- Nov 25, 2012
There is no shortage of 8-inch tablets available today. From budget to high-end, from Android to Windows, you won’t have trouble finding something. Eying for the market craze over 8-inchers, Cube recently released not one, but two new 8-inch Android tablets: The Cube Talk 8 (U27GT-3G) and the U27GT. As the name would suggest, the two have similar design and specs.
• Android 4.4.2
• 8-inch 1280*800 IPS screen
• MediaTek MT8382 Quad Core 1.3GHz (Talk 8) / MediaTek MT8127 Quad Core 1.3GHZ (U27GT)
• 1GB RAM + 8GB ROM
• Cameras: 0.3MP & 5.0MP (Talk 8) / 0.3MP & 2MP (U27GT)
• 3G / Phone (Talk 8)
• OTG support
• Micro SD card support
• HDMI (U27GT)
• GPS function / FM Radio (Talk 8)
Design and Build
Both the Cube Talk 8 and the U27GT lack the understated class of the latest Galaxy Tab S and the sheer premium feel of the iPad Mini, with details such as a glossy white plastic back panel and rim feeling dated and unappealing.
As ever with Cube's designs, though, the Talk 8 and U27GT somehow feel sturdy and well-built despite their cheap and ugly appearances. You can imagine them surviving a fair few drops with scarcely a scratch to show for it - though I didn't put this to the test.
These two 8-inch tablets are clearly intended to be held and used in portrait mode first and foremost. The orientation of the Cube branding and the boot screen animation tell you as much, as does the way the tablet sits comfortably in a single handed grip when aligned this way.
Keeping with Google's reference Nexus designs, the Cube Talk 8 and U27GT don’t have any physical controls in the front, which means you will need to use the virtual controls in the status bar for “Home”, “Back” and “Menu”. And the only way you can wake the display is by pressing the power button on the top edge.
You will find a VGA front-facing camera on the upper bezel of both tablets, but the Talk 8’s front panel also hosts an earpiece, a proximity sensor as well as a light sensor along with the camera.
All the hardware controls and connectors are hosted on the top edge of both tablets, including a 3.5mm audio jack, a Micro USB data/charging port, a volume rocker and the aforementioned power/standby key. The U27GT has a Mini HDMI port, which allows you to connect the tablet to a bigger screen. The Talk 8, unfortunately, doesn’t have HDMI on board.
Both tablets weigh 360 grams, which is significantly heavier than the more premium Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (298g), and could be a challenge to one-handed grip for a long period of time.
Display and Sound
The 1280*800 display of these two 8-inch slates may seem underwhelming compared to the Full-HD or Quad-HD displays we’ve seen on the flagship tablets of similar size. But viewing angles, color saturation and contrast ratios are all excellent thanks to the IPS technology.
Sound quality on the Cube Talk 8 and U27GT is fine through a decent set of headphones. The speakers are pretty loud, but the lack of clarity and stereo effect is still very much present.
User Interface and Apps
If you know anything about Cube, you know that when it comes to software on their tablets, there isn’t a lot of proprietary software along with the stock Android interface. A set of Google applications and the Cube application store are the only preinstalled apps on both the Talk 8 and U27GT.