Overall we have mixed feelings about the MSI Primo 81 tablet. We admire the excellent build quality and sleek aesthetics which outclass many competing products at a similar price point. The 7.8 inch LG panel (also used in the iPad Mini) is a step above those found in many of the budget tablets currently available today.
Unfortunately when you start to use the Primo 81 it becomes clear where MSI have cut corners to drop the price. The photo quality is below par, delivering grainy images from both front and rear-facing cameras. The battery is also fairly small, leading to a shorter battery life than competing tablets.
MSI haven’t made any significant customization to the Android UI, although they have installed a few apps including a video player and a file explorer. That said, some people may like the fact that this is basically a ‘naked’ Android operating system install without any proprietary MSI or third party UI bloatware.
We would recommend using the Play Music app as the standard Music app isn’t optimised for tablet use. We can’t see why MSI included it to be honest as it’s one of the worst we’ve ever seen.
The Primo 81 features a generous 16 GB of internal storage as well as the option of expanding this with a micro SD card. We also appreciate the inclusion of a mini-HDMI connector and USB OTG support. The quad-core processor isn’t state of the art, but it will offer enough power for the target audience.
At a price of around £138 from Scan, the MSI Primo 81 is reasonably inexpensive. If you can live with the weak battery life and terrible camera quality then it has plenty to offer.
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- Attractive Design.
- Feels well put together.
- Good screen.
- Poor camera quality.
- Short battery life.
- No android customisations.