Binatone HomeSurf 705
Prior to the arrival of Kogan’s Agora the HomeSurf 705 was pretty much par for the course for what you could expect for a hundred knicker but with a resistive panel, a 667MHz chip, 256MB of RAM and Android 2.1, the spec is already behind the times despite the 705 being brand new.
One point in the Binatone’s favour is that resistive screens are getting better, so while you won’t be pinching-to-zoom you won’t be pulling your hair out in frustration either. But like the equally resistive Arnova 10, the screen’s viewing angles are a little restrictive and the UI is a bit stodgy.
The HomeSurf 705 is the cheapest tablet in this round up and, at this price point, it’s easier to list what you don’t get than what you do. So you have to do without the Market, Google’s apps, Flash, reliable 720p HD video playback or an HDMI port.
One a more positive note, there’s 2GB of flash storage for your files, a Micro SD card slot and a pretty decent battery life. Binatone claims four hours of video playback and it is not far off but for only £20 more the Kogan tablet is a better bet.
Reg Rating 50%
More info Binatone
Elonex eTouch 702
There’s nothing much wrong with the 702’s specification with an 800MHz Cortex 8 CPU, 512MB of RAM, a capacitive 400 x 800 7in screen, 4GB of storage and Android 2.3 with the full Google and Android Market experience.
The 4:3 screen arrangement is not exactly common for a budget Android slab – most are configured 16:9 – but there’s no doubt this shape is better suited to web browsing and ebook reading, albeit at the expense of wide screen video.
Though Flash is technically supported the 702 struggled to play content smoothly either in the browser or through the iPlayer app. No problems to report with locally hosted video though – 1080p MKV, QuickTime and H.264 files all played perfectly.
The UI isn’t quite as fluid as on the Agora or BeBook and the status bar shows a 3G signal icon, despite there being no cellular modem, which is a rough edge I could do without. Battery performance was pretty good when running, yet on stand-by the 3,000mAh cell seemed to be sucked dry in no time at all, frequently dropping from 40 per cent to flat overnight.
Reg Rating 60%
More info Elonex
Next page: Kogan Agora 7
Hcomb for Vega a number of months away!! Been around for a couple. Latest build near perfect :-)
Had the Archos 70 250Gb for a month or so now, it's not for the faint of heart and does require a little monkeying around to get running nicely.....but I'm really pleased with it for the price.
Also got the 11 year old the Archos 101 for her birthday last week and it has literally not left her hands for more than a few seconds.
They're obviously for the slightly nerdy type who doesn't mind getting under the bonnet every now and then, but for the money they're really nice solid gadget toys. If not these I'd have gone for the Hannspad or the Advent Vega.
I'm never going to pay 400-500 quid for a toy, I won't even spend that on my main system. Good to see some companies understanding what they need to do to woo the non Apple buyer, make them reasonably priced and functional rather than aspirational lifestyle products.
But ... Which one runs Linux (Debian)??
My usual question here, all the time. I want one that allows me to install Debian (Ubuntu).
Please, spare me the usual answers of 'Android runs a Linux kernel' and 'you could try in a chroot'.