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Binatone HomeSurf Tablet 705 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £99
inc VAT

A limited budget means that the HomeSurf doesn't have many of the features you'd expect from a tablet, and the resistive screen and lack of Android Market make it barely useable


7 in 800×480 display, 500g, 0.6GHz ARM11, 256MB RAM, 2GB disk, Android 2.1

Binatone’s HomeSurf 705 is the cheapest Android tablet we’ve seen so far, costing less than £100. On first impressions, you wouldn’t guess that it was so cheap; it feels well-made, with a glossy plastic case that’s light and thin. The tablet runs Android 2.1 – not the latest version, and not even a tablet version – and to keep costs down, Binatone has left out many technologies that are standard on other tablets: there’s no Bluetooth, no camera, and the screen is resistive, rather than the more responsive capacitive type.

Still, we approached the HomeSurf 705 with enthusiasm, as an Android tablet at this price seems an unbelievable bargain. Binatone is keen to stress that it’s designed for basic web browsing, eBook reading and watching videos, and with the bundled Mindings app. It’s also aimed at those who aren’t comfortable with technology.

Binatone HomeSurf Tablet 705 back
At this price you can’t expect luxuries like a camera

Mindings is an app and a cloud service that lets you push photos, reminders and social updates to the HomeSurf, turning it into a cross between a Facebook wall and a digital photo frame. The idea is that you’d give it to an older relative to stay in touch and keep tabs on them. It’s currently in Beta and so may not be available when you read this, but it’s an interesting concept. However the HomeSurf 705 needs to be easy to use and reliable if Mindings is to be successful, and this is where it may fall down.

Resistive screens aren’t always bad, but the HomeSurf’s is particularly stubborn, and increased the rate at which we made typing errors on the Android keyboard. Image quality isn’t great either; the low resolution 800×480 screen means that images aren’t very sharp, and small text can be hard to read without zooming in. The resistive screen also adds a grainy sheen that doesn’t help improve things. Viewing angles aren’t great either, although colours are strong. We found it annoying that the bundled Photo Viewer app doesn’t help picture viewing, buy stretching everything to fit the screen’s resolution.

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Basic Specifications

Rating **
Processor ARM11
Processor clock speed 0.6GHz
Memory 256MB
Memory slots 1
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 0.25GB
Size 119x185x14mm
Weight 500g
Pointing device touchscreen


Viewable size 7 in
Native resolution 800×480
Graphics/video ports none


Total storage capacity 2GB
Optical drive type none

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 1
Bluetooth no
Wired network ports none
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g
PC Card slots 0
Supported memory cards microSDHC
Other ports 3.5mm audio output


Carrying case No
Operating system Android 2.1
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included WHSmith eBooks, Mindings Viewer
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £99