“ Brand: DGM Digimate / Type: Tablet PC „
The replacement T-909 is still busted! have had awful problems trying to get a refund! Digimate say that they dont do refunds until you have had three T-909s go tech! Some endorsement! Passed back to Living Social (again!) who have said yet again 'not our problem!' so now waiting for Digimate to get their act together! its now a year since I was given the first T-909 as an Xmas present!My friend who gave me the present is so upset and ashamed at what I have gone through trying to get this expensive paperweight replaced and then refunded!It is really true that 1) you get what you pay for 2) if its looks too good to be true then it probably is!Now saving up for a reconditioned iPad rather than this piece of crap!
==My early morning email==
Like many people, I subscribe to Groupon and receive daily emails detailing offers which are mostly for things I neither need nor want, at a discounted price. Recently, however, I awoke to an email telling me they were selling these DGM 9 inch tablets for £89.99. I had been craving an android tablet for a while, but the price had put me off, so when I did a bit of research and discovered this was selling for around £228 on Amazon, I snapped it up.
I had never heard of the DGM brand prior to buying this tablet, and neither had my husband who works in IT. It wasn't a great sign, but ultimately I decided that it would suffice for my needs, and at the price I couldn't look a gift horse in the mouth as there was no way I could afford a tablet at full price at the moment.
==So, what were my needs when I bought this tablet?==
As I get older, technology has started to confuse me a little. When I was young (I'm only in my thirties, not ninety, but still things have changed so much lately), we had computers which came with huge base units, laptops which were slightly more convenient, and mobile phones. When tablets and e-readers started being released, I didn't really understand why you'd need something slightly bigger than a mobile, but slightly smaller than a laptop, to perform the same tasks. However, since getting my new Samsung Galaxy S3, I am beginning to understand the world of touch screen convenience, apps, and e-books.
My needs, and I use the word "needs" in the loosest sense because I could quite happily have survived without this tablet, were:
* an Android operating system, as opposed to Apple (as if I could afford Apple on my budget anyway!), because then I could synch my phone to the tablet and vice versa - more on that later
* a 9 inch screen because the screen on my phone is quite large, so anything smaller than 9 inches would be pointless and effectively replicating my mobile phone
* a comfortable size and weight to read and browse websites whilst watching TV
==The Technical Stuff==
I don't usually copy and paste technical features on technology reviews, because unless you work in IT, these specifications don't always mean much to the average consumer. However, the product features for this tablet are detailed fairly succinctly on the Amazon website, so I have included the full product details below: (details taken from amazon.co.uk)
* 9" Capacitive Multi Touch Screen
* Android 4.0 Operating System
* Browse Internet with WiFi
* Play Games
* Download Apps from Google Play App Store
* Multi-touch screen and G-Sensor
* 9" digital panel with Touch
* 800×480 pixels
* ARM Cortex-A8 1.2GHz
==What's in the box?==
The tablet arrived in a box containing the tablet (obviously), a charger, a hideous orange case, a very brief instruction manual to get you started, and a free stylus pen which was sent to Groupon customers due to delays with delivery. Obviously you won't get one of these if you order elsewhere, but it's worth knowing that there is a stylus pen which can be used with this tablet, for anyone who prefers that method to the touch screen method.
As with anything technical these days, you have to be patient and wait until it is fully charged before you can get started playing with your new gadget. This didn't take too long, and then I was up and running. Well, walking in actual fact given the speed of this tablet, but I will come to that later.
Turning the tablet on and off is very straightforward, you simply hold the power button down for five seconds. It tells you this in the instructions, but for anything else you have to use the built-in user manual. Usually, I'm not a fan of user manuals being built into the gadget, because that assumes you have a certain level of competence to be able to access it, however with this tablet, I immediately recognised the interface as being identical to my mobile phone, so I knew how to use it instinctively. If you have used an Android operating system before, you will be comfortable with this device on first use. If you haven't, you just need to browse round the settings and you'll be confident in no time. The icons are all fairly self-explanatory, so there's no need to follow complicated instructions.
==Screen and Layout==
The screen is a good size, and although my phone's screen is a good size for a mobile, this 9 inch screen is perfect for what I wanted this tablet for. I can browse online quite comfortably, without having a heavy cumbersome overheating laptop on my knee. It is also reasonably lightweight, so I can read my book with the tablet resting on my knee, and this is more comfortable than holding a book open. I read books on my phone, but when I'm at home I use the tablet so I'm saving my phone's battery. I don't have a Kindle, but I have used Kindles before, and I would say this tablet isn't quite as light as a Kindle, so you probably wouldn't be able to hold it in one hand comfortably for a long period of time.
As with most touch screen devices, you can flick the screen round to have things portrait or landscape, and you can tap the screen to zoom in on things. This tablet has a feature I like whereby if you're trying to tap on something but there are other options in the way, it automatically enlarges the option you are trying to tap to make it easier. This way, you don't end up tapping the wrong thing, like I often do on my phone when reading reviews and end up tapping on the wrong thing by mistake. This is most useful when you are trying to choose from a list of items, because unless you have tiny fingers, it can be difficult pinpointing the right thing.
I'm not a huge fan of the screen on this tablet, because whatever I do to fiddle with the settings, it just doesn't seem easy on the eye. At first it was far too bright, and the words were blurred to the point I was getting a headache. The only way to combat this was to adjust the screen's brightness and enlarge the font, and although it isn't glary or blurred anymore, it now seems a bit too dimly lit. I would say this isn't too much of a problem for online browsing, as I'm not glued to the screen as much due to watching TV, making brews, and generally multi-tasking, but for reading books I find this isn't ideal because I suspect it would give me a headache if I read for prolonged periods. Luckily this isn't a problem, because I rarely get chance to read for more than ten minutes at a time!
The tablet isn't as responsive as my mobile phone, so I find myself really pressing hard on the screen to get my responses registered. I think this is all down to personal preference though, because some people have commented that my phone is *too* responsive. I imagine it is possible to change the responsiveness in the settings, but it's not something that annoys me enough to bother doing this.
Anyone looking into buying a tablet will probably be aware of what they do, and a lot of the features are similar to my mobile phone which I have reviewed separately. However, I have summarised the most used features of my tablet below:
* WiFi enabled, so you can access the internet using WiFi
* Google Play Store - where you can buy books, music and movies
* Play Books - the Android E-reader, which synchs to any android mobile so if you read on different devices it keeps your place on each
* Games - I was a bit late getting into Angry Birds, but this is something I've started wasting time with on this tablet!
* Email - I have my Google mail account set up on here, so I can pick up emails either on my tablet or mobile
In my opinion, the speed of this tablet is its main downfall. In an age where everything is getting faster and more responsive, this tablet seems to have taken a step backwards, and I find myself getting very frustrated when trying to multi-task. For example, if you have multiple tabs open when online, it doesn't cope well at all, and sometimes all tabs will freeze so you usually resort to doing one thing at a time. I tend to just use the tablet for one thing at a time now, and if I need multiple tabs open for comparing prices for example, I will just use my laptop instead. This way, it is perfectly adequate for more basic needs such as browsing online shops, or reading reviews.
Generally speaking, the speed of this tablet is very frustrating, and not limited to one aspect. I find sometimes I hold down the power button, and it takes longer than the "five seconds" to power up, so I end up pressing it again thinking it hasn't come on only to find I've then switched it off. Likewise, when browsing websites, I'll click on something, think it hasn't registered, and then click again. It's only when I see the blue bar at the top starting again that I realise it was just taking forever.
The speed is something I can live with for the price, but it's just a matter of getting used to the fact it's not as quick as you'd expect from today's technology. Patience is an asset if you own this tablet, so you're best getting the hang of pressing something, then taking your hands away rather than frantically pressing lots of things to get it working.
This is where the tablet comes in quite handy for me. Since I got my new phone and have officially become an internet addict, I found I was running down the battery daily, because it was so much easier to use my phone in short bursts throughout the evening rather than going to the trouble of getting my laptop out. This meant I was charging it every day, which isn't an issue for me but I was worried about the battery's lifespan. This tablet means I can surf the web or read my books all evening, and still only charge it every three to four days, which is good in my opinion for something which gets so much use. I would, however, recommend charging the battery before it gets too low, around the 25% mark, because I have noticed that otherwise it really affects the performance of the tablet, making it even slower than usual.
==Price and Availability==
If you think you have the patience for this tablet, and want something that performs averagely on a small budget, this tablet has now been reduced on Amazon and currently retails at £152.96, although I'm not sure what other tablets are available at this price or how they compare. I would also recommend keeping an eye on Ebay for this DGM tablet, because I have seen a few being sold for as little as £40, which I presume is because people have bought the Groupon offer and been disappointed. However slow the tablet is, £40 for a tablet is astounding value, and for this money I would recommend giving it a chance.
==To Sum Up==
Am I blown away with this tablet? No. Could I live without it? Yes. Has it made life a little easier when browsing the internet each evening? Yes. Would I recommend? Not sure. I would recommend doing your research into tablets which fall in the same price range, as I'm sure you could probably get better for the full retail price. The price I paid for it was about right, but this was discounted and there's no way this is worth the full RRP of £228 in my opinion.
(Review also posted on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)