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Disgo Tablet 6000

If Samsung's Galaxy Tab is just too expensive, there are cheaper 7in. Android tablets available. We take a look at a £150 offering from Disgo.
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By Sandra Vogel, Contributor on
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1 of 5 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Apple's iPad has defined, and dominated, its specialised category since launching earlier this year. Recently, though, there has been a steady flow of would-be competitors running Google's Android operating system.

The iPad seems safe, for the moment at least. We liked Samsung's 7in. Galaxy Tab, but it's expensive. Toshiba's 10in. Folio 100 has appeal in principle, but the Folio 100 seems to be experiencing problems at retail, and we've yet to see a review sample.

Disgo, which makes a range of consumer multimedia products, has now produced the £149.99 Disgo Tablet 6000. So is the low-cost Android tablet the way to go?

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2 of 5 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Given the Disgo Tablet 6000's low price, you might not be surprised at some of the specifications. It runs Android 2.1 rather than the latest 2.2 (Froyo) release. The screen measures 7in. across the diagonal, which is the same as the Samsung Galaxy Tab. However, the resolution of 480 by 800 pixels is much less than the Tab's 600 by 1,024. This might not be too much of a drawback, though, as Android applications aren't currently designed to take advantage of higher screen resolutions.

A real downside is that the Disgo Tablet 6000 lacks the full Android Market experience. Instead, it has SlideME, a third-party offering with a subset of the thousands of apps you'll find in the Android Market that lacks many of the 'household names'.

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3 of 5 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The build quality of the Disgo Tablet 6000 is robust, but it lacks the sleekness of either the Samsung Galaxy Tab or Apple's iPad. The screen is resistive, and we found it reluctant to respond to finger presses and sweeps.

You get a stylus, which lives in a housing on the back of the chassis, and we found this, or a pen nib, a better bet than a fingertip for interacting with the screen. The screen is your only way to communicate with the Tablet 6000; there are no shortcut buttons surrounding the screen.

The 1GHz processor and 256MB of RAM coped well enough, and you can boost the tablet's 2GB of internal storage with microSD cards. The slot is on one of the short edges alongside a headphone jack, two mini-USB ports, an HDMI port and the power input. This latter is a small round-pin connector rather the now-common micro-USB.

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4 of 5 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The Disgo Tablet 6000's Wi-Fi took a while to connect to our network, but once the link was established we were able to connect to the internet using both the provided web browsers — Skyfire and the standard Android browser. Video support isn't good though: we couldn't stream video from the BBC website, for example.

There's no mobile broadband, and no accelerometer, although you can switch screen orientation using an on-screen button. The rear-mounted speaker delivers pretty mediocre audio quality.

The range of on-board apps is less than you'd expect from an Android-based smartphone, for example. Google Maps is here, along with an email client, a calculator, an e-book reader and a YouTube client. There's also a photo gallery and a tappable camera icon on the status bar, but no camera. Presumably you can attach a camera, but Disgo offers no advice on this.

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5 of 5 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The price may seem attractive, but the Disgo Tablet 6000 has some fundamental flaws. Without access to the full Android Market, for example, the ability to enhance the device with third-party apps is compromised.

The screen is not responsive enough, and we had to resort to the stylus more often than we'd like. That detracts from the user experience.

We were also disappointed by the battery life: if you're lucky, you'll get between three and four hours from the 1,500mAh battery if you have Wi-Fi running and music playing at the same time.

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