When the second-gen Binatone HomeSurf 7 features many of the same compromises as the original HomeSurf tablet, you might ask exactly what’s different in this new iteration. Aside from some aesthetic design tweaks, it offers an updated version of Android, 2.2 instead of 2.1, and improved software optimisation for greater speed. As yet we don’t have final word on the CPU used in this device – fingers crossed for a 1GHz CPU or greater, although even this doesn’t guarantee super-swift operation, as we saw in the Storage Options miScroll tablet.
We didn’t notice any terrible lag in operation, but we’ll comment on this more fully in our in-depth review. However, we also didn’t notice any overt software optimisation. Other than a top touchscreen nav bar, seen in budget Archos Android devices like the Archos 70b, the Binatone HomeSurf 7 seems to run a vanilla version of Google’s OS. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but makes us wonder about how this tablet intends to reach above the many super-budget Android tabs out there.
Connectivity-wise, it’s a perfunctory performer. There’s a microSD slot, AC power socket, miniUSB data transfer port and 3.5mm headphone jack, but no HDMI video output. Similarly, there’s Wi-Fi on-board but no 3G mobile internet, and no 3G model on the way. Aside from the touchscreen, there are three standard soft keys to aid in navigation – while they look like touch-sensitive panels they’re actually just dressed-up old-fashioned clicky buttons.
The RRP of £99.99 is sure to lure in a few buyers, but from our brief time with the Binatone Homesurf we couldn’t discern anything in particular to propel it beyond other low-price rivals like the Kogan tablet and Storage Options MiScroll. As ever, we’ll probe further in our full review.