Disgo 9104 review
Disgo’s Android tablets are aimed at the budget conscious user. The firm’s current models, like the Disgo 8100 and Disgo 7000, are 7-inch tablets that run Android 2.3 or earlier. They perform well, and importantly, cost far less than top-end tablets like the new iPad.
The Disgo 9104 (£179 inc. VAT) is a completely different beast. It comes with version 4.0 of Android, which is tailored for tablets and offers a much better experience than older versions. While we’re certain we’ll see more low-priced Android 4.0 tablets in the next few months, this is the first sub-£200 one we’ve got our hands on.
The screen is a 9.7-inch capacitive IPS panel that matches those of more expensive tablets, with a 1,024 x 768 display. Colours are rich and viewing angles are good. There’s also been an overhaul of the materials used for the case. The screen stretches close to the edge, while the rear is made entirely from aluminium, just like the iPad. In fact, when we were carrying the Disgo 9104, an onlooker mistook the tablet for an Apple device.
The only buttons on the case are for power and volume. There’s a MicroSD card slot to extend the 8GB of internal storage, along with Micro-USB and Mini HDMI connectors. There’s a 0.3MP front camera and a 2MP rear camera.
But the best thing about the Disgo 9104 is how it retains the low pricing that the brand is known for, as it costs just £179. Combine the cutting-edge software, fantastic design and low price, and surely this is an iPad killer?
Well, almost. The processor isn’t very powerful, and the Disgo 9104 struggles with some of the pretty backdrops, overlays and 3D effects in Android 4.0. It uses a 1.2GHz Cortex A8 processor, a single-core chip, which is also used in some other low-priced Android tablets. Clearly, it’s not quite up to the demands of Ice Cream Sandwich.
It’s far from unusable though. Disgo has sensibly included 1GB of memory, which is helpful for both general performance, and when you want to run multiple apps simultaneously.
Like most budget Android tablets, there’s no official Google Play app store, so you have to rely on a handful of bespoke offerings from the Slidestore. There’s enough to get by, but if you’re jealous of your friend’s iPad with high quality, big-name apps, you won’t be happy.
We expect a few compromises when testing low-priced tablets, and it seems that in the case of the Disgo 9104, raw performance is that compromise. But many other budget tablets perform worse, are built from the cheapest possible materials and use an older version of Android. There’s an enormous difference between those tablets and pricier models, but that’s less true of the Disgo 9104.
This is a fantastically well-built little tablet, the supplied software works well and it performs reasonably. That’s all we can ask from a device that costs less than half the price of the latest iPad.
on Thursday, July 5th, 2012 at 10:26 am under Tablets.
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Tags: Android, budget, Disgo, Ice Cream Sandwich, Tablet