We’ve never really reviewed tech products before at YAMU, but we’re changing things up a bit with the Octa Tab T970G. This is their latest tab and we were pretty impressed with it. While we did run into a few issues, this is still an excellent deal for the price, with specs comparable to higher-end tablets by international brands and a nifty Dual OS feature.
So before we get into our experience with the T970G, here’s a quick overview of the most important product specifications:
- Dimensions – 237 x 170 x 8.8 mm
- Weight – 520g
- Display – 9.7 inches, 2048 x 1536 pixels (264 ppi)
- CPU – Intel(R) Atom(TM) Z3735F (Quad Core 1.8 Ghz)
- OS (Dual) – Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) / Windows 10
- RAM – 2 GB
- Memory – 32 GB Internal (Expandable by 32 GB SD)
- Battery – Non-removable Li-Po 8000 mAh battery
- Camera – 5 MP rear facing / 2 MP front facing
Design and Build Quality
Octa have gone with a very clean and simple design with the T970G. The front of the device is all black with just front facing camera, but what caught us by surprise was the all metal back and frame (with the exception of the plastic slot for the antennas and drivers), which gives it a fairly premium feel even though the tablet only costs Rs. 35,000.
We also like the dark teal color of the back which is nice change from the usual black, silver and white designs. The frosted finish also keeps fingerprints and smudges off for the most part, though a few will still show.
At 9.7 inches, this is already a fairly big device, but the bezels add a bit more to that which means single handed use is pretty much out of the question. It’s also quite heavy at 520g but we think the added weight is a fair trade-off for the metal build.
In terms of ports, you’ll find the microUSB port and the 3.5mm headphone jack on the top of the device and the 5 MP primary camera and the speaker grill on the back. They’ve kept the left and the bottom of the device clean, with the right side holding the remaining items of interest; the power bottom, volume rocker, microSD card slot and Micro-SIM slot.
All in all there’s very little we can complain about with the build of T970G with our only issue being the slightly mushy feel of the power and volume buttons. Which is honestly quite negligible.
When we got the T970G in our hands, the first thing that really caught our attention was the display, which is probably its best feature. The 9.7 inch display of T970G with it’s 2048 x 1536 resolution is crisp and vibrant with great saturation and impressive viewing angles. For comparison’s sake this is the same display resolution of the iPad Air 2, HTC Nexus 9 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. All of which cost around Rs. 20,000 more than the Octa.
The brightness level is also very impressive, coupled with fairly good contrast makes for respectable sunlight legibility.
That being said, we did run into a few issues in terms of responsiveness, particularly when using the tab on Android where some of our lighter touches and dragging motions weren’t registering. However, the experience on the Windows end was a lot smoother. We think there are few optimization issues with regard to the software here as well, which the team at Octa said would be mostly sorted with the upcoming Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) update.
The T970G features a pretty massive 8,000mAh battery, which in our case lasted 2 days of moderate use which included video playback, web browsing and reading. Battery saver mode is available for the moments when you want to conserve your tablet’s power. It reduces the tablet’s performance and restricts background data. You can tune it to turn on automatically or switch it on by yourself.
The one caveat here, however, is the fact that the charging takes ages, which means you have to charge it overnight.
Camera & Audio
Putting it subtly, the 5 MP rear camera on the T970G is sub-par at best. If you’re thinking of buying a device with a good camera, we wouldn’t go near this. The auto-focus is all over the place, and the only time it produces a decent image is in excellent light while holding the tablet completely still (like the one above). It’s also got a 2 MP front facing camera, which again was very underwhelming.
The T970G comes with a single back facing speaker. We honestly wasn’t expecting too much from this, but the sound quality blew us away. It’s very clear with a great range, and no distortion even at the highest volume setting.
User Interface & Performance
The most unique feature of the T970G is probably its Dual OS functionality which enables the user to freely switch between Android 4.4.4 and Windows 10. We’re pairing our UI experience with performance here since there are few things that go together and a few that don’t. A majority of the tablets on the market are still running Android, with a few exceptions from manufacturers like Microsoft, Dell and Lenovo. We honestly don’t know any mainstream brands that manufacture Dual OS devices, which makes the T970G all the more impressive.
There are a few things to keep in mind here though. For instance the 32 GB internal storage is split between the two operating systems with Windows getting 22 GB and Android getting 10 GB of which only 4 GB is available to the user, which means you’re going to have to use a microSD card.
Unlike most Android tabs which run chipsets by Qualcomm or MediaTek, Octa has gone with an Intel Atom Baytrail CPU clocked at 1.8 GHz which makes sense when you consider the Windows 10 OS. Coupled with 2 GB of RAM, you’ve actually got an impressive spec sheet which easily out performs most mid-tier tablets by the likes of Huawei, Lenovo and Asus.
When using the tablet on Windows 10 we had a mostly smooth experience in terms of browsing and general usage. This is to be expected since the Intel Atom processor is better optimized for Windows. Video playback was fine in the case of MP4s and YouTube videos, but we found that MKV Files were very buggy with a lot of artefacts on both VLC and KM Player. The only downside of that 2048 x 1536 resolution display is that pushing that many pixels can result in occasional lag when running a lot of programs simultaneously.
One thing we found refreshing was the fact that the T970G runs stock Android. The device that we reviewed was running Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) but there’s planned update to Lollipop coming up in March. Now we’re not sure if it’s optimization issues, but the occasional sluggishness we came across on Windows was more prominent when on Android. We actually brought this up with the folks at Octa and they were very receptive, and told us that most of it was related to KitKat, and that the performance will definitely improve with the Lollipop update.
In terms of benchmarks, the T970G performed quite well scoring 44,500 on Antutu v6.0.1.
One thing that Octa stressed on was their service promise, which we really applaud. Right now it’s available on Takas.lk for Rs. 35,000 as well at Liberty Plaza, Majestic City and their showroom at Lucky Plaza, but it’ll be available island-wide from March onwards. The T970G comes with a comprehensive one year warranty (software and hardware) that covers literally everything other than physical damage. The best part is that they offer an on-the-spot one for one replacement, regardless of where the device was purchased.
The Octa Tab T970G isn’t perfect, but at a price point of Rs. 35,000 it blows most other mid-tier tablets out of the water. With Dual OS functionality, a vibrant high resolution display, long battery life and more than respectable performance, the T970G is a good buy for those looking for mid tier tablet with more than a few extras.