Kogan’s 8-Inch Agora Tablet: Hands On

Kogan’s 8-Inch Agora Tablet: Hands On

Exclusive: Along with the 10-inch tablet I tested last week, Kogan also launched an 8-inch model for a little less model. Despite the size disparity relative to price, I think it’s a better buy.

I wasn’t exactly thrilled by Kogan’s 10-inch tablet, all things considered, but then it’s a non-premium product sold at a non-premium price. Most of what’s true for the 10-inch tablet is still true for the 8-inch model. It’s still just a Wifi-only Gingerbread tablet, not a 3G Honeycomb one. It still feels like mass-produced plastic, not engineered metal in the style of a Galaxy Tab 10.1 or iPad 2. I didn’t get enough time to review it entirely; these are merely a collection of observations.

The thing is, having spent a little — but not a lot — of time with the 8-inch, I reckon the compromises it makes are less of a problem.

For a start, the volume control works in a portrait orientation — so up is volume up and so on — whereas the 10-inch reverses that, which only works well in landscape. This is still Gingerbread, though, so portrait is the way the menu is always presented.

As with the 10-inch model, the ports include a DC power in, so you can’t charge via USB.

The smaller tablet does bring some technical compromises; while the processor remains the same 1GHz model and internal storage is set at 4GB, the screen resolution dips to 800×600 and the battery shrinks to 3600mAh. It’s still also rather twitchy when it comes to screen flipping, although the smaller size makes this easier to bear as it’s smaller. I didn’t get enough time to properly exhaust the battery, but it’s not going to be a true long-life tablet.

The 8-inch and 10-inch side by side.

It may have just been a quirk of the preproduction samples I was sent, but the 8-inch model also felt a little less rough around the edges.It’s still very much a value proposition to ponder on; at the time of writing the original Liveprice $149 estimate was up to $155 with an eventual end price of $229. That’s not expensive for a basic tablet, but this will never be anything but a very basic tablet. Like the 10-inch tablet, it’s not a model I’d spend my own money on, but despite the 10-inch not being that much more expensive, I reckon the 8-inch is the model to buy if you’re keen.[Kogan]