Tuesday, May 29, 2012

First Malaysia-branded Android tablet for RM999

Last week MalTechPro Sdn Bhd unveiled the first Malaysian made 7-inch tablet known as 1Malaysia Pad, or 1Mpad which is fully equipped with a capacitive touch screen, android system, wireless broadband, 3G and the latest applications.

The 1Malaysia Pad launched on 24 May 2012. Picture credit: The Sun Daily

In my previous posting, I wrote an article regarding India's world cheapest tablet, the Aakash and Malaysia seem to have followed suit in launching an Android tablet. But unlike the US$45 to $70 Indian version, the 1Malaysia Pad is priced further up at RM999 (US$315).

1Mpad specifications in brief

Not much was available from the media coverage but for a start, this are what have been made known:
Price                       : RM999 (introductory price for the first 5,000 units)
Screen size             : 7 inch
Operating system     : Android 2.3, Gingerbread
Storage capacity      : TBA
Mobile connectivity   : WiFi, 3G
Camera                   : 3 MP
Released                 : May 2012
Availability               : available now for pre-order

The Borneo Post reported that the tablet is equipped with a proprietary 1Malaysia messenger app which would allow users to send messages, pictures and videos for free.

First impression

While this appears to be more powerful than the low-coast Aakash, at its current high list price, the tablet doesn't appear to be a fantastic deal. RM999 is relatively expensive for a 7" tablet, more so with better specced and affordable offerings in the market are available, such as the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus at RM1,200 (US$380) and still dropping in price. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 was last seen priced cheaper at RM799 (US$250) but I'm unsure if this model is still available in Malaysia.

Who will buy them?

Befitting its name, this tablet is targetted to be first marketed to students at a discounted price. Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the ministry planned to include MalTechPro as a merchant in the ministry’s student discount card program, due to kick off next month.

The amount of the discount has not been decided yet but this is touted to be a replacement for the current 1Malaysia netbooks in universities.

Would you buy one of these for yourself? I think it is too expensive and the manufacturer will have to persuade the government to push it to the people through various 'donation' programs.

Early Verdict

An introductory price of RM699 - RM799 would have been more appealing considering such technology has been around for sometime, plus, the OS is an outdated one. Throw in the option for WiFi and Wifi + 3G to reduce the price further.


de engineur said...

Update 8/6/2912:

1Borneo "I love tablet" Fair 2012 saw Galaxy Tabs being offered at significantly lower:
Galaxy Tab 7.7 from - RM1,228
Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus - fromRM668
Galaxy Tab 10.1 - from RM888

Cheaper than the yet-to-be-made-available 1Malaysia Pad

de engineur said...

Update 17-6-2012:

You'd probably better of getting the Sony Tablet S1
Currently RM1,119 (used to be RM1,499)
9.4" screen, 5MP camera
Android 3.2 (upgradable to 4.0)
1GB dual core Nvidia tegea2

Sighted at Sony Centre, Karamunsing Complex

de engineur said...

Newly announced (June 2012) 7-inch Google Nexus 7 is only US$199 (for 8GB) and US$249 (for 16GB version).

That'd be RM600 to RM800 and specced higher than the 1Mpad.

Anonymous said...

not even as good as my china-made nexus pro but twice the price.. lol!