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May 13, 2011
 

REVIEW: Archos 70 PMP (8GB)

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Written by: sean
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ARCHOS 32 3.2-Inch Internet Tablet with AndroidAn 8 GB model of the Archos 70 should run you less than $300, making it remarkably affordable when compared to the iPad or any number of Honeycomb OS devices. But despite its purported “bang-for-the-buck” factor, the device has numerous shortcomings. And with so many other options now available, there’s no reason to let minor savings stand in your way of a better tablet.

Archos 70

First, the good news: The Archos 70 is well equipped with 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and 3D OpenGL ES 2.0 graphic acceleration, which is some pretty impressive firepower for a tablet in this class. As a result, the device can handle almost any media you throw at it. Should you opt for a 250 GB hard drive model and make good use of its HDMI out, it could be an interesting portable home for your A/V collection. And the Archos tablet is also nothing if not portable, with a seven-inch display and a small form factor, it’s certainly not going to bog you down on the go.

Now, the mostly bad news: The Archos 70 is hamstrung by a display with low resolution and disappointing viewing angles — if you don’t have a decent television or external monitor, much of its video processing power will end up going to waste. Worse still is the tablet’s atrocious battery life, which just can’t stand up to any of its competitors. For a device with such high multimedia aspirations, it won’t let you view much more than two feature-length films before fading to black. The lack of matte finish on the screen also does wonders for

Overall, the design and build of the Archos 70 feels every bit what you’d expect from the price tag — a bit unsophisticated to the eyes and a bit flimsy in the hands. The speakers are nothing to write home about, and the kickstand, while certainly a welcome addition, is a bit lacking in execution.

But even if you forget about hardware issues, Archos still seems a bit behind the curve at this point. You can’t escape the fact that it’s stuck on an Android 2.2 OS — and a limited version at that. Out of the box the tablet won’t have access to Google applications, like Google Maps, Gmail or the Android Marketplace. While those features can be added later, users are otherwise left at the mercy of the understocked Archos app store, which offers very few, if any, useful alternatives.

CONCLUSION
If you’re not expecting much from a tablet, or are just looking to experiment without a major investment, the Archos 70 may well find a place in your technological arsenal. But, when it comes down to it, it’s somewhere between an eReader and a full-featured tablet in terms of functionality. With the advent of Honeycomb and the multiple devices that proudly support it, you’d be far better off looking at similarly-priced alternatives like the Asus Transformer or the Acer Iconia Tab A500. Neither will run you much more cash and will give you a far better tablet experience overall experience. So treat yourself, you deserve it.

PROS

  • Good processing power in its class
  • Extremely affordable
  • Media compatibility

CONS

  • Build issues
  • Outdated OS
  • Poor battery life

SPECIFICATIONS

Product capacity •  Flash Serie: 8 GB flash memory + Micro SD Slot (SDHC compatible)
•  Optional 250 GB Hard Drive
Display characteristics • High resolution screen, WVGA 800 x 480 pixels, 7” TFT LCD, 16 million colors
• Capacitive multitouch screen
Application Framework Android 2.2 Froyo
Processor • ARM Cortex A8 at 1 GHz with DSP
• Graphic accelerator: 3D OpenGL ES 2.0
Video Playback • MPEG-4 HD (up to 720p, 30 fps@6Mbps)
• MPEG-4 (ASP@L5 AVI, up to DVD resolution, 30 fps@8Mbps)
• H.264 HD (HP@L3.1 up to 720p, 30 fps@5Mbps)
• WMV9/VC1 (AP up to 720p 30 fps@10Mbps)
• M-JPEG (Motion JPEG Video) in VGA resolution 

With optional plug-in (downloadable on www.archos.com):
• Cinema: MPEG-2 (up to DVD resolution MP/D1, 30 fps@10 Mbps)
With the above codecs, the device can play video files with the following extensions: AVI, MP4, MKV, MOV, WMV, MPG, PS, TS, VOB, FLV, RM, RMVB, ASF, 3GP

Audio Playback • MP3 CBR & VBR
• WMA, WMA-Pro 5.1
• WAV (PCM/ADPCM)
• AAC, AAC+ 5.1
• OGG Vorbis
• FLAC 

With optional software plug-ins (downloadable on www.archos.com):
• AC3 5.1

Photo viewer JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF
Subtitles Support subtitles files with .srt, .ssa, .smi, .sub extensions
Webcam Yes
Pre-installed applications • Aldiko, Ebuddy, Wikipedia, Avecomics, HubKap, Deezer, Mewbox, Raging Thunderlite (a 3D car demo game), WordNewspaper, Touiteur, Fring
Interfaces • USB 2.0: Mass Storage Class (MSC)
• Micro SD (SDHC compatible) on flash version
• USB Host: Mass Storage Class (MSC) (adapter micro B/A sold separately)
• HDMI output5 (Mini HDMI / HDMI cable sold separately)
Communication protocols • WiFi (802.11 b/g/n)
• Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
Miscellaneous • Built-in speakers
• Built-in leg stand
• Built-in Microphone
• G-sensor
• Front VGA Camera
Power source • Internal: Lithium Polymer battery
• External: Power adapter/charger
Battery life • Music playback time: up to 36 hours
• Video playback time: up to 7 hours
• Web surfing: up to 10 hours
Dimensions & weight • ARCHOS 70 internet tablet Flash series: 201 x 114 x 10 mm – 300 grams / (7.91 x 4.49 x 0.43 – 11 oz)
• ARCHOS 70 internet tablet Hard Drive series: 201 x 114 x 14 mm – 400 grams / (7.91 x 4.49 x 0.55 inch – 14 oz)




About the Author

sean




 
 

 
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