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Bargain basement Android tablet takes on big boys with free spec upgrade

 
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The Kogan Agora 7 inch Android tablet has been kicking up something of a storm even before it has actually shipped. Not least because of the pricing. The Australian company is attempting to break into the UK market and is marketing the device as the best value Android tablet in the world to tempt buyers. It can do this, so the company tells us, as it is the manufacturer of the tablet and only sells directly to the customer via an online shop, cutting out additional middleman costs completely.

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Thing is, it may just have a point with a selling price currently sitting at £106 ($175 US) which places it at around a third the cost of a Samsung Galaxy Tab. I say ‘currently’ as the price is a bit of a moving target depending upon when you commit to purchase. The Agora 7” is only available online, and Kogan uses something called LivePrice to determine how much you pay. According to Ruslan Kogan, the 27 year-old founder and CEO of Kogan, that price gradually increases “at a rate that depends on a number of key factors until we sell out, reach our expected dispatch date, or reach our everyday best value price”. Commit early and you get a better deal, and one assumes Kogan gets a better idea of how many units to produce. Full refunds are available at any time while a LivePrice is still being offered, apparently.

If that weren’t enough to tempt potential buyers, Kogan has now announced a bunch of specification updates to the Agora which will be available at no additional cost to the selling price, and that includes for those who have already ordered using the LivePrice scheme. So what exactly has been added to the existing basic spec of a 7" WGVA Capacitive Touchscreen, 512MB RAM, Android 2.3 Operating System, WiFi, HDMI video output and 720p HD playback, microUSB, microSD, front facing camera?

Well how does a 1GHz processor with a dedicated 200Mhz graphics processor, a 2.0 MP camera instead of a 1.3 MP one, compatibility with external hard drives and USB sticks up to a max of 1TB and the ability to use 3G USB dongles grab you? No big deal if you were paying three or four times as much for your Android tablet, but at the bargain basement end of the market it’s not to be sniffed at.

Indeed, we are led to believe that the 1GHz system-on-a-chip (SoC) being used for the Agora is based on the same SoC that can be found in the much more expensive Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Hummingbird Cortex-A8.

DaniWeb will bring you a full in-depth review of the Kogan Agora 7” Android tablet just as soon as we get our hands on one. Watch this space…

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Davey Winder

I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .

 
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Nowadays, more and more tablet and appearing in the market. There will be fierce competition with Apple but so far Ipad2 triumph. Will this tablet be on par with ipad2 or just like other tablet. Nice tablet although the android 2.3 is a bit dissapointing, they could have use 3.0. Evertthing is good except for the camera as well, i think the developers still have some room for improvement. But overall, it is a good tablet. Maybe its price is one of the contributing factors that maade it good. Nice story Davey. Just came back to daniweb and you are starting to work hard, hope to see more interesting stories from you. Keep up the good work, Davey.

 
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You've got to remember the price point, this is at the value end of the market and not intended to compete directly with the iPad end of the lifestyle spectrum to be fair. Corners are always going to have to be cut to hit a low price like that, I'm just surprised that Kogan appears to have done so well all things considered. That said, I will reserve judgement until I've had a chance to get hands-on with a real device and put it through its paces for a DaniWeb review.

 
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Just asking. How big is this thing? Smaller than an Ipad or about its size?

 
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The clue is in the name: Agora 7" tablet :)

 
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Is it possible to buy it somehow if you're not in the UK?

 
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At the moment it looks like the company is only selling into the Australian and UK markets, but there's nothing stopping you sending them an email to see if they will deliver elsewhere...

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