While the tablet market continues to decline, demand for detachable tablets is going up, according to IDC’s (International Data Corporation) quarterly tracker for Q4 2017. The report suggests that global detachable tablet market grew to 6.5 million, an increase of 10% from the last quarter. Alcatel wants to cash on it with a new 2-in-1 tablet called Pop 4. It runs Android, supports 4G and is available on Flipkart.com at Rs12,999.

The Pop 4 is basically a 10-inch tablet and a detachable keyboard. It has a rotatable hinge with a wide slot to hold the tablet and uses Bluetooth to connect.

Alcatel has put a button on the side of the keyboard to switch on its Bluetooth. Once paired, the tablet can be controlled from the keyboard, like a regular PC. It comes with a number of special keys that can be used instead of the touch input. Users can start a Google search adjust brightness and volume, open multi-tasking window and go back to the homescreen using them.

There is no joystick or touchpad to move the cursor which means you will have to tap on the screen regularly to get things done. There is little space under the keys for palm rest. The keys look small in size, and every key press is a tad soft yet responsive. There is a microSD slot on the keyboard to connect a mouse via OTG.

Both the tablet and the keyboard have a similar plastic exterior with matte black finish on top. With the keyboard it feels a bit hefty in the hand, but without the keyboard it feels a lot lighter at 449g.

The wide bezels on the front leave ample space for holding the tablet with one hand for reading or gaming.

The 10-inch display has a resolution of 1,920x1,080p, which is rare at this price point. Even though the screen isn’t very bright, it looks crisp. Most budget tablets offer a resolution of 1,280x720p.

Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa core processor with 2GB RAM, the Pop 4 was able to handle HD movies, web browsing and multi-tasking with grace. It felt a bit sluggish with new games.

There is 16 GB internal storage, but there is nothing to worry as there is a micro SD slot with a capacity of up 128GB. Alcatel has also added a SIM slot at the top. It supports 4G, and unlike Windows tablets can be used for calling.

The tablet runs a very old 6.0 (Marshmallow) version of Android with Alcatel’s custom UI, which it uses in its smartphones as well. On a bigger screen it looks neat and app icons look bigger. It has an app drawer and very few customisation options.

Battery backup is impressive. The 5,800mAh battery was able to eke out 6-8 hours of heavy use and almost a full day on modest use.

Alcatel Pop 4 is not a typical 2-in-1 tablet. It runs Android OS, which unlike Windows OS is not necessarily designed for laptops. However, it is not entirely difficult to use. With its big screen and handy keyboard and free access to Google’s Docs, Sheets and Drive, one can carry out a fair amount of work on it without any hassle. At this price point, there are no other Android tablets offering a Full HD screen with a built-in keyboard which also serves as the cover.

The only big-screen Android tablet that comes close to it is Lenovo’s Tab 4 (Rs15,490). It runs Android 7.0, supports 4G and packs in a bigger 7,000mAh battery. But it offers resolution of 1,280x800p on a 10.1-inch screen, is powered by slightly inferior Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor and doesn’t have a keyboard or stand to prop it up.

If you are looking for a Windows based 2-in-1 at the same price, there is Acer Switch One (Rs11,990). It runs Windows 10, is powered by Intel Atom processor, offers a detachable keyboard and has 10.1-inch screen but with a resolution of 1,280x800p.

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