In spite of all the scorn poured out on tablets with voice-calling support, they are the rage in China, with all tablet manufacturers trying to grab a slice of the market. The domestic voice-calling tablet segment is growing with a number of launches from both Chinese and international manufacturers such as Samsung, Lenovo, ASUS. On the lower end of this market segment, one of the latest voice-calling tablets is the Acube Talk 7X (Quad Core). The Talk 7X (Quad Core) is the refreshed version of the original Talk 7 and Talk 7X, which were respectively released in October and December, 2013. Much like the original Fonepad, the new Talk 7X (Quad Core) comes with a MediaTek processor, supports voice-calling and in addition, it comes with upgraded specifications. But, can it do enough to unseat some very high profile competition? We take a look. Key Features: ◇7 inch PLS display at WSVGA resolution (1024X600 pixels) ◇Weighs 320g, 191.2*106.5*9.9mm in size. ◇MediaTek MT8382 SoC., 1.2GHZ Qual-core Cortex-A7 processor, Mali-400MP2 GPU, 1GB RAM ◇Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean ◇8GB of built-in-storage, expandable by TF card ◇VGA front-facing camera; 2.0MP rear-facing camera ◇Stereo speaker ◇GPS ◇Bluetooth V4.0 ◇GSM/WCDMA, full phone functionalities. ◇FM Radio ◇USB on the go ◇MicroSD card slot ◇Standard 3.5mm audio jack ◇1080p video playback ◇3000mAh Li-Po rechargeable battery, 5-6 hours battery life Design and Build The Talk 7Xs front houses a 7-inch display surrounded by a black bezel. The front panel does not include any branding, which I would consider a good tradition by the Chinese maker. Thanks to the Jelly Bean's onscreen navigation keys, which mean the front of the device is devoid of physical buttons, leaving simply the black bezel with an earpiece, a VGA camera, a light sensor and a proximity sensor. On the right side of the device are the rather excellent buttons, with the one piece volume rocker sited just below the power button. They have a very responsive feel and are easy to find with your fingertips. The buttons are colored white to match the finish of the rear side, blending in nicely. Unusually, the Talk 7X has its micro-USB port located on the top of the device next to the standard 3.5mm headphone jack. While it's uncommon to find the USB port on the top of a tablet of this size, it is ergonomically sound as the Talk 7X is simple to use while charging. The positioning of this port also helps reduce the costs of manufacturing the tablet, as the circuit board has the connection for the port at the top. Acube has avoided running a cable to the bottom of the tablet as it had to on the original Talk 7. The 2MP rear camera is housed in the upper left corner of the white glossy plastic back, which gives the tablet a somewhat cheap feeling. Actually, this upper part of the back is removable, underneath are the dual SIM slot and Micro SD card slot. You could also find an aperture in the lower middle, along with some of the information Acube wants you to see. Measuring at 191.2*106.5*9.9mm, it is smaller than most of the 7-inch voice calling tablet. The only smaller 7-incher with phone functionalities I can think of is the Huawei MediaPad X1, which, of course, is many times more expensive than the 7X. Holding the Talk 7X with one hand between thumb and forefingers is a comfortable grip that can be maintained for some time, no doubt due to its relative lightness and weight balance. Display and Sound Unlike many other budget tablets, The Talk 7X hasn't skimped on the screen. It has the same PLS display used on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, comfortably beating the TN displays featured by the Lenovo A1000 and Ainol AX2, which it is in direct competition against. The 7-inch PLS display the Acube Talk 7X (Quad Core) sports has a resolution of 1024*600 (PPI=169), obviously not quite as good as the best in the business, but it's a step up on the previous Talk 7, which only has a TN display. Being a PLS LCD screen, it has fantastic viewing angles, even better than most of the IPS panels widely used on Chinese tablets. It does suffer from a little more glare than I would like and the color balance seems a little favored towards a yellowish tint, but these are minor complaints. Some users will probably find it uncomfortable to be able to discern individual pixels on the display at a typical viewing distance, as most of smartphone displays we look at every day have already gone beyond the so-called retina standard. However, this 7-inch screen still has a much higher pixel density than most of the laptops and PC monitors, thus it should not be much of a problem for tight-budgeted users. Interface and Software The Talk 7X runs the Android 4.2.2 OS, along with a healthy amount of customizations on top of it, but nothing to break the head-to-toe Android feel. The Google Play store works brilliantly on the Talk 7X, with easy access to all the popular apps and games you could want. However there remains a dearth of tablet apps, a space where Google has struggled to engage developers, especially when you compare it to the wealth of high-quality apps made for the iPad. Seven-inch tablets suffer much less though, as many phone apps still work brilliantly at this smaller tablet screen size.