Scroll Engage review
After the surprisingly decent Scroll Extreme, Storage Options is back with a tablet perfectly positioned to take on the Google Nexus 7. But can it succeed?
The arrival of Google's Nexus 7 has quite literally blown the tablet market wide open.
Previously, Android slates tended to hover around the £400 mark, but Google's 7-inch challenger comes in at just £159.99 for the 8GB model, undercutting its rivals and kick-starting something of a revolution in the process.
However, the Nexus 7 doesn't have the lower end of the price scale all to itself. We've seen many low-cost tablets hitting store shelves of late, one of the most notable of which was Storage Options' Scroll Extreme, a 9.7-inch, Ice Cream Sandwich slate for under £200.
Now the company has expanded its portfolio with the Scroll Engage - essentially the same product but in a smaller shell and retailing for an even lower price.
We'll get the specs out of the way first. The Engage is running the same 1.2GHz Cortex A8 processor that is single core rather than dual core, and is backed by 1GB of DDR3 RAM. The GPU is a Mali-400, which offers an acceptable - if workmanlike - level of performance.
In terms of everyday usage, the Engage offers very much the same experience as its bigger brother. Particularly strenuous tasks will result in a spot of slowdown, but on the whole the tablet is adequate for casual users. Of course, when placed side-by-side with the quad core Nexus 7, the difference in speed and smoothness is like night and day. The Engage is totally and utterly outclassed.
As you would expect from such a cheap product, there are caveats all over the place. The LCD screen has pretty average viewing angles and isn't very bright, even when on the full setting. It also possesses a bluish tint.
However, while Engage has a smaller screen than the Extreme, it has the same resolution of 1024x768 pixels - the same as the Apple iPad 2, no less.
The same issue regarding the Google Play market that impacted the Extreme exists here, too. At first glance, it looks as if the Engage doesn't have the Google Play app installed. However, by dropping the Google Play widget onto your home screen, you can forcibly gain access.
It's an odd situation that is apparently a consequence of Google's often obtuse licensing arrangements with manufacturers, but at least it's easily resolvable as things stand.
|UK Launch||June, 2012|
|Frequency||None, Wi-Fi only|
|Additional Memory||Expandable up to 32GB via microSD card slot|
|Screen Size||8-inch, 1024x768 pixels IPS LCD|
|Camera Resolution||2592x1936 pixels|
|Song Storage||8GB, plus up to 32GB via microSD card slot|
|Video Calling||Yes (with Skype)|