They had launched India’s first e-reader, the Pi. And now they have come up with a tablet device, which also marks a first in India. The company is Infibeam and the device, the Phi, a sleek tablet PC that does impresses with its looks. In fact, the Phi marks another important first, it will be running the Android 2.2 operating system, which makes the Phi to be the first among the plethora of Android tablet to run Froyo. Infibeam also claims that users of the Phi will have unrestricted access to the Android Market for downloading apps, something that Google hasn’t allowed so far for any non-smartphone devices. So if this indeed is true then this should mark another first for the Phi!
Now coming to the tablet, the Phi comes with a 7 inch TFT LCD touch screen with a resolution of 800 x 400 pixels, which should be good enough to live up to what is being said of the Phi as ‘a touch screen media device that supports high definition multimedia formats.’ Phi measures a quite compact 225 x 175 x 75mm and weighs just 11.7 oz, which means toting it around is a breeze.
There is further news that there will be another version of the Phi as well, one that will be running Windows. Both the tablets will be similar apart from the Windows version having a TCC 900MHz processor at its core. Also at around 14 oz, this will also be a bit heavier of the two Phis.
Beneath the 7 inch screen lies a 600Mhz Arm 9 processor. It includes a 256 mb RAM and has an onboard memory of 8 GB, which is further expandable to 32 Gb via TF cards. These apart, the Phi also features HDMI port, 2 mini USB 2.0 ports along with a speakerphone and an earphone jack.
The Infibeam Phi is being touted to be the perfect mobile device for watching videos or listening to songs while on the move, for which it supports a host of video and music files. The Phi can also double up as an e-reader, allowing its users to read electronic versions of books, newspapers and magazines. Then, the Phi can be used for web surfing, check emails or chatting as well. It allows users to watch YouTube videos or download content from the Internet, for which it comes with built in WiFi. Users can also transfer Office documents like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or PDF files either by connecting the Phi to a PC using the USB port or download directly from the Internet.
However, on the flip side, none of the two version of Phi includes a SIM card slot or 3G capability, something that may diminish its appeal in the face of other tablet devices due to hit market.
Providing power to the Phi will be an 1800mA/H Li-ion battery that can sustain 5 hours of music playback and 4 hours of video playback before requiring a recharge, which takes another 3 hours.
Apart from its makers Infibeam, along with Notion Ink who are readying their Adam for a quarter 3 launch, Nvidia too will be keenly watching developments with the Phi as brisk sales of the Phi can infuse the much needed cash into their coffers. Nvidia may have good technology at their disposal but that hasn’t transformed into a good steady stream of revenue for them as of now. A good number of tablets or other devices may have been built around their processors though the number of such tablets to actually enter the market remains high and dry. So there’s Nvidia too who will be looking forward to the Phi setting the sales chart on fire.
A good thing with the Phi is that its makers have come up with a firm release date and price – July 30, 2010 and a price tag of Rs 14,999. That translates to roughly less than $350. Pre orders are currently being accepted for the Phi.
Sovan Mandal is the senior tablet and tech corespondent for goodereader.com. He brings a international approach to news that is not just applicable to the North American market, but also Asia, India, Europe and others. Sovy brings his own writing flavor to the website and is interested in Science Fiction, Technology and Writing. Any questions, send an email