Disgo 8400G 7.9-incher brings 3G, Snapdragon S4, and Google Play to the budget tablet market, we go hands-on
To be brutally honest, the lower end of the tablet market is a bit of a mess. Those seeking a bargain tablet have generally been disappointed with the experience they've received. Even Disgo admits that some of its early efforts have not been of a particularly high standard. But with the Disgo 8400G it has made significant strides in trying to give consumers a more competitive tablet device, for relatively little outlay.
One significant factor in the improved performance of the 8400G over its predecessors lies in Disgo's new partnership with Qualcomm. Whereby its former devices carried Chinese chipsets and processers, this latest in Disgo's line-up is the first to use the Snapdragon S4 processor.
Along with processing power itself - as it is a 1.2GHz dual-core processor used in the 8400G - other benefits have presented themselves. First, this tablet features stable 3G support. And second, it can now run with all of Google's many Android add-ons, including Google Play.
These are true stand-out features for the new Disgo tablet over peers. In spec and price terms, it is perhaps the biggest rival to the Amazon Kindle Fire, but offers a full Android experience and 3G mobile connectivity, so could be attractive to that end of the market. Especially as the 3G full-size SIM slot (aka mini-SIM) will accept any SIM, including mobile. Apparently, the 8400G tricks the SIM into thinking it's a phone rather than a tablet, so you can either hotswap your own mobile SIM or use a pay-as-you-go one. It's a good way to avoid paying extra data SIM costs.
The Android pre-loaded is up to date, being version 4.1.3 Jelly Bean. And its 1024 x 768 touchscreen in 7.9-inches, so offers plenty of real estate over its nearest rivals.
On board memory is limited to 512MB of DDR2 RAM, so it'll never win any awards in the speed stake, but from our brief hands-on play, that only really affected scrolling between screens - something the Kindle Fire has always been victim of too.
There's GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. And stereo speakers are built in to the frame. Naturally, it can be loaded with Netflix and the like, so should work nicely as a media streamer.
It only comes with 4GB of on-board storage, but can be expanded by up to 64GB through its microSD card slot. Disgo informed us that you may even be able to get hold of bundles with microSD cards in the box, so keep an eye out for those.
And the battery life is claimed to be 8 hours of use, with a 4800mAh L-ion battery running the show. The cameras aren't particularly special, with just a 0.3-megapixel one on the front, 2-megapixel on the rear, but the Nexus 7 doesn't even have a rear-facing camera, so it may not matter to those after a lower-end device.
In the hand its fairly heavy, but no more so than a Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD. It's certainly solidly built, even though that's in sacrifice to super model thinness.
We've only had a brief dabble with the Disgo 8400G and the low-end specs could well put off a fair few, but in comparison to many of the tablets we've seen at this price point - including some by Disgo itself - there are few that can get anywhere close.
Pocket-lint will be reviewing the Disgo 8400G soon, check out our full opinion then.