This year, it seems that handy tablets really took off and became mainstream. And you may find it hard to argue against this. Literally everyone and your mother has a tablet now. Oh, yours doesn’t yet? Well, then here’s something you might like.
The Kata T4 is a device that won’t look out of place in a lineup of recent Android-powered tablets. It has an overall look and feel that is driven by “impressively beautiful design and premium features,” at least according to Kata, and it’s the subject of our newest hardware review today.
The T4 tablet’s so-called premum design is teased by the graphic on the easy-to-open retail box. It shows the Kata T4 itself with the familiar Kata device home screen. Everything looks fine as far as the box is concerned, and about the only question we could think to ask is, how much is Nemo getting paid to appear on this?
Kidding aside, the Kata T4 retail package is thankfully complete. Not only will you get the usual set of bundled accessories like a USB cable and wall charger, but you will also get a free USB OTG cable with the Kata tablet. And then of course there’s the user manual, which will help you to get started with the device.
Fishing the Kata T4 out of its retail box takes all of two seconds, tops, and it’s ready to use right away.
First, a quick rundown of the Kata T4’s main features. Its biggest and most prominent component is the display, which measures 7.85-inches diagonally, and offers a native resolution of 1024×768. Not exactly promising, but at least it uses an HD IPS panel, which proved to be easy on the eyes.
The screen being as big as it is, is surely one of our favorite things on the Kata T4. No matter what task we tried to do, the screen served us well. The only letdown is the resolution, but at least it reaches HD level, so that’s not too bad.
The next thing we saw on the Kata T4 was the line of onscreen menu keys at the bottom of the screen. These are typical for Android, which on the Kata T4 just so happens to be Android 4.4 KitKat. The Kata T4 does have hardware buttons, to be clear. There’s a power/lock button as well as a volume rocker with up and down buttons, but since the screen is too big for one-handed use, it’s often easier to just rely on the onscreen menu buttons.
Opposite the menu keys on the top of the screen, there’s a front-facing camera, an earpiece, and an ambient light sensor. You will also notice that there’s a small sort of gap between the edge of the screen and the bezels surrounding it. This part is definitely noticeable, but fortunately it doesn’t get in the way of using the Kata T4 at all.
The hardware buttons are located on the right side, and although they are easy to spot and dependable, they are positioned a bit too far up for maximum convenience. The build quality is surprisingly reassuring for a budget tablet, but that may have something to do with the fact that it just isn’t a small tablet.
After all, the Kata T4 has an 8-inch screen. It has a large casing for its internals, to start with, but luckily it’s not as heavy as you might think it is. Its lightness contributes a lot to how it handles, and it definitely shines in that regard.
The Kata T4 uses a plastic back cover that sort of wraps around the screen when you think about it. It also has a removable plastic cover for the part that holds the SIM cards and microSD card. Yes, the Kata T4 can accept SIM cards as well as microSD cards for storage expansion. The T4 has 8GB of internal storage so this is a good addition.
The bottom of the Kata T4 is where the built-in speaker can be found. It’s also where the micro USB 2.0 port is, so nothing seems out of place.
The only other thing that can be seen from the back is the built-in rear camera that partners with the front-facing camera above the display. The camera performance on the Kata T4 is severely disappointing, producing somewhat blurry photos even when you try your best to keep absolutely still.
It’s caused by the low quality camera sensors onboard. We would complain about this, but when we realize it’s silly to want to take pictures with a tablet’s camera anyway, we’re inclined to just give it a pass. In the end, whether or not this matters will be up to you and your own personal needs.
Other than the unsatisfactory cameras on the Kata T4, it’s an otherwise dependable and solid Android tablet all around. It’s powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core chip from MediaTek, and it has 1GB of RAM that you can use with Android 4.4.
Support for 3G mobile data makes the Kata T4 a fairly versatile little gadget, with the ability to not only serve up your favorite videos and Web pages, but also let you communicate whenever there’s cellular network coverage available. This is if you don’t want to use Wi-Fi and broadband Internet, of course. But still, the fact that the Kata T4 has SIM card slots means that you can use it as a full-blown phablet — a phone and a tablet, too.
Speaking of the phone and tablet bit, the Kata T4 can accept up to two separate SIM cards at the back. And its built-in microSD card slot should work for up to 64GB, easy. Using SIM cards and a microSD card won’t be necessary if you just want to use the tablet for random stuff, of course, but it’s much better to use it with those.
The way that the Kata T4 works is not unexpected for a tablet of its size and its overall performance. It can be recharged in as short as just a couple of hours, and will take more than couple days of normal tablet use before needing to recharge again.
For continuous gaming the Kata T4 can easily last more than 5 hours with brightness and volume both in the middle, and Wi-Fi on while downloading data in the background. It’s a lot longer if you just plan to use the tablet sparingly. Bottom line is that it won’t die on you during midday, so you don’t need to worry about the Kata T4’s non-removable battery — in case you or anyone you know might be wondering about that.
How is the Kata T4 as a tablet? It’s superb, except for the fact that it’s running an older and now outdated version of Android. If it ever receives an upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop, it’ll be much more useful and reliable. But we have to admit, it’s plenty useful as it is.
Kata did a great job in utilizing the hardware that came with the T4 and adding just the right amount of extra software perks in the right places to not destroy the user experience. For this reason, we wouldn’t be surprised if people started lining up to get the T4 in stores, especially since Christmas is right around the corner. There are many alternatives, to be sure, but there’s a lot of good hiding behind the Kata name here, and most people probably wouldn’t regret sampling it.