Binatone HomeSurf 705 review
It will play back 720p video, although the web browser lacks Flash support. More demanding games such as Angry Birds Seasons ran at one or two frames per second, and the battery drains at an alarming rate: our looping low-resolution video ran it dry in only four hours. That’s 50% worse than the Scroll, and only a third of the lifespan offered by the Motorola Xoom.
Software is a major issue. The Android Market is off-limits, with Binatone instead bringing you the Giga Store. It’s one of the more dubious unofficial Android stores we’ve seen, with few recognisable apps – and when we downloaded Angry Birds Seasons, it was in Japanese.
The trio of buttons at one end of the bezel suggest it’s a portrait tablet, but the Binatone logos suggest a landscape view. Indeed, while some things work both ways, others (such as the home screen) don’t. Some apps ignore the button positioning entirely: the Giga Store forces you to flip the tablet so that the buttons are upside-down on the top edge. Consistency is not a word that describes the Binatone.
And then there’s the HomeSurf 705’s final big problem: Android 2.1. It’s already outdated, with no sign of features such as USB tethering, the improved notification bar or Flash, nor any prospect of Honeycomb’s tablet-specific tweaks. Binatone won’t be offering Android upgrades either; we might see Android 2.2 on the next version of the HomeSurf, by which point the rest of the world will be on Android 3.2 at the bare minimum.
All of these criticisms must be tempered by that £99 price, for which you are getting a basic web browser and media player. That might be enough for some Asda shoppers, but with no updates, no Market and some of the worst tablet hardware we’ve had to endure, we’d beg you to save up for something better.
|Dimensions||197 x 112 x 13mm (WDH)|
|Resolution screen horizontal||800|
|Resolution screen vertical||480|
|CPU frequency, MHz||600MHz|
|Upstream USB ports||1|
|Mobile operating system||Android 2.1|