Announced at the end of July the Binatone Homesurf 705 is the upgraded model of the Binatone Homesurf 7.
Not really known for their great quality or longevity we have to ask the question, have they finally raised the bar with their tablet? Only time will tell.
Where to Purchase: ASDA
Tablets in Category:
- Disgo 600 – £79.99 – Maplin
- Android 2.1
- 7 inch LCD TFT Resistive Touch Screen
- 800 x 480 Resolution
- Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
- Micro SD Card
- Mini USB
- Battery 3000 mAh
- 600 MHz Rockchip 2818 ARM9 processor
- 256mb RAM
- Sturdy Design
- Supports E-Book Files
- Screen Resolution
- Screen Unresponsive
- Internet Speed
- Giga Store
- Location of Charge / Sync Slot
In The Box:
- HomeSurf 705 Tablet
- Standard UK 3 pin charger
- Mini Usb lead
- In Ear Earphones
- Front – Home, Back and Menu Buttons / Status LED
- Back – Reset Hole
- Top – N/A
- Bottom – Charging Port / Earphone Port / Loudspeaker / Mini USB Port / MicroSD Slot
- Left – N/A
- Right – Power Button
After receiving the tablet it in a dark car park under a broken lamppost I had to ask myself, could it really be that bad it had to be exchanged in the dark shade of night? Keep a opened mind, keep a open mind I said to myself.
Binatone don’t have a great reputation when it comes to tech and anyone who may have used one of there phones will testify to that.
I was pleasantly surprised with the excellent packaging, no rattles or thumps when shook the box (should I really shake it?). On the inside of the box there are two strips of foam holding the tablet in place as well as a long cardboard box which is where the charger, USB cable and earphones can be found.
My first impressions of the HomeSurf 705 were pretty good, with a black backing that continued onto the surround of the screen and a matt chrome effect running round the sides it looked rather nice, not cheap or budget looking which started my thoughts heading towards “maybe they haven’t cut corners after all”. This was slightly dashed when I realised that the buttons on the face of the tablet that looked capacitive were actually full press buttons hidden underneath (such a shame).
Booting up the tablet took less than 30 seconds and you are instantly greeted with the familiar Android home screen (there are 5 screens).
The basics are on this first home screen Google Search Bar, Minding’s Viewer, Webroot, E-Book Reader, Music and Browser with a clock thrown in for good measure. At the very top of the home screens this is where you will find soft versions of the back, home and menu buttons that simply don’t need to be there as well as the volume + and – which by chance is the only place where you can adjust the volume on the tablet.
Now onto the every day things and specifically the display. For a budget tablet the screen was was sharp and colourful and though not HD standard it’s still great for reading books or simply browsing however not so for video playback which I will cover later in the review.
The tablet runs on Android 2.1 so you can forget about using embeded Flash on the web ofplaying Flash based games. Come on Binatone how much would it have cost to have updated to 2.2 and include Flash? Another few pound? I think it really would have been worth it.
Webpages were a handful to navigate having to be heavy handed with the movements due to the resistive touchscreen. Another thing that is starting to annoy me is, why do manufacturers always put bookmarks in the browser? If want them I’ll search and find them myself.
Now onto the applications, it’s worth noting that like other low cost Tablet solutions for Android there is no Android Market on the device however there is GigaStore which is the Binatone replacement. To be harshly honest this is the worst I have ever see there are better places to get apps from and if I were Binatone I would be looking at releasing an update with some sort GetJar or Amazin app store replacing the GigaStore.
With this being marketed as a Tablet /E Reader this was my first port of call. On powering up and opening the E-Reader application I saw The Lord Of The Rings E-book and it had the trilogy also there was another two books just to get you started. This was probably the best part of the tablet in my opinion, the text was clear and crisp and even at an angle the book could still be read unlike other parts of the OS where if you angled the screen you couldn’t see anything.
In terms of Sound and Vision I wasn’t expecting much, lets not forget that this is is a £99 tablet afterall. Considering there is just one speaker and it sits at the right hand side of the device when in landscape orientation and at the bottom when in portrait orientation, I was slightly taken aback by the loud speaker and it’s clarity.
As far as the earphones go that come with it, they really weren’t up to much. Very tin sounding and echo’s galore which is why it would be advised to simply use your own earphones.
Video playback can only be described as average at best. The screen resolution on the tablet isn’t great and this shows. There also seems to be a slight lag when using Fast Forward though this can be attributed to the 600MHhz CPU.
Being a bit of a bargain hunter I really want Binatone to shake me and say “look I have what it takes” however and sadly my first thoughts about the device were all true. Mayber a year or two ago the Homesurf 705 would have been great – 2 years too late I feel.
Alas, running Android 2.1, having no Flash support and pretending to have capacitive buttons on a resitive screen has really let me down.
If you are looking for a cheap E-Reader or cheap PMP then this is the device for you. Don’t expect it to do wonders if you buy it for anything else though.
Posted By Stephen