Pros Excellent price vs. competitors, you get more than you pay for. Most storage of any tablet available for media lovers. Nice versions of audio and video media players.
Cons Solid state memory version needs more system RAM.
Summary Being a happy owner of the 250GB version of this device, I have to make a few comments on Donald's review.Forgot to state the hard drive adds a bit of lag at times, but having the "huge" amount of storage in a tablet is worth the trade for a mobile media user like me.
First, while he is correct that it seems like a plastic slab at first glance, and admittedly there is some very minor creaking in the casing, it has an underlying steel frame bonded to the plastic casing and holding everything together that makes it plenty tough.
Second, the display and on screen keyboard absolutely DOES reorient in both portrait and landscape mode. You can lock the display down in settings to not auto rotate, which is the most likely cause of his statement. But sadly I have to call it just a bit off and feeling a little rushed compared to many of his other reviews.
That said I agree that the kick stand is a bit flimsy, but I've only seen one other tablet on the US market that even has a built in kick stand. I'll take it and run because I don't have to shell out at least $20 more for a case or carry along stand.
It has Archos own version of both audio and video media players that I find pretty useful and enjoyable. They're far better than the stock Android experience and most Android based smart phones I've seen, including my beloved Incredible with all it's HTC tweaks.
Agreed that the screen could be a little more responsive but it isn't terrible and recent firmware upgrades have improved it. The viewing angles are fine for the most part since it is really a single user device. But since it has an HDMI port, you can always plug it in to a HDTV to share pictures and what not.
As a straight out of the box experience, it needs just a little help. However, since it is a very open platform, adding the Android and Amazon app markets takes only moments. Adding a different launcher application also takes only moments and overcome much of the responsiveness issues, as well as adding many useful features. There are even a couple other firmware versions for it and I expect Honeycomb will find its way to it either officially or through the busy and talented developer community.
No it doesn't have 3G/4G or GPS, but with the hot spot in my phone and the ability to share GPS data from the phone to the tablet, it does just fine there.
Like any computer that isn't a totally controlled user experience it will take a minor bit of work to get it where you want it, but for the price it absolutely cannot be beat.
I've had users of other tablet products be very complimentary to it when I have shared it with them, so that should speak plenty well for what it is.
Get what you need / want for your own use, as there are plenty of nice choices out there, but I am very happy with this.
Updated on Apr 6, 2011
Pros 250 Gb disk - unique AFAIK
Small, light, decent screen.
Cons Not he most robust construction - handle with care. Requires the user to "get his hands dirty" with a few mods to get the most out of it. Think of this as buying a work in progress.
Summary I spent a couple of hours in a local electronics emporium playing with half a dozen tablets and this one, apart from the iPad was the standout. I have to say I do not understand the viewing angle comments in the review - this unit had the best of the bunch (again aside from the iPad).
If value for money is your thing and you must have an android tablet but are not stupid enough to think of one as a laptop replacement then this is the one to go for. Further, if your primary desire is a portable media player with the added benefit of being able to do other things (all those Android goodies) then this one supports more video and audio codecs out of the box than any other option I have seen.
Right now the only competition I can see is an older iPad first generation. These can now be had for very little money more and offer a better overall experience (accepting the lack of flash).
In fact - were in not for the almost total absence of parental controls in Android this would have been my choice.
The screen resolution is lower than some other options out there but remember that this is only a 7 inch screen. In use, particularly when watching a decently recorded video on the screen it is actually excellent. That it offers an HDMI out is a huge bonus where 720p works out of the box and 1080p is possible with 3rd party software.
Also uniquely amongst the cheaper tablets - this is a conductive screen - so multi-touch is there and works very well (pinch to zoom and all that).
The only caveat to all of this is that I still haven't managed to get my hands on a Nook color - so that might be an option but that one needs far more hacking to get the most out of it.
In summary - the Archos 70 is the price a tablet OUGHT to be. At the prices of other options you could get a massively more powerful laptop in a variety of sizes.
After saying all of that I have to confess that despite being the local Android fanboy I got my daughter a Gen 1 iPad 32 Gb for her birthday in the end. Parental controls are essential IMHO for a 9 yea old.
Pros Least expensive of the 7" tablets with at least Android 2.2. Plus, it's "rootable" to take care of some of its inherent issues.
Cons The "built-in" apps are at best annoying, but again can be removed if you choose to the root the device.
Summary For way less than half of comparable "name brand" 7" tablets you get a very workable product that will perform with any other tablet on the market. Should last for at least a year or two before the urge to get the latest and greatest overcomes what little common sense I have!
Pros 1/3 the price of an iPad with more than 4X the storage and none of the Apple "hoops" to jump through. Sideloaded Android Market with no problem so now have full market support.
Cons The included Archos Appslib is clunky and usually down. You need to sideload Android Market to take advantage of any apps. Slight headache getting them working on our network, but fortunately you only have to fight with it once.
Summary We got these for our kids for Christmas and have been truly impressed. They can't put them down. We've downloaded a lot of games and education apps from the Android Market, put about 30 ebooks, a dozen full-length movies, and around 50 mp3s on them so far and have not even fill up half the storage. The 30 extra bucks to get the 250gb version of this is a no-brainer. We have found there is way more entertainment value for the kids in these than in a Nintendo DS and without all the expensive games to keep on buying. Also, it's not all games. They can read a book, listen to music, and much more. Our daughter downloaded an app to help practice her multiplication tables that she was having trouble with and it was such a fun little game that she had them down in no time. I really have nothing bad to say about these and both kids think they are the best Christmas present ever.
Pros 250 gb hdd, price, video playback, kick stand, capacitive, usb otg, awesome speakers
Cons Usb port under powered, no card reader on hdd model, google market has to be installed, no fm
Summary Even though i swear by every cnet review, they over see things on rare occassions. Yes my friends make no mistake about this budget tablet as it supports and has every google app one can find on other tablets.
You have to install arctools from the preloaded apps library which gives you all standard android apps such as market, etc. On many reviews of this tablet you will find it being criticised for not having market support.
Well i own it and love every moment with it. Even now when i m writing this review.