Cube loves to make tablets with phone functions, and pumps them out in sizes and price points to suit almost anyone. The all new mid-size model, the Talk 8X OCTA, sports a power-efficient octa-core processor paired with an 8-inch display and a moderate $84 suggested retail price. How does it stack up against similarly-sized rivals? We will take a look. Before we begin, a note: Cube, unfortunately, has a habit of re-using the names of its tablets, just as a lot of China-based manufacturers do these days. That makes it easy for customers to accidentally buy an older model while thinking they’re getting a good deal on the latest and greatest. The Cube Talk 8X OCTA we’re discussing today is an upgraded version of the Talk 8, and its model name is U27GT C8, rather than U27GT-3G, which is the model name of the older Talk 8. Before you make a purchase, please make sure to check that that’s the one you’re getting. Cube Talk 8X main specs: OS: Android 4.4.4 Display: 8-inch IPS, 5-point multi-touch, P+G Screen Resolution: 1280 x 800 (16:10) CPU: MediaTek MT8392 Octa-core CPU CPU Frequency: 1.66 GHz GPU: ARM Mali-450MP4 RAM / Storage: 1GB / 8GB Functions: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, Phone, GPS, A-GPS, OTG, Miracast, FM Radio GSM: band2, band3, band5, band8 WCDMA: band1, band5 WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot Camera: 2MP back camera, VGA front camera Battery: 4,900mAh Ports: SIM Card Slot, Micro SD Card Slot, Micro USB Port, 3.5mm Headphone Jack Size: 213.3*128.8*9.2mm Design and build If you've used either the Talk 7X or the older Talk 8, the basic layouts of the Talk 8X should be very recognizable. And that's mostly a good thing. With rounded edges and a plastic rear, the slate is pretty easy to hold. You'll find a Micro USB port and a headphone jack on the top, a Micro SD card slot on and a Micro SIM card slot on the back towards the top side. Cube has changed the positions of the hardware controls, the power/standby key and the volume rocker, which used to be put on the right side, are now hosted on the top edge. I personally hate this new arrangement, as it becomes more difficult for our fingers to reach those buttons while we’re using the slate in portrait mode. There's little on the front bezel besides the VGA front-facing camera, as well as an earpiece. On the back, you'll spot a 2MP rear camera above, and a speaker below (portrait mode). The slate measures 9.2mm thick, and is obviously much porkier than the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, which measures 7.2mm in terms of body depth. Fortunately, although the Talk 8X OCTA has a bigger bezel, it still keeps the overall footprint smaller than the Tab Pro 8.4, thanks to the relatively smaller screen size. For me, Cube is simply recycling its hardware when it comes to Talk 8X OCTA’s design. There’s nothing we haven’t seen before besides the new button layout, and the Talk 8X is a cheap tablet which also looks cheap. Display and sound The Talk 8X OCTA sports an 8-inch IPS LCD panel at the resolution of 1280*800px. The display isn’t particularly sharp or crisp, but it is reasonably attractive for the price you're paying. It delivers rich colors that aren't overdone, and you only really lose brightness when you look at them from sharp angles. The brightness of the display is also quite good, as it is easily visible outdoors, as long as you don’t face the display to direct mid-day sunlight. It isn’t as vivid, clear, bright or glare-proof as the Super PLS panel used on the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, but it is a pretty decent offering for an entry-level tablet which costs less than $100. Cube’s tablets are known for the great built-in AAC speakers, unfortunately, the Talk 8X OCTA is an exception. The rear-facing speaker on the 8X OCTA is pretty bad, even the speaker of the $50 Cube U25GT produces louder, fuller output. I was eager to plug in my Monster headphone whenever the Talk 8X OCTA’s built-in speaker made a sound. With the external audio system connected, the 8X OCTA’s audio performance is pretty acceptable, pretty much in the same class of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, although not as great as my Hi-Fi enabled LG G2 smartphone.