If the idea of paying a large sum of money up front for a tablet isn’t that appealing, and a 3G connection is an absolute must, then the new Orange Tahiti ticks all the right boxes. The slim, attractive 7in tablet costs around £300, but can be yours for £20 per month on a two-year data contract.

You can choose which data package suits you best: £20 per month buys you 250MB of data, while £25 gives you 1GB, plus an odd extra 1GB for use between midnight and 4am. Of course, there's also Wi-Fi built-in and you also get unlimited access to BT's Openzone Wi-Fi hotspot network.

What about the Orange Tahiti tablet itself, though? It's well made and looks like a small iPad, thanks to the silver metal case and black screen bezel. Orange joined forces with Huawei to produce the Tahiti and the design work shows promise. Group test: What's the best tablet?

Something that needs attention, though, is the tablet's camera. The rear camera has a 5Mp sensor, but our test photos exhibited poor colours and rather too much noise. The Orange Tahiti's recorded video is arguably worse, due to muted tones and audio that sound like you’re underwater. The front-facing 1.3Mp camera is fine for video calling with Skype, but that's about it.

Running on Android 3.2 Honeycomb, the Orange Tahiti tablet's 1.2GHz dual-core processor zips along at a speedy rate. Using the Tahiti is mostly a trouble-free experience: Apps crashed occasionally, but we’ve seen that across all Android devices.

We recorded a healthy battery life of 7 hours when watching video. The Orange Tahiti tablet's 1280x800 touchscreen produces clear and detailed results for films, books and general browsing. Typing on the Tahiti isn’t as enjoyable, since the screen responsiveness is rather hit and miss; for short bursts of typing or searching the Google Play Store it's capable.

Gaming was a success on the Orange Tahiti tablet. Racing games played smoothly, apps like Draw Something benefitted from the 7in of screen space, and 3D shooters avoided lag but did struggle slightly when a high level of accuracy was required.

Orange Tahiti: Specs

  • 7in (1280x800) touchscreen
  • Android 3.2 Honeycomb
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 8GB internal storage (supports MicroSD cards up to 32GB)
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 3G HSDPA
  • 5Mp rear, 1.3Mp front cameras
  • 720p video recording @30fps
  • GPS
  • MicroSD
  • Mini-HDMI
  • Micro-USB
  • Geekbench 2 score: 686
  • SunSpider score: 2,527ms
  • battery life: 6 hrs 44 mins
  • 2-year return-to-base warranty
  • 190x124x10.5mm
  • 400g
  • 7in (1280x800) touchscreen
  • Android 3.2 Honeycomb
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 8GB internal storage (supports MicroSD cards up to 32GB)
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 3G HSDPA
  • 5Mp rear, 1.3Mp front cameras
  • 720p video recording @30fps
  • GPS
  • MicroSD
  • Mini-HDMI
  • Micro-USB
  • Geekbench 2 score: 686
  • SunSpider score: 2,527ms
  • battery life: 6 hrs 44 mins
  • 2-year return-to-base warranty
  • 190x124x10.5mm
  • 400g

OUR VERDICT

The Orange Tahiti budget tablet is a mixed bag. On one hand it’s a capable, handsome and portable device; on the other is a poor rear camera and a 24-month contract (which adds up to £480 for the cheapest option, or £600 for the more sensible 1GB package). Although it’s very likeable, we can’t help feeling that you’ll tire of the Tahiti before your contract is up.

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