Cube U9GT5 tablet unveiled: Jelly Bean and iPad-like “retina display” for just $200

by: AdrianSeptember 20, 2012

It might not “take a genius” to see that Android high-end phones are now capable of at least going head to head with Apple’s iPhone, but in the realm of tablets the gap between Android and Apple is almost impossible to fill at the moment.

As much as it pains us to admit it, the latest gen iPad defeats every and any Android tab in virtually every aspect – besides the pricing. The iPad 3 truly excels in the display department, sporting a beautiful 9.7-inch panel with a 2048 x 1536 pixels resolution.

By contrast, the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700, which many consider to be the best Android tablet, only comes with a 1920 x 1200 resolution 10.1-inch IPS panel. The display is certainly beautiful, but it can’t quite compete in the same league as the iPad screen when it comes to viewing angles, color reproduction or brightness.

Although promises were made and prototypes were shown, we’re yet to see an Android-based tablet capable of getting near the iPad’s Retina Display even with seven months gone after the new Apple slate’s release.

Quite inexplicably, Samsung, Asus and all the other major Android players seem to have been beaten to the punch by a China-based tech manufacturer that doesn’t say much. Cube is the name of the company that is currently teasing a tablet with an iPad-like Retina display, and, although the U9GT5 doesn’t have an ETA just yet, it looks closer to reality than any similar gadget from Sammy or anyone else.

Putting aside the terrible (and hopefully temporary) name of the tablet, the actual product looks unexpectedly solid for a Chinese-made gadget. The 2048 x 1536 resolution display with 264 ppi pixel density will certainly be Cube’s main selling point, but it’s certainly not the only detail worth noticing in the spec sheet.

For starters, the U9GT5 is said to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box with full Google Play access and hopefully not many custom tweaks. The dual-core 1.6GHz RockChip RK3066 processor might not be equally exciting, although the ARM Mali 400 GPU could save the tab’s overall performance.

Other standard features, including 1GB of RAM, 8 or 16GB of on-board memory, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, wrap up the U9GT5’s spec sheet, making the overall impression still a bit fuzzy – the display and software sound great, but we would have definitely preferred a snappier CPU and 2GB of RAM.

No details about pricing and availability are known just yet, but get this – rumors say the 9.7-incher could start selling for as low as $200. That would of course be for the 8 GB version of the tab, but it still sounds like pure madness.

We know, we know, you can’t trust the build quality of a gadget manufactured by a no-name Chinese company, but Huawei and ZTE were themselves in that position not long ago, and their products turned out to not be that bad, right?

Excited about the Cube U9GT5? Are you salivating at the thought of that display as much as I am? How about that price tag?


  • Pete Smith

    “As much as it pains us to admit it, the latest gen iPad defeats every and any Android tab in virtually every aspect – besides the pricing”

    I disagree. I have an iPad 3 with the Retina display, and a Nexus 7. I find the Nexus 7 defeats the iPad 3 in usability… which is pretty much the most important aspect of a tablet there is. I use the Nexus 7 all the time. The iPad gets left on the coffee table in case I want to look something up on IMDB while I’m watching TV.

    • MasterMuffin

      Admit it, ipad is really the best tablet (fuuuu)

  • Cade

    Adrian, I invite you to read the many reviews and benchmarking scores on Asus’ TF700 Infinity tablet. If you “believe” the latest iPad defeats “any” Android tablet that’s out in the market, then back up your “subjective” statements with hard data. Go through each complaint you have against, say, the Infinity or a Galaxy Note 10.1 ( which has 2GB of ram) and prove it.

    • Adrian Diaconescu

      First off, I did say that the iPad defeats any Android tab in “virtually” every aspect, so I do realize that the TF700 Infinity may come out on top in a head to head comparison in a couple of areas… However, my “subjective” opinion, which is mostly shared by the reviews I read online, is that overall the Infinity is still somewhat behind the new iPad – despite being released several months after Apple’s most recent tab. As for benchmarking scores, those mean very little to me, because in most cases real-life performance has nothing to do with “theoretical” speed.

      Finally, if you bring the Galaxy Note 10.1 to the discussion, we might as well stop here, because it’s pretty obvious that can’t even compete in the same league as the Infinity and the iPad 3:

  • George

    “As much as it pains us to admit it, the latest gen iPad defeats every and any Android tab in virtually every aspect – besides the pricing”

    I do prefer the ipad over android ones because the only reason i’d get a tablet is for gaming…

    I can do pretty much anything else with my Galaxy S3(and gaming also but it’s better to game on a big screen)..:)

    But if i wanted a tablet i could use all around,i’d get the trasnformer pad infinity which has Tegra 3,Full HD display and 1gig of ram…
    As it comes to usability android is way better than iOS for me.