As it has with recent products, Kogan proves you can get a decent tablet for a fraction of the price of the competitors.
Great screen at this price
Android Jelly Bean
Some software instability
Battery life could be better
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From humble beginnings, Kogan's range of smartphones and tablets is blossoming into quite a respectable line-up of products. In the last 6-months, we've given positive reviews to the company's 10-inch Agora tablet and 5-inch Agora smartphone, both of which offer cheap, simple alternatives to similarly sized products from the likes of Samsung and Sony.
Kogan now introduces a middle child to the family, a piggy-in-the-middle in terms of size, with an 8-inch display, though remarkably, this is also the cheapest product in the range. Coming in two storage sizes, the 8-inch tablet is AU$119 for the 8GB version and AU$129 for the 16GB model.
Physically, the 8-inch Kogan tablet looks like the 10-inch ICS tablet we reviewed last year, only, predictably, smaller. It has the same smooth plastic chassis, with the same black matte finish, and basically the same button alignment.
It is nice and lightweight, too, coming in at just 380-grams. This is, as we've been told by other manufacturers, the same weight as a paperback book, and is not at all too hefty to hold for long periods of time.
The right side of the unit is where all of the slots and ports are found, with standard fittings like a micro-SD card slot, 3.5mm headphones socket, micro-USB.
Not entirely standard
Kogan also includes a mini-HDMI port too, which is a strange choice indeed. Not that it isn't welcome, but all other phones and tablets we've seen with HDMI connecitivity use the smaller micro-HDMI connection. There seems to be an abundance of mini-HDMI cables on eBay though, so this shouldn't be too great a problem for those who want to use this socket.
Also of interest is the inclusion of a dedicated Back button on the top of the tablet, where you might expect to find the Power button -- which itself is on the right-hand side. This is another welcome addition, if curious, as it is handy to be able to exit apps using this key rather than the virtual-version of it on the screen.
If we have one gripe with this design, it is the seam which runs along the right hand side, where the base of the body joins the flat side where the ports are housed. This is also one of the places where your hands will be constantly when holding the tablet, and where your skin can sometimes catch on the lip. It's not a major issue, and it's certainly not sharp, but it is a regular reminder of how this is a cheap tablet.