The eTouch 1000ET is UK-based Elonex's first 10.1-inch Android tablet and, although it can't match the quality of other tablets on the market, it makes a good choice for those on a budget who are simply after a web browsing and multimedia experience.

The chassis is built from plastic, and isn't as well put together as we would have liked. We could see the inner workings of the device through a gap between the panel and main chassis, and suspect this isn't a machine you would want to travel with for long periods of time, as it looks like it could break easily.

The tablet only weighs 685g, and is absolutely no problem to carry around for hours at a time. Having said that, the 188-minute battery life isn't ideal and plummets when you switch the Wi-Fi on.

Hazy images

The 10.1-inch screen offers decent enough colour reproduction, but the 1024 x 600-pixel resolution produces disappointingly hazy images. Nevertheless, the panel is vibrant enough and certainly sufficient for viewing photos and movies.

A very shiny screen coating is implemented, meaning you'll be constantly shifting the tablet around to avoid irritating reflections in bright light.

The tablet runs a recent version of Google's Android operating system (2.1) which is impressive for the price. You will be able to take advantage of all the open source operating system has to offer, and we found it very intuitive to use – especially when it came to browsing the internet.

The tablet is designed for those who want to sit on the sofa and browse the internet, look at their photos or watch a movie – and regardless of its other flaws, it accomplishes this well.

There's no 3G chip in the tablet, so you will have to connect to the web via Wi-Fi. In good reception we found the internet surprisingly fast to browse, but the screen lacks multi-touch functionality, meaning the experience isn't as intuitive as it could be – but it's still impressive for the price.

In general, we found navigating the device a little stilted, despite the use of a suitably powerful 1GHz ARM processor, and quite often the screen misread our actions, which became frustrating.

Having said that, typing using the virtual keyboard was a pleasure and the large screen allows for a sizeable board to work with. As a result, inputting web addresses, typing emails and memos is easy.

Although sceptical at first, it's important to see the eTouch 1000ET for what it is, and while the build quality, battery life and some aspects of usability leave quite a bit to be desired, at this price it is hard to complain.

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