Seems like it is a new Tablet in the market with a crumple hidden inside. Croma has been selling house-brand products for a while now, with anecdotal degrees of success. There is definitely a risk involved in when a company puts its brand on products sourced from outside; more so in categories that already have their fair share of cheap made-in-China OEM/ODM products. The large-format retailer has now decided to put its stamp on tablets in addition to home appliances. The two models have been launched; the Croma 1179 with an 8-inch screen and the Croma 1177 with a 10.1-inch screen and a detachable keyboard case. The company refers to the latter as a “2-in-1”, for a fine review.
While the device is sold exclusively by Croma, it does not carry the Croma brand in the same way that its other appliances do. The box and device are itself clearly stating that it is manufactured for and imported by Data mini. If you were following the branded PC market in the late 90s and early 2000s, that name might ring a bell – the company was well-known for its Festiva range of desktop computers. Still, Croma has advertised the products as its own in working up in partnership with Intel.
Intel came up in the market with the moniker “2-in-1” to give less effort to the concept that has been poorly received by Ultra Book and to give a new uniqueness to touch screen devices that might use a keyboard or even not. 2-in-1s come in various shapes and sizes- just more like tablets and others more like laptops. It leaves users with a number of choices. There are keyboard decks which are removable in nature, lower halves that twist or swivel around completely, and much more things that come along.
The Croma 1177 is basically a formal tablet which comes with a case that doubles as a keyboard and stand. The keyboard feels more like an accessory than a detachable half of the device itself. The two work well together and chances are you’ll rarely use the tablet without its keyboard cover. The rear of the Croma 1177 has a soft velvety finish and is anything but minimal. It’s covered with printing – a Data mini logo right in the centre, with Intel and Windows logos beneath it, with a Croma logo in one corner and regulatory information across from it.
The tablet is shaped as rectangle and is made of rather ordinary plastic and is black in color. The front is glossy similar to any other tablet, and is so unadorned that the Windows logo is actually a capacitive Home button on the bottom and a webcam on the top. When held in this orientation, you’ll find all the ports on the left edge, the power and volume buttons on the right end of the top, and a magnetic dock connector on the bottom. There are also twin stereo speakers on the lower rear. The quality of the printing is awful, and everything started chipping away in our hands as we used the device.