Disgo Tablet 9104 review
9.7 in 1,024x768 display, 620g, 1.2GHz Cortex A8, 1.00GB RAM, 16GB disk, Android 4.0
The Disgo Tablet 9104 seems to pack an awful lot in for just £170. It has Android 4.0, 16GB of built-in storage and, most importantly, a 9.7in, 1,024x768 display. This is the same screen as was used on the iPad 2, and is several steps above most budget tablet displays. It's an IPS panel, and has punchy colours and wide viewing angles.
The tablet is generally pleasant to use. It may only have a single-core 1GHz processor, which is the most obvious corner cut to save money, but Android 4.0 runs smoothly. The animation when swiping between screens is fairly smooth and most apps open quickly.
There's one big problem with the 9104 out of the box; it doesn’t have access to Google Play, so you're frozen out of a large number of Android apps. This is the case with many budget tablets, as to keep the cost down the manufacturers don’t pay Google the necessary licence fees to use Google's own apps. The tablet does have the alternative SlideME market, but we don’t see the point of using an Android tablet without having access to all possible apps.
However, Disgo does hint on its website that you may be able to install Play, and a quick Google search finds a procedure at http://tinyurl.com/disgoplay. This took us about five minutes, and at the end we had a fully-functional Android tablet and could install Google's official apps such as Maps and Gmail. The 9104 has enough power between its Cortex A8 processor and Mali 400 graphics chip to run games smoothly, even graphically-intensive ones such as zombie shooter Dead Trigger. The web browser also runs well, rendering the BBC News homepage in a relatively quick six seconds, but while we could install Flash, BBC iPlayer refused to work. The two-megapixel camera on the rear is beyond awful, though, producing blurry shots with tripped-out colours.
It all adds up to a competent tablet, and one which is significantly better than most cheap tablets we’ve seen. The Disgo 9104 has one big problem, though; the Google Nexus 7. That may only be a 7in tablet, but it has a vastly superior specification: a 1,280x800 AMOLED screen, the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system and a quad-core 1.3GHz processor. The Nexus 7 is also a similar price to the Disgo 9104, at just £159 for the 8GB version and £199 for 16GB.
Side by side, there's just no comparison. The Nexus 7's screen is brighter and more vibrant, the operating system runs much more smoothly and the Nexus 7's superior graphics hardware let us see all the fancy graphical effects in games, such as smoke particles in Dead Trigger. The web browser is quicker, with the BBC News homepage loading in just three seconds, but as on the Disgo, you won’t have access to iPlayer.
Once you've installed Google Play, the Disgo 9104 is a competent tablet. However, it pales in comparison with the Nexus 7. if you're happy with a 7in screen, Google's tablet is definitely the model to buy.