Argos MyTablet review

Another cheap Android tablet that will be a Christmas cast-off come January 2014

Argos MyTablet review
A tablet that promised so much but delivered so little

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The MyTablet comes with the old stock Android browser pre-loaded but not Chrome, which is odd since this isn't a particularly ancient version of Android. You can, however, download Chrome, which actually performs very well on this device.

The stock browser is reminiscent of Android days gone by when you had to settle for substandard browsing. It's unsightly, a bit slow and the bookmarking system doesn't link up with your Chrome account on other devices.

Argos MyTablet review

In our speed tests, loading the TechRadar website over Wi-Fi took the stock browser twice as long as Chrome.

Resizing text as you zoom in on words through the Chrome browser is straightforward and mostly automatic on the MyTablet; however, on the stock browser it's not so simple.

If you double click on text, it doesn't automatically resize to fit the screen and you'll find yourself zooming and pinching to get the text to fit properly.

Movies, music and books

All multimedia content can be purchased through the Google Play Store, which feels like Argos missed a trick here. The device does come with the Argos app pre-installed but it doesn't offer digital downloads.

Argos has a library of hundreds of thousands of DVDs, music, games and books in physical form but none of this is available digitally, although many people might enjoy this as competing media portals on one device can get confusing.

You can buy physical media via the Argos app, but that seems to defeat the purpose of owning a tablet - unless you're ordering a bookcase or something like that.

Argos MyTablet review

Naturally other dedicated services are available such as the Kindle Bookstore, Netflix, Spotify and others if you already have accounts/subscriptions to these - or if you want to sign up.

The Play Store offers access to books, magazines, games and music, which most Android users will know very well. Any video content that you download or rent from the Play Store can be viewed on your TV via HDMI, which is a useful and cool feature.

It's as easy as plugging in the HDMI cable and turning the TV on (although you'll have to buy the lead yourself). The TV will mimic the screen of the tablet and you can watch the content on a much improved screen.

Argos MyTablet review

You can also use streaming services such as Netflix. But, as we mentioned earlier, the device can struggle with power hungry apps and screen isn't sharp enough to enjoy the full effect of a Hollywood blockbuster.

Music playback through headphones disappointingly is tinny and has an echo to it - with bass heavy tracks suffering the most.

There's a reason this device is largely marketed to teenagers, this is the kind of pitfall that Argos hopes won't bother them too much. The situation is slightly improved with speaker playback, which sounds surprisingly clear and is well projected.