Disgo Tablet 8104 Review
:Android ICS, Micro SD expandable card up to 32GB, large display and cheap
:Feels cheap, no Google Play Store ,Low resolution and no back camera.
The 8104 is one of the first tablets to be released using Google’s latest Android software. With a 10.1” touch-screen, the 8104 offers users an affordable tablet while using the latest in Android technology.
Despite owning and using Apple and various other non Android based products I am a self proclaimed “Android Fan Boy” and have stayed loyal to Android right back since the very first T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream).
For me Android is the best operating system due to its flexibility and multitasking – For example I use a HTC Desire HD as my personal phone and a HTC Flyer within my business, my Desire HD is therefore geared up for my life’s social interactions, so all my widgets are based on interacting with friends and family then on the flip-side my HTC Flyer is geared around my Web Development business – so server monitoring, emails, design applications, FTP clients and more. In addition to that the full flash support is a real bonus for my line of business and to put the cherry on top – the full Google integrated services and instant Gmail syncing is a real plus for me.
So when GadgetsBoy got given the Disgo Tablet 8104 – 10.1″ Tablet I was excited to get it out the box and see what it can do and most importantly how it stacks up to my HTC Flyer 7″ tablet.
Before I go into the full review let’s take a look at what we get:
In The Box:
- 10.1″ Tablet
- UK 3 Pin charger
- Quick start guide
- Mini USB to standard USB converter
For me already it’s looking a little disappointing, as it doesn’t portray an expensive, quality feel – the charger is bulky, the presentation of the box is weak, the manuals are black and white – it just feels like a very budget brand.
At a glance the Disgo 8104 has the aesthetics of pretty much every other tablet on the market; Large screen, black bezel surrounding the screen, front facing camera and a single clickable button (which is more of Apple iPad style as appose to the norm for Android devices).
On the sides you will find the normal volume up and down keys and an on and off button, but quite oddly and again not really something you see on Android devices is a “Menu” and “Home” physical buttons.
On the bottom I was pleased to see an external MicroSD card slot (always a plus for tablets), mini HDMI slot (Quite rare and very good touch), MiniUSB, DC charging point and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
In terms of general build quality and feel, I have to say it’s very disappointing – it may just be me comparing it to the quality and sleek lines of the HTC Flyer and/or iPad but if you’re expecting a device that feels well made, feels quality and expensive then defiantly do not choose the Disgo. This device feels very cheap, the plastics creek when light pressure is applied and it almost feels hollow in places.
However, that said due to its rugged feel and built quality combined with its price (which we will get onto later) this device would be a perfect device if your handing it out to your fleet of employees to use whilst on the road to run dedicated company apps and/or send and receive emails. Likewise due to its price and rugged feel you may find this device a perfect learning tool for your children where in most cases you wouldn’t want anything has expensive, sleek and delicate as the HTC Flyer, Galaxy Tab, iPad etc.
Other small points to make are that the buttons feel very cheap and clunky, certainly don’t have the quality and feedback as say the iPhone or iPad single buttons.
It’s clear from the offset this device wasn’t designed for heavy duty processing and multimedia services and this is certainly reflected in its hardware. The device gets only a Single Core processor which has been clocked to just 1.2Ghz combined with a mere 512mb of RAM, compare that to the HTC Flyers 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor and 1GB RAM or even Motorola’s XOOM which packs a Dual Core processor and 1GB Ram.
Embarrassingly the Disgo only gets 4GB member but does have the option to install an additional SD card with up to 32GB storage – Compare that to the flyer which comes in 2 variants a 16GB wifi only tablet or a 32GB WiFi and 3G option both of which come with the ability to add additional 32GB storage.
The display and graphics don’t really stack up to much neither – with a 1024 x 600 screen resolution which is the same as the HTC Flyers 7″ screen but the major difference is the Disgo 10.1″ so the clarity in comparison to the flyer is far less. Compare that to the Motorola Xoom 10.1″ screen which has a resolution of 1280 x 800 which is expected from a screen of this size.
Another incredibly disappointing part of the Disgo is that for some unknown reason it is fitted only with a front facing camera so there are no real capabilities to shoot your own pictures, which in my opinion completely takes away a massive feature that most tablets offer which is capturing & editing photos and videos on the move.
One thing Disgo have nailed in with this tablet is its battery – They have packed the tablet with a 6,500 mAh battery which based on its hardware requirements will keep the tablet running for around 14-15hours straight.
Software & Usage:
OK so now onto the important part – software and usability. Unlike the HTC Flyer and many other current Android Tablets the Disgo does in fact come pre-loaded with Androids brand new Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, so this was in fact the first time I had the chance to really pull apart the new OS and see what it could do……or could I??? – Unfortunately not because although it claims to have Ice Cream Sandwich, like most “low cost” android tablets on the market they are in fact stripped down versions. One of the biggest flaws with the stripped down versions are there inability to use the official Android Market (Which is now Google Play) - Whilst the Google Play Store is omitted from the device, the SlideMe marketplace is fully present; SlideMe is second only to Google Play by market share for the purchase of Android based applications which means you will still be able to access most the apps available.
Unfortunately due to the “missing” app store we was unable to download any apps and was therefore limited to the very minimalistic pre-installed apps. We did have access to an incredibly poor “Disgo Apps” website which by saying has only a few apps to offer is an understatement. So again unfortunately a massive chunk of what Tablets are about has been removed.
Other than that general Web browsing, receiving/reading/replying to emails etc works as you would expect.
There is a reason I have left the price until last – throughout this review I have continuously compared the Disgo to various products such as the HTC Flyer, Motorola Xoom, iPad etc which to be honest is completely unfair of me to do so – this is like comparing Primark to Prada they are miles apart. What separates them though here is 1) the price, 2) the level of Android (i.e. Google Play/Android Market) and 3) the specification. However the biggest difference out of them all has to be the price. A HTC Flyer, Motorla Xoom, iPad, Galaxy Tab etc will all set you back anywhere in the region of £280 – £400. The Disgo however launched at a price of £149 which is an amazing difference between the 2.
If you’re looking for a tablet that you will use intensively to run apps, stay social or to use it to practically organise and manage your business tasks then the Disgo isn’t for you – However if you’re looking for either a tablet to give out to your fleet of employees, one to “chuck” in the back of your car for quick browsing or quite simply one “for the kids” then based on price the Disgo is defiantly a tablet to look out for. I cannot stress enough there is a real big difference between the leading tablets and the Disgo, so if you’re looking for a “budget” tablet that performs as well as the leading tablets you will find it incredibly difficult to do so.