Kogan Agora ICS tablet review

How does Ice Cream Sandwich taste in a bargain tablet?

Kogan Agora 10 inch ICS
Kogan Agora 10 inch ICS tablet

TechRadar Verdict


  • +

    Bargain price

  • +

    Decent screen

  • +

    Abundance of connections

  • +

    Ice Cream Sandwich


  • -

    Poor battery life

  • -

    Average processing power

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    Debatable build quality

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Australian technology company Kogan has built its success on creating cheap but functional products that offer an alternative to premium priced brand names.

The Agora 10-inch tablet is no exception. At AUD$199 (£129), it is by far one of the most affordable tablets on the market, especially for a device running the Ice Cream Sandwich build of Android. The question is whether or not the sacrifices made to hit that sub AUD$200 price point are too great to justify spending your hard-earned money on it.

With either 8GB or 16GB of storage inside alongside the MicroSD slot, and all run by a 1GHz ARM processor and 1GB RAM, the Kogan stacks up pretty well spec wise.

Kogan Agora tablet back

From front on, the Agora's 10-inch screen is deceptively simple. The front of the tablet is barren of buttons, with the 2cm bezel surrounding the screen only interrupted by a tiny 0.3MP camera in the top left hand corner. In fact, the front of the tablet is so plain that if it weren't for the camera, it would be impossible to tell which way was up.

Turn the tablet over, and it's a completely different story. The back is littered with descriptions for the bevy of ports littering the top and left hand side of the device. The standard volume rocker is partnered with a small physical back button on the side, while the top of the device comprises of six different holes, allowing you to plug in things like headphones, micro USB cables, MicroSD cards, Micro HDMI cables and 5V DC power plugs.

Interestingly, there are two micro USB ports on the device. One connects to your PC and charges the device, while the other offers a connection to USB storage via an included adapter

There's a pin-hole hard reset button on the back of the device, stereo speakers and a 2MP rear camera, without flash. And just in case you forget, Kogan's logo adorns the back as well, a testament to your quest for a bargain, if you will.

Side on Agora

At 545 grams, the Agora tablet feels pretty good in the hand, with the tapered edges making it easy to pick up and giving the impression that it's thinner than its 9.8mm. It feels nice and solid, right up until the point you squeeze the front and the back together a little bit and you feel the flexibility in the back. It feels like there's a bit of extra space inside the device, and undermines the perception of a solid build quality.

Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.