GoClever Tab R974 review
The Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD may have brought the price of 7in tablets crashing down, but if you want a 10in model there are still no big-brand budget options. GoClever has managed to bring the Tab R974 in for over £100 less than most 10in models, but it still looks impressive on paper. The tablet has the 9.7in, 1,024x768 display from the iPad 2 and runs the bang-up-to-date Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system.
GoClever hasn't exactly been adventurous with design – the Tab R974 looks like a generic plain tablet from almost every angle, even if the silver finish on the rear sets it apart slightly from other budget models. At 10mm thick and weighing just 660g it's comfortable enough to hold, but hardly the epitome of style. The back panel flexes visibly under pressure and creaks ominously, too.
Apart from the volume controls, which are on the top edge of the tablet, all the ports and the power button are on the left side. There's a reasonable selection, including a Mini HDMI video output, Micro USB port, microSD card slot for up to 32GB cards and a 3.5mm audio jack. The proprietary charging port can also be found here – you can't charge the tablet over USB, so you'll need to take the power brick with you if you want to take the tablet on the move. Naturally the tablet has integrated Wi-Fi, but there's no built-in Bluetooth.
There's a 2-megapixel camera at the front and rear of the tablet, but the tiny sensors take disappointing photos and certainly won’t replace a modern smartphone or point-and-shoot camera – there's a distinct lack of detail and they struggle with exposure in bright light. The cameras can also record short video clips, but the quality is simply awful.
As it has the same display panel as the Apple iPad 2 , it's safe to say that the Tab R974's operating system looks good. Colours are vibrant and text is easy to read, although when you sit the tablet next to a Nexus 7 you realise the tablet has a relatively low pixel density for a modern tablet. When compared to the Nexus 10 or new iPad there's a world of difference, but this is still by no means a bad display for a budget tablet. Viewing angles are up to the usual excellent standards of IPS panels and although the glossy finish can make light reflections a little troublesome, we still had no problem seeing what was onscreen. Sound quality was much more disappointing, as the two 1w speakers produce weedy audio that sounds tinny at maximum volume. You can't turn it up that high either, so you'll definitely want headphones for watching video or playing games.
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