(Pocket-lint) - What's the tipping point in a device where the savings you make start to have an adverse affect on its quality and performance?
That's a question Argos has clearly asked itself with the creation of the Argos MyTablet. Just how many corners can it cut to get the cost of a 7-inch tablet to under a £100.
The initial first impression before we start our review in earnest seems that Argos has been keen to cut a lot of corners here in partnership with Bush to get that magic price point.
Their are multiple Android launchers installed, which is confusing, a washed-out 7-inch screen that is so low-res that it's hard to read some of the on-screen details, and a processor that isn't really beefy enough to make everything smooth.
For bean counters up and down the kingdom it runs a dual-core 1.2Ghz process with 1GB of RAM. The resolution is a paltry 1024 x 600 and while it's a capacitive screen there is only support for five fingers.
Battery is okay - 3000 mAh giving you around 5 hours - and there is microSD card support (up to 32GB) to expand beyond the 8GB of in-built storage. It runs Android 4.2.
On the camera front, we aren't sure why they've even bothered, a 2-megapxiel option on the back and a 0.3-megapixel on the front. Argos should have ditched the rear camera altogether and saved even more money. Oh, and the whole thing can flex in your hand if you want it to. Ouch.
Pocket-lint's grandma once told us that you get what you pay for and we have to admit we've come to the MyTablet off the back of reviewing the Sony Xperia Z Ultra that comes with the latest top of the range Snapdragon 800 processor, buckets of power and a very, very nice screen. Even so, compared to the Tesco Hudl, which we've also reviewed, this is fairly disappointing stuff.
Take the Argos app, for example, pre-installed, clever enough to work out your nearest store and set that as default, but it doesn't work in landscape mode. You want to buy something from Argos on the sofa you've got to go portrait.
That's probably because the aspect ratio of the MyTablet is 16:9, or as least we gather that's what it is, and therefore looking at anything like an app or the web in landscape means you don't get much on the screen. We would say that aspect ratio is great for movies and games, but the screen is so washed out we can't even claim that excitement.
First impressions if you hadn't gathered, aren't good. We will be putting the Argos MyTablet through the Pocket-lint review process to see if our attitude or appreciation for the tablet changes, but at the moment compared to the Tesco Hudl we can't see why we would recommend this one over the other.
Cash is always tight, we understand that, but in this case, it really is worth spending the extra 20 quid.