Delhi (India) based manufacturer Amtrak launched their new Tablet called ‘My Buddy A712G’. This is the company’s 5th Tablet device in the market launched with 7inch capacitive multi-touch display offering 800 x 480p resolutions. It is very compact in design and packed with plastic material. It could be a strong competitor with other similar 7 inch tablets available in the market at a price of Rs. 8,200/-. Compared to one similar product – Micromax Funbook, we get few things extra with My Buddy A712G such as Dual Camera and a Sim Slot which is not available in Funbook. Other configurations of A712G tablet contains 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, 512 MB DDR3 RAM, 4 GB built-in storage with expandable slot upto 32 GB, 2 Megapixel rear camera along with 0.3 Megapixel front camera. The tablet is powered with 3200 mAh Li-ion Polymer battery and supports connectivity options such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G, HDMI and Micro USB port. But do all these configurations make A712G worth for Rs. 8,200? Let’s check out all these in details individually by testing the performance.
Design, Body and keys:
In design, Size and looks, My Buddy A712G is very similar to Micromax Funbook Pro. Body is in rectangular shape like several other 7 inch tablets that provide 16:9 display ratio. Rear packaging is done with a Plastic Glossy finish. The key placement is also done very similarly like Funbook such as Power and Volume buttons on the device and all other keys on the right side can be accessed easily without moving your hands. Let’s check out the entire key placement individually.
On front view we get a 7 Inch Multi Touch display with three capacitive keys including Back, Settings and Home. On top right of the display they have placed the 0.3 MP front camera along with LED indicator that glows up while charging or when you have any notification. Loud speaker is placed on the left of the display instead of rear side like we have seen in many other tabs.
Now at the right side of the device we get MIC at bottom, 3.5mm headphone jack, Micro USB port for transferring files from your computer, HDMI 1.4, MicroSD Card slot, and Charging port. Bottom and left side of the tab is completely blank.
As I said before, on the top of the Tablet they have placed Volume Up/Down buttons along with Power key which is also used for screen lock. Just next to them we get SIM Slot. And on the back of the device we get 2 Megapixel rear camera without any Flash.
I guess only the Sim slot and calling features makes Amtrak My Buddy A712G costly compared to other 7 inch tablets. Yes, we get a SIM slot in this device where we can use any of our GSM SIM card and use the Tab as a Mobile phone. We can make/receive phone calls as well as SMSes. It also allows you to use the 2G network which can be useful for connecting on Social Networks like WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook, and Twitter. I can’t say for Browsing as we know what it takes to browse on a web page on 2G Network. Very Slow.
If you are thinking about 3G connectivity, this is the drawback. Though the device carries a SIM slot it will still not allow you to use 3G on your sim network. You will need to connect an external 3G dongle for the same. Hence I don’t think providing a SIM Slot in this tab is very helpful because if the concern is only to make Phone Calls, well we have a smartphone for the same, right? Anyways, Phone Call quality is very good with clear sound. Messages and Call notifications seem to be good as well. Personally I don’t like using the tablet for making calls as it was very difficult to hold such a big device next to the ears. If you need a good tablet just for multimedia, chatting and offline documents viewing than My Buddy A712G could be a good option.
Today when most of the smartphones and tablets are releasing with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system including few with latest Android 4.2 system, I don’t know what could be the reason for Amtrak releasing My Buddy A712G with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. Anyways, they have provided options to check Firmware updates but they have not announced anything about further updates. Let’s see.
Screen / Display:
As I already said above My Buddy A712G comes with 7 Inch Multi touch capacitive display, it offers the standard 800 x 480 pixels resolutions similar to other tabs in this range. The device offers great fun while watching HD videos in 16:9 aspect ratio. But it may disappoint you while gaming.
Processor, RAM and GPU:
Amtrak A712G is powered with 1GHz Cortex A8 processor with 512 MB DDR3 RAM which makes it good in multitasking. We tried running about 10 applications together and didn’t find any freezing problems. However there were some lagging issues and freezing problems when we disconnected USB cable after transferring files from PC. May be it was because the device was scanning for new files. Apart from this the device contains Mali-400 3D/2D GPU for providing better gaming experience. But don’t know why we are disappointed with its Gaming performance. With such good configuration, the device is not able to run any high end game like Asphalt 6, Gangster Rio, etc. Infact many of these games are not even able to install in the tablet.
Multimedia and Gaming:
With 1 GHz CPU, 512MB DDR3 RAM and Mali-400 3D/2D GPU we can expect very good gaming and multimedia experience with any devices but don’t know why Amtrak A712G disappointed us. As I said above it is not able to run or even install few high end Games. Whenever we try to install them, Asphalt 6 for example, it ends up saying “this is not compatible with your device”. Annoying, isn’t it. However the device runs few light graphical games such as Real Racing 3, Manugannu, etc; comfortably. You can see these Gameplay in our Video review (VIDEO REVIEW URL).
But the device is very good for Multimedia Purpose. We tried playing few FULL HD 1080p video and didn’t face any Lagging or freezing issues. Even the sound is good.
Amtrak My Buddy A712G comes with Dual Camera. We get 2 Megapixel Primary Camera as well as 0.3 Megapixel front facing camera. None of them have Flash hence you may face problem capturing images or videos indoor or in low light environment. However we cannot expect HD image or video from any of these cameras (2MP). There are no extra features provided with the camera like scene modes, etc.
Connectivity and Storage:
My Buddy A712G supports connectivity options such as Bluetooth, WI-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 2G, HDMI and Micro USB port. You can also use 3G on this tab but you will need to carry a 3G USB dongle along with you because the SIM Slot only supports 2G connectivity. As per storage, the device comes built-in with 4GB storage capacity. This is quite enough for installing apps and games. In order to save multimedia files and other documents, you have an expandable slot supporting upto 32GB storage using MicroSD Card.
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 7″ Multitouch Capacitive Screen
- 800 x 480 Pixels Resolution
Processor, Ram, GPU, Storage:
- 1 Gigahertz Processor
- 512MB DDR3 RAM
- Mali-400 3D/2D
- Back Camera, 2.0 Megapixel
- Front Camera, 0.3 Megapixel
- GSM SIM Slot with 2G Network Support
- Voice & Video Calling
- GPRS, EDGE, 3G Data – HSDPA 2100 MHz
- Wireless LAN/Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
- Mini HDMI Port (For TV Connectivity)
- Bluetooth v.2.0
- Micro USB Port
- Rechargeable 3000 mAh Li-ion Polymer Battery
With Android ICS, 1GHz CPU, 512mb DDR3 RAM, Mali-400 GPU, and GSM Sim slot, Amtrak My Buddy A712G seems very good in configuration. It also offers better performance and multitasking but disappoints us with some stuff such as no 3G with the SIM. It is a bit drawback because people already have smartphones for making Voice calls. They buy Tablets with Sim Slot so that they can use 3G network for faster connectivity. If My Buddy A712G still requires external USB dongle for the same, then accordingly there is no need of SIM slot and obviously the price set (Rs. 8,200/-) is way too costlier. Apart from this, even after having Mali 400 GPU it is not able to run any single high end games. However we didn’t face any problem in Multimedia performance. Its built in Media Player is able to play most of the Video files formats due to which you don’t even require to download any 3rd party video player. Overall, I can say Amtrak My Buddy A712G is a good tablet for connecting to Social Network, Chatting, Web Browsing on WiFi, Multimedia purpose and Offline document viewing. You cannot use it for browsing on the go because there is no built-in 3G support; camera is not good for capturing indoor only.
- 1GHz CPU
- Sim Slot
- Not for high end gaming
- No built-in 3G though Sim Slot present.
- Over Priced.