It's typical: you've been waiting for a decent budget tablet for ages, then several arrive at once. But which do you choose? There's the speedy 7in, lightweight one (Google's Nexus 7) or the slower, bigger 10in one (Disgo's 9104)? See also Group test: what's the best cheap tablet PC?
See also: Tablet Advisor
Many may write off the Disgo as a no-name brand, but the 9104 is worth a second look. It's the first budget Ice Cream Sandwich tablet that emulates the iPad's 9.7in screen. Instead of a wide aspect ratio, the 9104 has a 1024x768 capacitive IPS screen with a 4:3 ratio.
It's rare to see this outside of the iPad, and it's a welcome development. The screen itself is an impressive panel in such a cheap tablet: relatively bright, with good contrast and wide viewing angles. It isn't quite on a par with the iPad 2's screen, and the resolution is yesterday's, but don't forget the low price.
Build quality and connections
Build quality is leagues better than Disgo's 8104 (a tablet the company is likely to want to forget), and rivals Samsung's original Galaxy Tab 10.1. However, the Galaxy has a cheap-feeling plastic back whereas the Disgo has a premium-feel aluminium panel.
The 9104 is reasonably light at 630g and feels thin, despite measuring 10.4mm in our digital callipers. All the buttons and ports are consigned to the right-hand edge: power and volume controls sit above the power socket, mini-USB and mini-HDMI connectors.
There's also a 3.5mm headphone output and a microSD slot for boosting the 16GB of internal storage to 48GB. A rear-facing 2Mp camera is twinned with a front-facing VGA version for video chats.
Performance and software
Inside is where corners have been cut. The 1.2GHz single-core processor is paired with 1GB of RAM, but even with Android 4 installed, the 9104 wasn't quite as slick as we'd have liked. Perhaps that's because we're used to the iPad, but it takes a while to get used to the lag when you're typing or simply scrolling through web pages.
Disgo has personalised Ice Cream Sandwich enough for it to feel more welcoming for new users, and as this is likely to be a first tablet, that's a good thing. Shortcuts to the browser, email, camera and settings apps are on the desktop.
There's no Google Play store, and no Google apps are installed by default but this is an inconvenience rather than a deal-breaker as you can browse to the website and install apps from there instead.
Browsing the web is one of the 9104's strengths. There's enough resolution to view the desktop versions of websites, and since Flash is supported, you won't repeatedly find blank areas where videos or other interactive elements should be displayed.
Battery life and connectivity
Battery life isn't fantastic, with the 7000mAh slab lasting just under five hours in our video looping test. It's better than most budget laptops, though, and fine as long as you carry the power supply with you.
Bear in mind that there's no built-in GPS receiver or Bluetooth. These are unlikely to affect many people, but it's worth noting in case you planned to use the 9104 as a satnav, for example. 802.11n Wi-Fi is integrated, though.
Google's Nexus 7, which we mentioned right at the start, is more powerful thanks to its quad-core processor, but it's an entirely different beast due to its 7in screen. If you're looking for something with a larger screen, the 9104 should be on your shortlist.