Look and feel
The Disgo 9104 has a sleek faux-metallic rear that gives the tablet a solid look and feel. It’s more slender and lighter than the Disgo 8104 too. Just a shame the ports and buttons are all crammed onto a single edge
Ease of use
Android Ice Cream Sandwich is here in its original form, and as usable as ever. The Disgo 9104’s 9.7-inch touch-screen is sensitive to your swipes and pinches
It’s great to see a front-facing camera on a budget tablet, and the Disgo 9104's rear-facing lens is fine for random shots. A generous 16GB of storage is also included. However, the lack of Google Play support is a massive issue for us
The Disgo 9104 is powered by a 1.2GHz ARM processor and packs 1GB of memory, but we did still see the occasional stutter when zooming around websites
You’ll get the best part of a day’s use when emailing or browsing the web, and a few hours of video playback
The name Disgo might mean nothing to you, but this budget consumer company launched the world’s cheapest Android Ice Cream Sandwich tablet in May – just £150 bags you the fully-functional Disgo 8104 Wi-Fi tablet, boasting the latest version of Android. A frustrating lack of Google Play support means there are virtually no supported apps, however, which is a massive downer for most users.
Disgo is back with the Disgo 9104, another Android Ice Cream Sandwich tab with better components for just a few quid more than the 8104. The Disgo 9104 is certainly impressive on paper, offering comparable specs to the likes of ZTE’s Light Tab 2 and the Acer Iconia Tab A200 for a slice of the price. But do we finally get Google Play support, and are those minor performance issues from the Disgo 8104 ironed out?
The Disgo 9104 looks like a standard Android tablet from the front, with a narrow black bezel surrounding the 9.7-inch touch-screen. However, the metallic rear that stretches around the edges gives it a solid look and feel which belies the low price. We found no weak spots or other worrying niggles. The Disgo 9104 is slender enough to slip into a bag and light enough that it won’t weigh you down if carrying it around all day.
Our one gripe comes with the plethora of buttons and ports, which are all crammed onto the Disgo 9104’s right-hand side. On one side of the power socket you’ve got Mini USB, HDMI, earphone and microSD slots, while on the other side you’ve got the power button as well as dual volume toggles (all three identical in design). It looks messy and we often ended up hitting the wrong button by accident.
Budget Ice Cream
Android Ice Cream Sandwich runs fine thanks to the 1.2GHz processor backed up by 1GB of memory. Disgo hasn’t added any frills to the interface, but Ice Cream Sandwich is smart enough as it stands, offering five desktops to populate with your apps and widgets.
Ahh yes, apps. Once again this is the shark in Disgo’s swimming pool, as the Disgo 9104 has no Google Play support for downloading apps. The replacement Disgo Apps store has only a handful of entries, including Angry Birds, Facebook and Skype – useful entries, but nowhere near what we’d expect. Disgo does include over £100 worth of apps (including Office Suite Pro 6, a Britannica encyclopaedia and some simple games), which you have to download using codes and bundled instructions. A nice touch despite the awkward retrieval method, but it’s not enough to get over the absence of Google Play.
The not-quite-stellar Disgo Apps store
It’s a shame, because the Disgo 9104 is well-powered and capable of running most apps and games out there. Unfortunately, with practically no apps and games to play with, that power is wasted.
However, if all you’re after is a budget-friendly way to browse the web, the Disgo 9104 is a handy tablet. Android’s friendly browser allows you to mess around with several websites at once, and pages load quickly over a decent Wi-Fi connection. The touch-screen is responsive to gestures, although some sites do take a little while to update when you zoom in and out. Annoyingly we couldn’t get video to stream over YouTube, BBC iPlayer and other similar sites, so movie fans are limited to films they've already downloaded. At least the 16GB of storage space is generous for the price, allowing you to carry plenty of media.
A common sight when attempting to stream video
The inclusion of Skype in the limited apps store means you can video chat with friends and loved ones, using the Disgo 9104’s front-facing camera. This feature was missing from the Disgo 8104, so it’s good to see it here. You also get a bog-standard two-megapixel camera on the rear, but the jerky screen feedback is distracting and many of our shots came out blurry or over-exposed.
The well-built Disgo 9104 has its heart in the right place, offering budget-strapped users a chance to enjoy Android Ice Cream Sandwich at around half the price of higher-end tablets. If all you need is a cheap Wi-Fi device for browsing the web or bashing out emails, the 9104 does the job. However, apps and games fans should look elsewhere, while the issues streaming video are annoying.