GadgetsLab: Kata Fishtab 3

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 Kata-Tab-3

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • OS: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Processor. 1.8GHz 3188 Rockchip Quad-Core
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: BGB (expandable to 64GB via microSD)
  • Display: 7.9in. IPS LCD 1024 X 768 pixels
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, 3G via adapter, Bluetooth
  • Dimensions: 201 .7 x 136.3 x8.4 mm
  • Weight: 345g
  • Battery: Li-Po 4400mAh

WHAT’S HOT:

  • Attractive design and solid build
  • Comparably clear and crisp display
  • Affordable price

WHAT’S NOT:

  • Camera does not perform well
  • Crashes when multitasking
  • Unable to play HD videos without stuttering

BOTTOM LINE:

  • For light and moderate users looking for a premium budget tablet, the Kata Fishtab 3 is a great option.

 Kata-Tab-3_1

Okay, I’ll get straight to it: I’m sure the first thing you will notice about the Fishtab 3 when you meet it is that it bears a striking resemblance to a certain fruit-branded, 8-inch tablet. In fact, if you put the two devices alongside each other, you’ll immediately see their incredible likeness-from the shape, to the size, to the screen-to-bezel ratio, to the placement of the ports and buttons, to the color scheme. It’s a perfect match, and it’s highly likely that you’ll mistake the Fishtab 3 for the other tablet at first glance. What blew the Fishtab 3’s cover were the fish logo on the back, the rectangular shape of the home button, and the Android interface that greeted me when I powered it up.

Let’s start with the looks: the Fishtab 3 is light and slim-no heavier than a typical notebook and no thicker than this magazine. It’s also quite an eyeful, as the silver-and-black color combo makes it looks sleek and classy. It feels classy as well, and at the same time, the build also feels solid and robust. The retail package comes with a nice leather-and-plastic flip-cover case that also serves as a stand. It also comes with a screen protector.

One important asset of the Fishtab 3 is that it runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, so the user gets a relatively up-to-date Android experience and you can run the latest versions of Android apps.

Another good thing about the device is its range of connectivity options. It covers all the basic needs-Bluetooth, for pairing with a portable keyboard and compatible earpieces; Wi-Fi, for surfing the web; and 3G for whenever a Wi-Fi network isn’t available. The latter, however, is only enabled via adapter, which means you’d need a USB OTG (On-The-Go) cable to be able to use the device’s 3G capabilities. It also has a microSD card slot for expanding the device’s 8GB internal storage.

The Fishtab 3 has two cameras: a 5.0-megapixel shooter on the back, plus a 2.0-megapixel camera on the front face placed directly across the home button. Both sensors tend to underexpose and are comparatively slow in taking pictures. The device’s camera function is also unable to set the correct white balance for scenes. Colors are slightly muted, and there’s no way to select a shooting mode that automatically cranks up the saturation.

Audio was decent, though a bit tinny for my liking. The speakers are placed on the bottom edge of the device, which, in my opinion, is the next best place to install speakers if they’re not on the front face. That way, the sound will not be affected when you set the device face-up on a table or any other surface.

I would say the 7.9-inch IPS display does a pretty good job since pictures and text are generally clear, owing to its 1024 x 768 resolution, although the pixel density is only 160ppi. l particularly enjoyed reading my eBooks on the device. I noticed a bit of ghosting, though, while I was flipping through the app menu and scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard.

Its 1.8GHz Rockchip quad-core processor, which is supported by 2GB of RAM, handles simple tasks like browsing rather smoothly, as expected. Unfortunately, it would crash whenever I tried to multitask with it. I couldn’t even shut it down with the power button, so I had to use the hard reset button (right beside the microUSB port at the bottom of the device) to get it up and running again. It was also a bummer when the device couldn’t play a 720p video without stuttering. There was also a bit of lag when I played Iron Man 3, but it went way smoother than the HD video I played.

Here’s the thing, though: I’m not a heavy user, especially when it comes to smartphones and tablets. I only tried multitasking to put the device to the test, but under normal circumstances-if I weren’t testing the device and it were actually my own unit-1 wouldn’t use it so intensely. Its sole purpose would be for reading eBooks and on-the-go working. I don’t watch movies and shows on anything other than a laptop or TV screen. I don’t play GPU-demanding games on my mobile, either (really, I’ll do just fine with Snoopy’s Street Fair). For consumers like me who don’t use push tablets to their limits, I think the Fishtab 3 is a great bargain for its price.

At PHP 10,999, you get a handy companion that is light, solid, and good enough for browsing, working on the fly, and light gaming. It is also able to last for 5 hours of moderate use, which includes one hour of browsing, one hour of light gaming, an hour of music streaming, and one full-length movie-on a Wi-Fi connection.

Sure, it needs some work to be able to deliver a speedier and more efficient performance, but for those looking to get a budget tablet, this device is a good option. While there are some tablets that are cheaper than this device-those within the PHP 4,000 to PHP 9,000 range-the Fishtab 3, despite its slightly higher price point in the value-for-money category, is still the better-looking and better-performing contender, based on my experience with other low-priced tablets.

3over5

First published in Gadgets Magazine, November 2013

Words by Racine Anne Castro