Binatone HomeSurf 705 review

Price when reviewed

We thought we’d scraped the bottom of the summer tablet barrel with the £160 Storage Options Scroll, but merely weeks later Binatone’s HomeSurf 705 has arrived at the bargain price of only £99. To say that the budget price is clearly evident is an understatement.

Unlike the Scroll, the Binatone’s 7in screen is a resistive TFT, and with the same uninspiring native resolution of 800 x 480. Quality is poor, with pallid colours and a grainy finish, and its measured brightness of 189cd/m2 is very low.

The screen is surrounded by flimsy, cheap-feeling plastic, with its black bezels and chrome-effect border gently and unsuccessfully aping the iPhone 4’s design. There’s a microSD card slot that can add up to 32GB to the 2GB of onboard storage, a USB 2 socket, a power button and a small jack for its AC power supply.

Binatone HomeSurf 705

The bargain exterior is matched by the hardware inside. The HomeSurf 705 is powered by a Rockchip RK2818 running at 600MHz – 40MHz slower than the chip’s maximum speed, and several hundred megahertz behind most of today’s tablets and even smartphones. Its ARM9 architecture also underpins such powerful devices as the Logitech Squeezebox, Chumby and the Sony PSP’s wireless chip. It’s paired with only 256MB of RAM.

It’s a generation behind the curve, so it’s no surprise that performance is appalling. The Binatone wheezed through the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark in 41 seconds – almost twice as long as the Scroll, and four times slower than the budget HTC ChaCha smartphone. The Binatone then took 28.7s to load the BBC homepage, which makes web browsing about as much fun as reading blank paper.

Using the HomeSurf in anger only confirmed our fears. Even Android’s unlocking slider takes a couple of seconds to respond, and navigating the app drawer and some of the OS’s menu screens is horribly sluggish. The combination of screen and hardware is especially poor: firm touches are required to make any impact, and it regularly takes a couple of seconds for the OS to recognise that you’re interacting with the device at all.


Warranty 1yr on-site


Dimensions 197 x 112 x 13mm (WDH)
Weight 300g


Primary keyboard On-screen
Screen size 7.0in
Resolution screen horizontal 800
Resolution screen vertical 480
Display type TFT
Panel technology TFT

Core specifications

CPU frequency, MHz 600MHz
Integrated memory 2.0GB
RAM capacity 256MB


WiFi standard 802.11g
Bluetooth support no
Upstream USB ports 1
HDMI output? no
Video/TV output? no


Mobile operating system Android 2.1

Contract details

Contract period N/A
Contract provider N/A

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