, it limits the CPU to just two cores with clock speed clamped at 1.8GHz (which doesn’t make sense since the device only goes up to 1.8GHz). In balanced it removes the core and clock speed limit but limits app framerate to 60fps and in performance mode it removes the last restriction as well. All testing was done in the Performance mode.

Efficiency

On the subject of general efficiency, the XOLO Play Tegra Observe was once most often rather just right. The UI inside the core apps and lots of the first birthday celebration apps was once moderately easy and fluid. The place it fails, and the place many different Android devices fail, is efficiency in 0.33 birthday party apps, which remains to be disappointing. Are attempting scrolling in Fb, Instagram, Twitter or a couple of different apps and also you’ll see how badly it stutters. It is a device that units benchmark ratings on fireplace (beating even the likes of Snapdragon 800 in a few checks), performs 4K movies and excels at each sport you throw at it and but it will probably’t scroll easily in an app with VGA decision photography. In fact this isn’t actually the device’s fault – it’s as much as builders to optimize their purposes and a few are clearly doing a greater job than others, but it surely’s one thing to bear in mind.

As talked about sooner than, the XOLO Play Tegra Be aware does remarkably neatly in benchmarks. The ratings we acquired can be one thing a excessive finish Android tablet or smartphone can be pleased with, so for a finances device it’s nothing wanting wonderful. The Tegra four is an awfully highly effective chipset and a a long way cry from the mediocrity of its predecessors. And it matches proper into the gaming targeted nature of the XOLO Play Tegra Observe, with each sport we tried working completely. We simply wished all this horsepower and benchmark rankings translated into higher in-app efficiency however that’s one thing Google must deal with greater than NVIDIA.

Stylus

NVIDIA has made a gigantic deal out of the stylus performance of the Tegra Notice. The usage of what NVIDIA calls the DirectStylus technology, the stylus on the XOLO Play Tegra Observe is in fact a easy capacitive stylus however mimics many of the performance and efficiency of an lively digitizer. The stylus suits right into a slot on the underside and when pulled out, it launches the NVIDIA DirectStylus app, which is basically a folder of apps that you just’d wish to use after you pull put the stylus. It has the fundamental Tegra Draw and Write apps already and that you can add any app to the record.

Any other factor that occurs while you pull out the stylus is the looks of two additional keys on the navigation bar on the backside. The one on the left allows you to disable all touchscreen inputs apart from these from the stylus, to forestall unintended touches from, say, your palm. It’s curious how NVIDIA manages to become aware of which enter is from the stylus and which out of your pores and skin because the stylus isn’t lively. Any other button permits you to choose a component to the reveal or write on it, which is able to then be saved as a picture.

The stylus comes with a chisel tip with the aid of default however the tips are replaceable and you could alternate it for a brush tip, as an instance. NVIDIA by some means manages to reach drive sensitivity with out an energetic digitizer that allows you to draw thick and skinny strains just by adjusting the power on the monitor. There’s additionally an enchanting ‘eraser’ on the again, that works in tandem with the software. You principally press and dangle the flat eraser facet for a 2d on the reveal and it then switches routinely to eraser mode, which is superb and once more I don’t know how NVIDIA does this. The stylus itself is somewhat lengthy and at ease to make use of.

General, the stylus performance on the XOLO Play Tegra Notice is exceptional. NVIDIA manages to succeed in so much with using easy hardware and software, working collectively completely. It is probably not on the identical degree as what Samsung deals on its Notice sequence, but it surely is also nowhere close to as refined, nor does it price as a lot. I’m beautiful certain the stylus performance on the XOLO Play Tegra Observe must fulfill all however probably the most disturbing stylus customers.

Multimedia

The multimedia efficiency on the XOLO Play Tegra Observe used to be reasonably stable. The show and the stereo audio system each play a huge phase on this. The show, as I discussed earlier than, is actually just right and makes the whole lot from motion pictures and video games seem to be very good on it. The audio system are loud and clear and various the time simply help you experience a recreation or a video without needing to essentially plug on your headphones each time. The tablet additionally has HDMI out so that you may revel in your movies and video games on an even bigger monitor.

Gaming, once more, was once an excellent expertise on the XOLO Play Tegra Observe. That is partly as a result of the scale of the device. 7-inch tablets, in my view, are the best dimension for gaming and the Tegra Be aware simply feels proper to your palms while you play in panorama mode. The audio system and show additionally go a ways and the Tegra four simply chews and spits each recreation that you may throw at it. Add to this the rising library of prime quality video games on the Play Retailer, and what now we have here’s a really good gaming device.

Ultimate side of the multimedia expertise is the camera. The camera, neatly, is there and it takes footage. The software is fairly excellent due to NVIDIA’s resolution to interchange the bleak inventory Android camera app with Digital camera Superior however the hardware doesn’t relatively fit it. The viewfinder view is low decision and blurry, and the captured pictures aren’t quite higher, both. The entrance camera is utter rubbish and has a ridiculously shallow box of view that makes you grasp the device a mile away to get your face within the body. Total, it’s there if you need to shoot one thing in a rush and don’t have some other camera with you in the intervening time however in any other case it’s highest left unused.

Battery Existence

I ran the Tegra Observe in Efficiency mode for all my checks with PRISM disabled so the identical mode was once used for battery existence trying out as smartly to handle consistency. On this mode I obtained roughly 6 hours of battery existence whereas enjoying excessive efficiency 3D video games, which isn’t too shabby. Battery existence whereas taking part in HD movies used to be a extra spectacular eight hours and nearer to NVIDIA’s 10 hours declare. I’d have simply gotten extra with decrease energy settings and PRISM enabled however that will have additionally hampered the general expertise.

Verdict

The XOLO Play Tegra Be aware is priced at ₹17,999 in India. This places it someplace between the 2012 Nexus 7 (which continues to be on sale) and the brand new 2013 variation. Whereas the Tegra Word beats the 2012 Nexus 7 arms down and is smartly price the additional, the identical can’t be mentioned in regards to the 2013 variation.

Google and ASUS have achieved a outstanding job on the brand new edition and it displays. The brand new Nexus 7 has sophisticated design and construct to the Tegra Observe and likewise a significantly better show. In all places else, it’s both an identical or higher. The one actual benefit the XOLO Play Tegra Be aware has is the stylus performance and a microSD card slot, to not point out the ₹three,000 value distinction.

The XOLO Play Tegra Observe is a good gaming device and is the one factor it truly excels at. The stylus performance can be slightly smartly carried out. However the brand new Nexus 7 in reality is a greater all spherical tablet that is also nice for gaming. If you’re after a tablet for drawing and be aware taking, the XOLO Play Tegra Notice is the plain possibility between the 2 however for the whole lot else you’d be at an advantage spending a little bit extra on the brand new Nexus 7.