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Posts: 137 | Thanked: 81 times | Joined on May 2010
#1
This is for those who are thinking about getting on of the new line of Archos, specifically the Archos 70. From what I've read, the 101 is pretty much a slightly larger version of the 70 so I think most of what I see in the probably applies to the 101 as well.


I don't have any pictures yet but I can post them if people ask.

Externally, the Archos is pretty mediocre. It doesn't stand out, and that's sort of what I like about it. When held in landscape, the body extends beyond the screen which makes holding the device nice and comfortable. At 300 grams, it's definitely holdable for long periods of time, but it's got a rather flimsy kickstand that does the trick. I also want to mention that the kickstand is only on the right-side of the device, so if you touch the left hand side of the screen you could easily knock the device over. The kickstand definitely feels like it could easily be snapped and probably won't hold up in the long run. I'd love to be wrong though.

The stereo speakers are located just left and right of the display, they aren't anything to write home about but they are clear and convey sound accurately. Just above the left speaker is a small front-facing webcam. On the left-edge of the device you'll see a micro-USB port, headphone, mini-HDMI and DC power ports. The right-edge has a volume rocker and power button. All fairly standard.

Internally The Archos 70 is a 7 inch tablet (hence the name) that's sporting a 1ghz Arm processor, a capacitive multi-touch 800x480 display and disappointingly only has 256mb RAM. It also has usb-host, bluetooth 2.1 and wifi b/g/n. The device does not have a cellular modem in it.

Archos' own site claims the 70 comes with Android 2.2, but check the fine print, it ships with 2.1 and will be updated to 2.2 in "November". Originally they said November 12 but then they extended it.

I've been using the device heavily for about a week now, so I feel like I can accurately describe the devices performance.

If you want a casual device, this is the tablet for you. If you want something hardcore with the ability to do lots of multitasking and future update-ability, look somewhere else. The 256mb ram is definitely going to hold this tablet back. In fact, when playing heavier games and program I have noticed that the Archos 70 takes a while to recover after you've exited the program. Sometimes a quick reboot is even necessary when the desktop gets real buggy.

And that's probably the underlying theme with this tablet. Buggy. I keep finding error messages popping up, telling me things aren't responding and that they're going to be killed. Usually the device recovers and hums along but often enough performance dramatically drops and a reboot makes all the difference.

Video playback is pretty good on the Archos 70. Although to play non-standard formats you have to purchase codecs from Archos, which is actually not working for me right now. I tried going in to purchase some codecs and when I enter my device ID, the site errors out on me. Terribly frustrating. What's lovely though is being able to play 720p video files. I can play entire movies without a stutter or a jump, and that is a great thing to see. Playing 720p over my home network works great too.

Like many other aspects of this device, the screen is about average. But you know what? It fit my expectations for Archos and for a device of this price ($270). The colors won't pop out at you like they do on higher-end devices, but the picture looks good enough and will suit you in most conditions. The backlight is also solid and bright, so no real complaints there.

The 1ghz ARM processor does it's job pretty well. It's not perfect, and there'll be plenty of times where the interface gets jittery, but most of the time things run smoothly. Switching from portrait to landscape mode is very slow though, sometimes it takes a few seconds for it to reorient itself.

What is above-average on the 70 is the capacitive touch. It's accurate, sensitive and fast. This makes things like browsing the web great. The pinch zooming is buttery smooth and reacts quickly to my fingers. But I will say that the Wifi sometimes takes a while to connect to access points. I've tried on a couple different routers, and sometimes it takes 30-40 seconds for the device to reconnect to a router, which can be annoying if you're looking to turn it on for a quick email/wikipedia check.

I have side-loaded the android market onto the device using the gapps4archos file you can search around the internet for. It took about 1 minute to do, and works just great. It's a little annoying that you have to side-load it, but once I did it I quickly forgot.

As a side-note: The Archos 70 is a great comic reading device. I'm reading V For Vendetta on it and it is a great way to sit back and read your favorite comics/graphic novels.

As for the USB and HDMI connections, I have not tested them yet. I am still waiting on my cables to come from Monoprice, but when they do I'll add a bit more information for you all.

Battery life on the device is good, with moderate use I can get a 2-3 days out of the device and with heavy use it dramatically drops. Watching video is obviously much more taxing on the battery than casual web surfing and email checking.

As I said before, I think if you're looking for a casual web-surfing and extras device, the Archos 70 is hard to beat. If you're looking for a more serious primary device, I would look elsewhere. The 256mb RAM works OK right now, but I have a very strong feeling it's going to dramatically shorten the overall appeal of this device when newer Android versions start requiring more and more memory. It's sort of sad, really, if Archos had put in 512mb RAM I would be singing much higher praises for the 70.
 

The Following 18 Users Say Thank You to tushyd For This Useful Post:
Posts: 751 | Thanked: 521 times | Joined on Mar 2007 @ East Gowanus
#2
Thanks for the review I have been looking to purchase a lowcost tablet strictly for movie watching and Archos seems to fit the bill. I hear netflix is on its way to Android as well.

Mods please move thread to competitors.
 
Posts: 137 | Thanked: 81 times | Joined on May 2010
#3
Netflix is.. but I heard it was only on certain devices because Android has no unified DRM system?
 
Posts: 206 | Thanked: 57 times | Joined on Oct 2008
#4
As I mentioned multiple times: if you plan to watch movies, then you should choose a 10" tablet (that comes with a stand)--especially now when the additional weight amounts to almost nothing. Just ask yourself if it would be fun holding a 7" tablet in your hands for 90 minutes? Most probably you would want to put it on some flat surface 2 feet away at some point. If so, you will realize that 7" at that distance is too small.
 

The Following User Says Thank You to ch88xy For This Useful Post:
Posts: 143 | Thanked: 132 times | Joined on Jan 2010 @ Hamburg
#5
Thanks for the review, I have pretty much the same impression about my Archos 70. The time the device spends to connect to Wifi is sometimes a downer. But the value you get for your money is overall really good.
 
Posts: 137 | Thanked: 81 times | Joined on May 2010
#6
@ ch88xy

I think it's personal preference, really. I specifically went with the 7" because I felt the 101 was slightly too big for my tastes.
 
Posts: 429 | Thanked: 216 times | Joined on Apr 2010 @ Dubai
#7
does the 101 tablet have the same ram capacity as the 70?
i want a 10" tablet and would love to have the wetab as it contains meego as its OS
but i lost hope of it,its been ages now and i think it will be outdated by the time it will be released on a large scale
so im considiring the 101 and was hoping to squeeze every bit op performance out of it

cheers,
bakuur
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Posts: 206 | Thanked: 57 times | Joined on Oct 2008
#8
That may be true, but there are other disadvantages. E.g. I distinctly remember that some of the videos I played on my 7" Win 7 tablet required a screen larger than 7" and there was no way to display the whole scene.
 
Posts: 137 | Thanked: 81 times | Joined on May 2010
#9
@ bakuur

The 101 has the same 256mb ram that the 70 has.

@ ch88xy

That's odd, I would have thought the media player on your Win7 tablet would scale the video to the size of the screen. I play 720p (1280x720) video on my Archos 70 (800x480) and they scale down just fine...
 
Posts: 206 | Thanked: 57 times | Joined on Oct 2008
#10
tushyd: That did happen. Don't know what to tell you.

Anyway, I think if one plans to use his tablet mainly for reading/web surfing, with occasional movie watching, then I guess 7" would be OK. In fact I use my 7" tablet or N810 to read in bed. But for watching movies (in bed too. I guess I am lazy), I actually prefer my 10" wide-screen netbook (although I have a 12" tablet too). I usually put it 2 feet away from me, and the display is just right! Not to mention that it sits perfectly and the angle can be easily adjusted. Anyone serious about watching movies should try putting a 7" display or something in that distance and see for himself if it's too small or not.
 
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