Bush MyTablet 8 – the £100 Windows tablet
Cast your mind back to 2013, back when Bay Trail was little more than a 22nm glint in Intel’s eye, and you may remember Intel CEO, Paul Otellini, making some bold claims. He promised that the company’s new and improved Atom processor would herald a new era of ultra-cheap Windows devices costing “as low as $200”. The Bush MyTablet goes one better: this 8in Windows tablet costs £100.
The headline specifications are impressive. You’re getting an 8in tablet running 32-bit Windows 8.1 with Bing, Microsoft’s fully-featured version of Windows designed for low-cost devices, and the whole caboodle is powered by a quad-core Bay Trail Atom processor. Better still, you get a year’s subscription to Office 365 Personal and 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage thrown in for free. In short, the MyTablet looks like something of a bargain.
Bush MyTablet 32GB: design & display
In our experience, budget tablets normally give the game away pretty quickly. But while you might reasonably expect some corner-cutting on a £100 tablet – PC Pro has seen some absolute shockers over the years – the Bush MyTablet doesn’t look or feel especially cheap.
The MyTablet looks just as smart as any of the compact Windows tablets we’ve seen in recent times, and most reassuringly of all it feels nicely put together. There’s nothing in the way of worrying give or flex in the 9mm-thick body, and the narrow bezels make for a smart, presentable-looking piece of hardware. It weighs a reasonable 366g, too.
We were primed and ready to be disappointed by the Bush’s display, but it too exceeded our expectations – by quite a stretch. Fire up the MyTablet, and while the 1,280 x 800 display won’t win any awards for pixel density, the decision to employ an IPS panel pays dividends across the board. Viewing angles are nice and wide, and although skintones occasionally look a touch unnatural, the display is pleasingly vibrant for the money.
How does it stack up against the pricier competition? Pretty well, as it turns out. Maximum brightness isn’t great at 260cd/m2, but a contrast ratio of 1,200:1 ensures onscreen images look punchy and, impressively, the panel was able to reproduce 78.3% of the sRGB colour gamut. For reference, this £100 tablet is capable of reproducing more colours than the iPad Mini 3, even if it isn’t quite as colour accurate as Apple’s tablet.
We noticed no issues with the touchscreen’s accuracy or responsiveness, either, although one oddity is that the screen’s bezels creep slightly over the very edges of the display itself. On occasion, this made it difficult to successfully trigger onscreen buttons positioned on the display’s edges. Still, ridiculous as this sounds, it’s more a minor annoyance than a complete deal-breaker; we recalibrated the touchscreen in Windows and found that improved matters slightly.
And, if you’re wondering where the Start button has gone, then you’ll need to look closely. Like several of its rivals, Bush has shrunk the Start button down and moved it to the edge of the MyTablet, alongside the volume buttons. This does take a little getting used to, but it’s probably a better choice than squeezing a capacitive button into the tablet’s slim bezels where it would be easy to press by accident.
Bush MyTablet 32GB: performance & connectivity
So, how does the MyTablet perform? Not too shabbily, as it turns out. The Intel Atom Z3735G processor buddies up with a mere 1GB RAM, a choice that leaves the Bush stuttering and grinding once you start multitasking or attempt to run more demanding apps, but the nippy processor and 32GB of eMMC storage are enough to keep Windows 8.1 from grinding to a halt too regularly.
The limited RAM didn’t cause too many issues in our benchmarks, however, the Bush’s score of 0.38 putting it right on a par with rival compact Windows tablets that have 2GB of RAM.
Compared with most Android and iOS tablets, the MyTablet’s Atom processor fares pretty well. It rattled through the SunSpider test in a nippy 504ms, and achieved single- and multi-core scores of 968 and 2,808 in the Geekbench 3 benchmark – enough to put it ahead of luxury Android compacts such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.
The MyTablet does fall a little behind when it comes to gaming performance. In our usual tablet graphics test, GFXBench’s T-Rex benchmark, the MyTablet worked it’s way to a steady average of 18.9fps. That’s nowhere near smooth enough to challenge the best compact tablets out there, but it’s still more than quick enough for basic gaming purposes and mightily impressive for a £100 tablet.
Battery life is the MyTablet’s only major bugbear. With the display dimmed to 120cd/m2, and Wi-Fi switched off, our 720p HD movie kept looping for 7hrs 42mins – some way behind rival compact Windows tablets, and a long way off the stamina of the best Android and iOS devices.
Connectivity is absolutely bang-on for the money. Wireless networking includes single-band 802.11n and Bluetooth 4, and the Bush even trumps some of its pricier big-brand rivals by providing a Micro-HDMI socket and a microSD slot for expanding the onboard storage. The MyTablet charges via a micro USB connection (a mains charger is supplied) and as this is OTG compatible you can buy a third-party USB OTG cable or hub to connect external USB devices such as hard disks, keyboards and the like.
Amazingly, the MyTablet also sports both 0.3MP front and 2MP rear cameras, but the image quality from these is dreadfully lacklustre. The rear-facing camera captures washed-out, low-resolution images smeared with compression artefacts, and the front-facing camera is so blurry and lacking in detail that it’s barely sufficient for Skype calls. You’d be better off drawing a self-portrait in Microsoft Paint. The Bush’s speakers are similarly underwhelming, meanwhile, with limited volume and very little in the way of depth or clarity. A decent pair of headphones is a necessity.
Bush MyTablet 32GB: verdict
If we were the betting type, we’d have been willing to wager that the Bush MyTablet was a lost cause from the off. The reality is that we couldn’t have been more wrong. The middling battery life and limited RAM may put off some users, but there’s only one thing standing in the Bush MyTablet’s path, and that’s the increasing number of similarly priced tablets appearing from a range of both big and small manufacturers alike. The competition in this ultra-cheap tablet sector is likely to be ferocious.
For now, though, this tablet is a singular bargain. If you’re after a capable, dirt-cheap Windows tablet, the Bush MyTablet is incredible value.
Bush MyTablet - Specifications
|Processor||1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3735G|
|Screen resolution||1,280 x 800|
|Memory card slot||microSD|
|Size (WDH)||207 x 9 x 124mm|
|Operating system||Windows 8.1 with Bing 32-bit|
|Price||£100 inc VAT|