Kogan's Agora Ice Cream Sandwich Tablet: Photo Gallery And First Impressions

Kogan's much-in-demand sub-$200 Ice Cream Sandwich Agora tablet won't be shipping to customers for quite a few weeks, but we got our hands on a pre-production review unit of the $199 16GB model. How does it stack up at first glance?

We'll be running much more detailed reviews on Gizmodo and Lifehacker when we've lived with the device for a bit, but right now the initial reaction is: it's a decent buy in the space it competes with, but it doesn't have the design touches or performance you'll get in more expensive recent models (Android or otherwise). Click on any picture above for a larger version.

In other words, you get what you pay for — but that's not a terrible thing when Ice Cream Sandwich is on offer. It certainly does seem better than the similar recent (but more expensive and crappier) Millennius Emperor.

Five Things To Like

  1. It's not a lightweight at 615 grams, but that's still a weight plenty of people will be happy to lug around (the original iPad weighed in at 100 grams more than that). It's also impressively thin.
  2. It's a pure Ice Cream Sandwich interface: no vendor additions or other annoyances which wins Kogan big ticks. ICS is mostly a well-designed environment for tablets, so we're all in favour of that.
  3. The built-in SD card slot and other plugs are all easy to access and on one side.
  4. The browser supports a nice little piece of wizardry that expands a radial menu underneath your finger when you swipe from the left or right bezel and lets you control the navigation.
  5. Ultimately, we like the price. For $199, you're getting a solid (but not earth-shattering) piece of technology.

Five Things To Loathe

  1. The output from the built-in 3MP camera is, to put it bluntly, shocking. Only to be used in dire emergencies (which is a shame for panoramic shots, which ICS handles very well).
  2. The flip-side of having all the ports and inputs is that they have explanatory labels written on the bottom of the tablet, and the odds seem good that the lettering will rub away pretty quickly.
  3. Navigation niceties aside, we had lots of issues with using the browser; it frequently failed to respond and crashed more than once when attempting to play video.
  4. The built-in keyboard sound effect is very annoying. (You can disable it, but it's a well-buried option, though that's Android's fault rather than Kogan's.)
  5. The chassis shows fingerprints like there is no tomorrow. You'll want to travel with a cleaning cloth.

Comments

    Sorry if I'm wrong, but isn't the feature mentioned in the number 4 spot in "Five Things To Like" a standard Labs feature in the stock ICS browser? In fact I do even remember it in the Android 3 Honeycomb stock browser.
    On any Honeycomb or ICS device, go to your stock browser and press 'Settings -> Labs -> Quick controls' to enable this.

    Im not really seeing any major gripes there.
    Will do perfectly for my uses. I dont use a tablet as a camera, ports are easy enough to see from the plugs what they will/wont take, there are plenty of custom browsers, keyboard is easy to change as you state and fingerprints dont bug me either.

    I think that this tablet is perfect for what it was intended, its not ground breaking but it will do people that want cheap tablets

    Ok, so your negatives are:
    camera
    Labels
    Browser
    Keyboard
    Fingerprints

    Let's see, camera, bleh how many will use this as a camera in the real world?
    Labels, pretty sure people will know which port fits which bit.
    Browser, install a new one
    Keyboard, you already improved it in your description. Or install a new one.
    Fingerprints, my iPad is covered in them from typing this already!

    In other words, this tablets sounds pretty good really depending on battery life that is.

      I gotta agree with you Craig. None of the negatives listed will bother me. I'll end up with MIUI ICS on there at some point anyway , just like my phone, which will make me a happy chappy. I bought the 8GB model and got the recent free update to 16GB, so I cant complain for $179.

        I've had one of these for a couple of months. I've mainly used it for lightweight web browsing at home. I still use my laptop or desktop for email , audio, video, word processing, spreadsheets etc and I use my phone for email on the go.
        1. Great value
        2. Stock browser hangs all the time so I installed Dolphin browser which works much better
        3. I agree with other posters, the negatives issues aren"t really important.
        4. I'm pretty sure it doesn't have GPS.
        5. All up I'm pretty pleased with first dabble with tablets

        One problem I'm stuck on atm is I can''t find contacts or people app. t's not installed on the tablet, I can't find it in Play Store. I sent a query to Kogan support a couple of weeks ago and still haven't heard back from them. I have the gmail app and that works ok, I can send and receive emails, but I have to type email receipients in manually every time

    I bought a tablet with pretty much the same specs for twice this six months ago. I wonder what prices will be like in another six months.

    on the Kogan website for specs they don't list if this has GPS.

    I bought the BAUHN ALDI tablet a few weeks ago (and since an ASUS TF300T too), and the BAUHN doesn't have GPS.

    Anyone here care to chip-in and confirm if this Kogan has GPS ?

    I've just got one of the $249 ICS tablets from Aldi. It sounds pretty similar, except it's a bit weird that the front camera is 5 MP, but the back one is only 3 MP. I get fingerprints on my tablet all the time, but I don't really worry about it, and I clean it every few days. It was a pretty good deal for $249, though. Thid Kogan tablet sounds pretty good too.

      People love to take photos of themselves, if the laptops I deal with every day are any indication. So perhaps this tablet is meant for the vain sort ("If I do the sideways peace sign and stick my lips out, I look 20 kilos lighter and feel sexxxxxxeh!")?

    I think the labelled ports are a good idea. This tablet seems to be geared towards people who want a tablet, but probably don't need one, and the price is just right for them.

    I'd rather have port labels on the back, than someone coming up and saying "So my camera memory card won't work", only to find that they've stuffed an SD card into the USB slot.

    Does anyone know if the Agora tablet (16gb version) runs on Cortex A8 or Cortex A10?? thanks

      Kogan tell me it is Cortex A10 but I am not sure that I believe them.

    Hey All, has anyone purchased this yet and how are they finding it ? Looks great but want to know if this is legit!

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