Sunday, October 30, 2011

HCL Me X1 - A Customers Review

HCL Me X1 is HCL Technologies latest tablet and is one of the cheapest tablets available in India priced at Rs. 10,490. HCL released the X1 on October 14th. This is HCLs third tablet in the Me Series after the AE7-A1 and AM7-A1. I ordered the tablet on 19th through the HCL Store and received it this Tuesday. The entire week I have been toying with the tablet and here are my initial impressions on the Me X1.

This is my first Android tablet (my first Android device in fact) and one of the main reasons I bought the tab was to put up with the Android craze and have my share of fun with the Android platform. So expect to see several posts on the Android platform and the HCL Me X1 on this blog :).

I have been researching Android budget tablets for quite some time and finally decided to get myself the Me X1 (The Lenovo IdeaPad A1 was another option but decided to go with Me X1 after Lenovo priced it at Rs. 15000). Before going deeper into the review let me start by saying that the HCL Me X1 is a good tablet from a price to performance perspective and does a decent job in gaming, music and movies.

The specifications of the HCL Me X1 can be found here. Though HCL hasn't specified the actual Application Processor they are using, it is expected to be the Marvell ARMADA 610.

As evident from the above specifications, the HCL Me X1 doesn't have a SIM card slot and so doesn't support 3G directly. However it does support 3G through a USB dongle. This wasn't much of an issue for me since I was planning to use my Nokia X6 as a WiFi hotspot (haven't tried this yet). The touch responsiveness of the device is good and Gingerbread performs well on the device thanks to the 1 GHz processor.

However the HCL Me X1 does have its shortcomings,

  • A major drawback of the Me X1 is that it doesn't have the Android Market on it. Whatever HCL may say, its App Store is no match to the Android Market
  • The device works for around 6-8 hours (usage + standby) with a single charge. I wasn't satisfied with this as my Nokia X6 gives me much more than this. However benchmarking a tablet to a phone isn't correct
  • The display would have been better if it was a slightly brighter

The biggest weakness of HCL is their delivery service. When most online sites ship within 2-3 days, HCL as a policy takes a minimum of 7 to 10 days to ship the product. However they sent me the devices in 7 days when I pestered them a lot. In fact I would recommend people to buy the device at a local Sangeetha store where you can get it immediately. On the other hand their customer care was good, especially the Live Chat, they answered a lot of questions and followed up on phone as well.

I think the biggest technical improvement opportunities the Me X1 has are the integration of the Android Market and getting out an Ice Cream Sandwich as soon as possible. This should attract more customers towards the product.

Before I wrap up, here are some excellent reviews on the tablet which helped me take a decision on the purchase -

Update 2011/11/10

After several discussions at arpandeb, we finally concluded that the actual Application Processor being used is the Telechips TCC 88xx. We also found striking similarities between HCL Me X1 and Coby Kyros MID7022.

66 comments:

Rag Mayur said...

Nice...u got a branded Android tab...for ~10k....Last year....I had to pay 10k for a Spice Android phone.....good..the prices are very affordable now for Android tabs/phones....

Rag Mayur said...

Hey I just read the whele blog..
It doesn't have a android market????..that's realy a bigggg drawback..dude....

btw...I initially misread it as HTC...hmm HCL nt sure how good the brand is ...at these tab stuff....

Gautam Muduganti said...

Yes the lack of the Android market is a serious drawback. I am looking for a hack, once I get it will post back.

HCL is an Indian IT and Technology company - http://www.hcl.in/. It not a top brand in tablets but the budget tablet market is completely filled with newbies.

An HTC tablet at Rs. 10000, that would be awesome. Their tablet the HTC Flyer is currently priced at Rs. 36,900 at Flipkart. Most of these foreign brands are priced very high in India, guess because of the import taxes.

Nani said...

post about ASUS android tablet too...i wanna buy... :)

Gautam Muduganti said...

@Nani - I would love to but I don't have it. Here's an excellent review on the Transfomer - http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/tablets/asus-eee-pad-transformer-954145/review.

From what I have heard and seen, I felt it was a fabulous device.

Anonymous said...

hi,Can i access android market through net on hcl x1...plz help..if I download via internet will applications work..plz help...i wanna buy this tomorrow but not sure about android application from market.

Gautam Muduganti said...

No, you cannot access Android Market through the HCL Me X1. However you can download applications (.apk) from other sites and install them without any problem.

A comment at arpandeb states that HCL is planning to update the device so that Android Market can be accessed but I am not sure about it.

Anonymous said...

so it means i can go to Android.com & download applications n run on HCL me -x1

Anonymous said...

sorry one more thing can i connect net through tata photon +

Gautam Muduganti said...

You cannot go to https://market.android.com/ to download applications since you it transfers apps directly to the devices. Android Market doesn't allow you to download an .apk.

I am not sure if it works with a Tata Photon+ since I haven't tried it but I guess it should work since HCL is planning to sell X1 bundled with it.

Anonymous said...

so from which other website i can download .apk applications...u have used it for few days does there app store has enough for a regular user.

Manglesh said...

Hi Gautam
I have also bought this tablet, in fact I ordered it within few hours of its release on their website.
First of all, HCL has conveniently not declared the entire tablet specifications, for e.g. about bluetooth connectivity. For me connecting to net is a major problem since android devices do not have adhoc wifi enabled and hence you cant connect the tablet to your nokia mobile wifi hotspot. I am only using it thru my home wifi router and am planning to go for tata photon but this unnecessary extra expenditure. No bluetooth connectivity either, it becomes cumbersome to transfer files. They have not provided hdmi cable either, which other tablets are provided with. Any way, I will try to make the best use since I have already bouth it. Brightness is also an issue as other resders have mentioned. Please advise if someone has installed skype or yahoo messenger. I am having problem with finding the proper version. I have tried many versions from the skype website but none of them works, so havent really used the tablet for video chatting. I wish HCL had provided all of the popular applications on their website instead of thousands of other micc. applications.

Anonymous said...

is angry birds & talking tom there in ME app store on x1

Gautam Muduganti said...

There isn't a single sites where you can get all the apps but a google search can easily find you one.

I downloaded Angry Birds, didn't try Talking Tom.

Adithya said...

Hi Gautam,
I rooted my HCL ME X1 tab. SuperOneClick Root works like charm. But, i'm struggling to find the Clockworkmod Recovery Image for this tab. :(

Gautam Muduganti said...

It's nice you are able to root using SuperOneClick. The way I understand it, SuperOneClick is primarily a .NET frontend for exploits like GingerBreak and psneuter - http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=803682.

If you have tried GingerBreak and it didn't work, I am guessing using psneuter worked for you. I am extremely apprehensive on psneuter since it diables the property service - https://github.com/tmzt/g2root-kmod/blob/master/scotty2/psneuter/psneuter.c.

The property system is an important part of Android (http://rxwen.blogspot.com/2010/01/android-property-system.html), so I am not sure if using psneuter will or will not disturb the OS. I am still looking for a confirmation that psneuter is safe to use.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gautam,

Need help buddy...

I have a netbook with win7 which i mainly use for internet and movies. a few internet ticket bookings, online purchases etc,.

I have a huawei 3g dongle which when connected can be used like a phone! Its user interface 'mobile partner' has call, text, mms, ussd(balance enquiry)- much like a secondary phone on my lappy.

I am considering of buying hcl me x1. Can this be a good replacement for my netbook? The plug and play feature - would it work in this tab?

Gautam Muduganti said...

I haven't tried the Huawei 3G dongle but I guess it should work.

The only thing you should be concerned is about the battery life. I am sure the tablet won't be able to match the battery of your netbook.

Anonymous said...

It does have android market.

Anonymous said...

Hello,
i wanted2 buy this HcL x1 tab but havin few queries. Does it support live wallpaper, pinch zoom fotos, all kinds of videos, bluetooth and can i use phone as a modem connecting this tab.
Plzz do reply

jassi banga said...

dude plz tell me does it support motion gaming, nd how many usb ports are thr bcoz if i wll connect keyboard pouch with it then thr will be no port left for 3g dongle, nd i hv even heard tht we can install the android market app from the net nd it works..

Vee Eee Technologies said...

Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.

Anonymous said...

HCL me X1 comes with anroid market. i bought one from www.logicterminal.com. i am also successfully using Tata photon plus on it. Great buy

Anonymous said...

May: Gautam how can we install (.apk)apps into this device? Is there any preinstalled file manager?

amit said...

Hey gautam, can u please tell, how can I paste text from clipboard, and download a picture from a site on x1?

Amit
Aroamit@yahoo.com

ritwik said...

can u please aware me about the battery life of x1 in standby and video playback ? ~i have budget of around 16k ....can u advice about any other tablet..um also having thoughts about hcl am7-a1....plz advys.....

Gautam Muduganti said...

Nice to see that HCL has added the Android Market to the tablet.

Yes it has live wallpaper and pinch zoom. @Jassi - it has only one USB port so use it effectively.

@May - .apk files can be installed through the APK Manager on the device.

@Ritwik - battery backup is the biggest drawback of this tablet. I measured its battery precisely and found it works for 1.5 - 2 hours continuously. Video playback is decent. I am not even sure if HCL is supporting AM7-A1, find out once before buying.

Carl said...

Nice job wit the review ....I have a question..Can the tablet run HD games like Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD and other Gameloft games ?

ritwik said...

thanks gautam for the help ,i want a tab for watching videos and with support of USB Internet dongles.Can u suggest any?(within 17-18K).
And does lenovo ideapad a1 has dongle connectivity and any idea about its battery life....thnks in advance ..

windowsphone7developement said...

For Android its the other way round (especially on ICS) - on tablets I find it mediocre but love it on phones. Have yet to see a flagship ICS tablet when my opinion might change. Claw Digital Review

Anonymous said...

Hi, gautam,
I have one ME X1. Every where it says inbuilt flash memory as 4 GB. But when i checked in settings > SD card/storage - it shows 2.5 GB. Even in applications section, it says 1.1 GB used; 1.5 GB free.
How is it ? (I have one movie copied in the device NAND menory. does this matter ?) No micro SD card installed yet.
I could install android market from outside. Could access market & install a few apps. But for some apps, it says 'your device is not compatible.' But the same app can be installed from apk file downloaded from other websites. Why it is so?

Android app development said...

I like your blog technical knowledge.This is one of the pleasurable post.Thanks for your support.
Android app developers

kush said...

please tell me can we connect tata photon

roychethalan said...

hcl me x1 every thing is possible , can download anything from google just type apk download with name of the app thats all ,if it is free in android market you will get for downloading from different sites. only two probs with hcl is lack of bluetooth and sim 3g connection. using 3g by dogle is some what touch its class look hanging a wire from it.

roychethalan said...

just by idea unlocked 3g netsetter from shops will get by around rs1400. purchase any sim which has 3g network connection at your home town . just insert the sim to netsetter wait for 2 minutes and go two settings>wirless and network>mobile network>acess point>select your access point . thats all. my advise is take idea you wil get 3.2mbps speed(under 3g tower) in 2g tariff with your netsetter and roaming free too ...now what you want....make sure your backlight settings should not go off while using internet via 3g dogle. Reduce the brightness level to minimum so that you can use atleast for 7 hours. hcl x1 me is a value for money product because of its 2.3os which will run any free apk apps .

roychethalan said...

just by idea unlocked 3g netsetter from shops will get by around rs1400. purchase any sim which has 3g network connection at your home town . just insert the sim to netsetter wait for 2 minutes and go two settings>wirless and network>mobile network>acess point>select your access point . thats all. my advise is take idea you wil get 3.2mbps speed(under 3g tower) in 2g tariff with your netsetter and roaming free too ...now what you want....make sure your backlight settings should not go off while using internet via 3g dogle. Reduce the brightness level to minimum so that you can use atleast for 7 hours. hcl x1 me is a value for money product because of its 2.3os which will run any free apk apps .

Android developer said...

I learn something more challenging on altered blogs everyday. It will consistently be aesthetic to apprehend agreeable from added writers and convenience a little article from their store.

Anonymous said...

can i use samsung glaxy battery or any other battery in it

Anonymous said...

Directions to install Android Market on hcl me tablets. Easy steps.

http://android.stackexchange.com/questions/16095/how-to-install-android-market-on-hcl-me-x1-tablet

Anonymous said...

can i connect HCL me to net thru my blackberry smartphone using bluetooth tethering?

thanks

Shri said...

Hi dude will u tell me that can i use yahoo messanging for video chat in HCL X1 like we do in Laptop n PC

Anonymous said...

Tata Photon card does not work on HCL ME...any special configuration required fort this.

Also, How do I paste file from USB drive on HCL Me android desktop and make a shortcut.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gautam,
I got my HCL ME X1 todya, and i was wondering if you can help with a small problem. Actually i want to use my cellphone, Nokia X3-02 as the modem for the tablet. bt have no idae how to connect it for the said work... so can you help??? Cellphone model is Nokia X3-02

Anonymous said...

Hi Gautam - Just one simple question. Can I use Skype to video chat over HCL ME X1?

Gautam Muduganti said...

Most of the android devices cannot connect to hot-spots hosted by devices like Nokia X3-02 or a Blackberry directly since these are adhoc networks and connectivity to such devices is disabled by default in Android.

Here is an article which will tell how to enable such connectivity -
Connect to Adhoc Networks

Gautam Muduganti said...

I tried Skype but it didn't work. The application kept crashing.

Ramana said...

Hi Gautam,

I brought a HCL Me tablet.. but i dont know how to access internet through my photon plus device and I dont know how to connect pen drive.

Can you please guide me. if there is any document with all the information please let me know.

Venkat

bc said...

i also buy hcl me x1 befor 4 months.and i m fully satisfied with it. its right that it not have android market but we can install android market on it. i do it and its really very good tablet.i say if u think about tablet then buy it without thinking

sanju said...

gameloft games from market cannot be installed in hcl x1 tab and a msg'item not compatible with your device' is being displayed.pls let me know any way out.

adarsh said...

Would i be able to instal SKYPE on ma HCL ME tab....???

I have tried and i got error message as "Your device is not compatible for this app..!!!" ....

Anonymous said...

i also purchase but it is bad tablet.waste of money...

Anonymous said...

please anyone donot buy hcl me x1 tablet.I have... It is totaly bad facility .no sim card,no bluetooth,one usb ,main thing u alway connect one usb like mouse or modem or keyboard so very bad...

Anonymous said...

I think main problem is no sim slot in it.... and one more thing it do not support any micromax modem like model 310g etc. i tested... only support zte model ac2737,ac2736,ac2726,mf190 ... And huawei model ec150,ec156,ec152 etc. Donot support idea setter,photon ...

Shantidas said...

>> Donot support idea setter..

No, my "Me X1" works with Idea net Setter modem. Speed is ok. Wi-fi is also works fine. No problems why installing software from google play store. Some time I have "Your device is not copatible.." but I do "force download" and it is ok.
Skipe also works on my tablet.

Srimanta Hazra said...

Hi Goutam.
I have just bought it. But i do not know what types/companies dongle will be fit for it. I have tried a vodafone dongle but i cant create a apn name though i made all the steps right to make a apn.. what should i do? Plz help.

tragedy queen ever said...

gautam can i use yahoo messenger for video chatting? can v down load skype by any chnace?since i got this only for video chatting.

Unknown said...

i...Is there a way to install skype on HCL ME X1...

It comes with Fring video chat...but fring is not on PC...so is there a better alternative for doing video chatting both on PC and ME X1...

Thankyou

Anonymous said...

HCL Me tab is the worst choice of mine..poor tablet i ever seen.. No support for Google Play, Skype and Yahoo Video chat.. it is very worst product..Please do not buy this product..I could have purchased some thing else. its waste of money!..Am trying upgrade latest android o.s. but no support.

amit said...

hi guatam
can i use airtel modem for internet in hcl x1 tab??and is there any chance to install skype in that?
pls tell me that how to connect the odem in this tab?
thank u..

Anonymous said...

hi gautam,

please guide me how to install skype in my hcl me x1 tablet

Amol said...

I have a HCL ME X1 Tablet. Mu Daughter dropped the same and since then it's screen has locked. It gets booted, But I am not able to unlock the same by moving the lock symbol to the Speaker symbol.
Can yoou help with a solution ???

Anonymous said...

Hi friends i bought an HCL ME X1 Tablet.. and i found it the worst thing i bought in my life,with in two months i bought its speaker and sensor stopped working, when i reached to service center they did not gave much response and said its serial number is not clear after i shown them the bill they said the serial number is not correct, and when i complained to the dealer even then they did not responded, they asked me to come later, when i sent the device a week later they some at the servise center said again to come later,and now i think i dont have muck time to visit the service center again and again. so i recomend friends not to by this torture machine.more over
some time it gets hang when it get hang you dont have any option to restart except wait for battery to discharge...

Free Antivirus Download said...

this is fully loaded tablet by HCL and i operate it. free antivirus download

abi said...

can u giv the procedure to open my pen drive? i am a new tab user... thank u

lenovo customer care number said...

I am impressed your blog because your blog words is very impressiveness for business growths so thanks a lot for sharing this

Tech Blog said...

A good tab from good and known brand like HCL.The processor speed is very good. Touch screen is really responsive which is a delight.

Tech Blog