The Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD and Barnes & Noble Nook HD are all proof that decent budget tablets do exist. But these tablets are all loss-leaders, designed to encourage content sales or boost Android platform popularity; the GoClever is not. Unlike the Fire and Nook, though, it does offer access to Google Play.
Mainly plastic in construction, the rear panel has a faux metallic silver finish that gives a fleeting impression of quality. It’s by no means a thin device, but the edges taper off and make it feel thinner than it is. The screen bezel is also larger than those of premium tablets, but our main concern with the GoClever’s build is the amount of flex in its plastic sides, and the loose plastic construction of the volume switch and on/off button.
The GoClever has some great connectivity options, including micro USB, mini HDMI and a microSD slot. The latter lets you boost the 16GB storage with a further 32GB. There are front- and back-facing 2Mp cameras; both capture video. A single 1W speaker is found on the rear, situated exactly where you’d typically place your hand, so any movie watching or music listening will likely make use of the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The GoClever boasts a 9.7in, TFT capacitative touchscreen LCD. Its 1024×768 resolution makes it far from the crispest screen we’ve seen, but we found it zippy and responsive, with decent viewing angles. Given the low price, the specification isn’t bad. The CPU is a RockChip RK3066 dual-core Cortex A9 chip running at 1.6GHz, and it’s backed with a healthy 1GB of DDR3 memory. There’s also 802.11n wireless, an accelerometer and a 6,800mAh lithium-polymer battery.
Good performance; strong connectivity; cheap price; decent 9.7in screen; access to Google Play
Cheap construction; poor speaker
The GoClever Tab R974 is very obviously a budget tablet, but its performance is usable and the screen is good
9.7in (1024×768) capacitive multitouch screen; Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean; 1.6GHz RockChip RK3066 processor; 1GB RAM; 16GB storage; 802.11b/g/n; 2x 2Mp cameras; mini HDMI 1.4; micro USB 2.0; 6,800mAh lithium-polymer battery