Archos have had a 7 inch tablet about for a while but now they have expanded their range to 5 tablets. Three small ones, a 7 inch and a 10 inch. These tablets run on android and have the Archos limited app store. This means you have a choice of 25,000 apps and not the millions that you could get to otherwise. While I can understand that the machine manufacturers see this as a way of getting a cut of the money made on apps I cannot see why this would appeal to a buyer so beware if you do buy an Archos device of this limitation. (Searching the web comes up with a number of links showing how to enable the full app store on Archos tablets but we are not sure this will work on these newer devices)
We have not had an opportunity to review one of these units yet so these comments are based on a demonstration only.
We looked at the 10 inch model. The screen is a multi touch screen with high resolution that makes it great for watching movies and can quickly be connected to a television if you want a bigger screen. However the first point to be impressed by is the weight. A mere 480 grams and just 12 mm thick. This reduction in weight is achieved by the fact that the device does not have a hard drive. It has storage space of 8 and 16 GB but you can expand this with the addition of a micro SD card.
It comes with a built in stand which at first glance looks thin but actually appears to be made of sturdy metal.
The screen quality is excellent and the demo machine seemed responsive but the real test is when you fill them with apps to see if they slow down. The 7 inch device with hard drive was noticeable heavier.
A front camera, blue tooth and wifi are standard with the device. The battery life varies from 10 hours web surfing to 37 hours if just listening to music.
Is it a rival to the ipad…well there is the issue. The iPad without the apps did not appeal to me but once the apps were there the machine came to life. The question here is will this device have the apps to get a potential user’s attention. The hardware does look well designed and smooth in operation but I am going to want to pick from all the apps not just a limited shop.
Obviously once we get a device for review we will have a better idea of it’s usability but the light weight is a big plus.