back to article Archos 7 Android tablet

Despite the iPad being upon us and plenty of Windows 7 and Android tablets on the horizon – not to mention whatever HP's tablet plans are for webOS – the question: "What's a tablet for?" remains a question without a definitive answer. Archos 7 Android Home Tablet A touch of PC and PMP: Archos' 7 Home Tablet Archos …

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  1. Geoff Campbell
    FAIL

    Hit or miss?

    I vote miss, quite significantly. Shame, I've been looking forward to this one since it was announced, but the limitations are just too serious. Especially given that it is quite likely that the market will shortly have a number of similar devices without those limitations, all under £200 and quite possibly under £150. Android 2.1 as a minimum, and preferably 2.2 or even the forthcoming 3.0, with access to the main Android apps store, are going to have to be considered basic requirements in this market, I think - they certainly are for me.

    GJC

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Almost...

    This is almost exactly the kind of thing I want. A cheap tablet just for use around the house. Shame the outdated and unofficially supported version of Android gimps it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminded me of Anchorman

    "with taps and drags registering first time most of the time"

    60% of the time... it works every time!

  4. Ian Ferguson
    Coat

    What's a cum tablet?

    I think you've just hit the nail on the head when it comes to the 'What's a tablet for?' question - porn :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Alert

      No flash?

      Sadly no YouPorn then...

  5. Wang N Staines

    1.5

    Why released a 1.5 now?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    "A cheap and cheerful connected Android PMP cum tablet"

    Now we know what it's really for.

    Mine's the one with the packet of Kleenex in the pocket.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Avoid Archos!

    If you want any kind of customer care or end user experience!

    This new Archos 7 is just the old Archos 7 in a slightly fresher suit ,less storage and with an equally outdated OS to Archos own offering (don't expect it to get updated..... ever).

    I bought the original Archos 7 a little over 14 months ago, and there has been 1 firmware update, 1.......! And it brought nothing other than a minor bug fix.

    If Archos wants a loyal customer base who will promote their product they need to look at what Apple does. Update the OS (as best you can) for older products so that customers stay loyal.

    I dont doubt this Archos 7 will have the same problems as the old Archos 7, namely too quiet to use on an aeroplane (earphone output is way too low). And a screen which needs a brightness setting you can use in daytime, outside! Even the brightest setting is mearly sufficient for evening viewing.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Archos

    They are pretty good little devices indeed. When they bring support for 2.2 I will be OK to spend £100-150 for a portable recreational device :)

  9. IPB
    FAIL

    Seriously?

    Android 1.5 and no Market Place or Google account sign in?

    For those reasons I'm OUT.

  10. Rich 30
    Thumb Up

    not bad for the money...

    It reads to be as being not bad for the money, which if thats what you want, great. I can see a lot of reasons to knock it though, and no doubt people will.

    Resistive screen - yuk

    Old Android V. - why?

    No access to Android Market place - mistake

    Poor/No media streaming at home - why?

    But, for the money....

  11. RichyS
    FAIL

    Miss

    Resistive touch screen and Android 1.5? Is this a review from 2008?

  12. JaitcH
    FAIL

    No Android V3.0+ has to be a pass

    Google is releasing V3 later this year with tablet-specific benefits and unless this is GUARANTEED as an update.

    No slide-out keyboard, resistive screen complete the disappointment.

  13. DrXym Silver badge

    $200 tablets

    I think Archos would have had a hit on their hands if this thing were using 2.1 or 2.2. As it is 1.5 is too old and a lot of prospective owners of an Archos 7 would know that all too well. The lack of the standard marketplace is also a major strike against this device. Why does it not contain the marketplace app? Probably because Archos failed or did not submit the device to the CTS for compatibility testing. That's another warning sign.

    What it does prove is you can produce a $200 tablet which does something useful. The screen is too small to be compared directly to an iPad and perhaps other things about it are different (e.g. resistive screen), but at the same time you have a device which plays virtually any kind of video thrown at it and is functional for other purposes. It's not even the cheapest "tablet" device either. Ebay is filled with some pretty crappy looking but functional Android tablets (one even in an iPad knockoff skin) for $99.

    It seems likely to me that the $200-300 range is likely to be occupied by a lot of very decent android tablets and soon. Perhaps there will be some high end versions too that try to match the iPad feature set exactly, but I believe you could still shave off a couple of hundred dollars by dropping some things and still have a compelling experience.

  14. Andy Watt
    Thumb Up

    aPad for the world...! Archos 7 == pretty much identical!

    Check out slatedroid on the web - they're making custom firmware for these babies. The archos 7 and the aPad (iWeb, iRobot...) have identical guts (if you get the right one, it's abit russian roulette out there...)

    I bought an aPad on eBay for £104 a short while back - 600MHz arm9 + 600MHz DSP - and the same money will buy you a 10.1" device with 1GHz in it now.

    This tablet is being actively worked on at slatedroid so if you're interested in getting it to have better firmware check them out.

    Also - my aPad signs me in to google just fine and the market works perfectly. Nice little device, and very very cheap indeed compared to a real iPad.

    Don't write this little thing off just yet. There's some wicked homebrew guys working on it.

  15. Leo Waldock

    Archos 5 and Android

    For what it's worth, my Archos 5 Internet Tablet has the latest firmware which is Android 1.6. That suggests to me that Archos is delivering Android updates very slowly, even for hardware that has been out for some time.

  16. LawLessLessLaw
    Boffin

    Marketplace Not Archos' fault

    Google holds the keys for the Marketplace, it hasn't let any tablet style device under the awnings. So you can't blame that particular shortcoming at Archos' feet (except for making the Android choice).

    Shame the reviewer didn't tryand run mPlayer, the Android iPlayer playing app. My Android 1.5 includes a YouTube player, no mention of if that's included.

  17. moiety Silver badge

    Any chance...

    ...of a review of the SmartQ V7? Chinese; more or less the same ballpark; and comes with Android, WinCE and -here's the thing- Ubuntu pre-loaded.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    A cum tablet?

    Ummm... Avoid using those fancy Latin words in your titles. Cum? Need you be reminded who the majority of your audience is?

    Paris. The alternative to a cheerful, connected cum tablet.

  19. Fred Bernal
    Badgers

    And on a related note...

    We love to hate and spit on Apple, but at the same time, use their (overpriced boutique <insert offensive terms here>) products as the baseline when evaluating similar offerings from other manufacturers.

    Tsk... tsk... we are just an implacable bunch, plain and simple.

  20. JEDIDIAH
    Linux

    Clueless naysayers

    It sounds like a lot of people are just dismissing the device out of hand based on "specs" without actually using the thing. Sure, trash the device but at least do so on it's own merits rather than repeating Apple marketing.

    1. Neill Mitchell

      Hmm

      I think most people are dismissing this device because it is Android 1.5, resistive screen and made by Archos who are notorious for releasing barely functional buggy code on their long suffering customers. They are also notorious for dropping all support and updates for a device when a new incarnation is released. I bet you will never see V2.X for this device.

      The other thing this review didn't mention is that the multimedia playback his handled by the old Linux OS. So there is a huge delay when switching to media functions as it boots up the other OS. It's a complete botch.

      Goodness knows why Archos has gone down the Android route when the Linux OS was perfectly functional. Especially as they clearly have insufficient development resource to support Android updates. They obviously can't even port the 5 IT's V1.6 to this new device, how rubbish is that?

      At least they are shipping a power adaptor with this one though ;)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forget Archos

    I used to like Archos. Had a first generation Archos Player and was listening to mp3's on the bus way before SJ had the first thought of an iPod.

    Had an AV560 with a 60GB drive for watching movies a few years later. Then a 5 series (before they switched to Android powered) with a 250GB drive which I still use for listening to stuff at work. But that was my last. Got fed up of the custom connectors, docks, download codecs and lack of bug fixes, not to mention Archos' gimping the volume output to play nice with French and EU law.

  22. Al Taylor
    Alert

    @ LawLessLessLaw

    The Archos 7 HT doesn't have a YouTube client and I couldn't find a myPlayer APK from a reliable download source, so that ruled out YouTube and iPlayer. I'd be surprised if myPlayer supports the 7's screen size.

  23. The Other Steve

    I almost stopped reading at "resistive display"

    No multi touch is also a fail, but then again, try aping Apple's gestured on your product and see how quickly you end up in court.

    Old version of 'Droid, adds further fail to the fail pile, as does the lack of market access, but then again at least one of those is not Archos' fault.

    Keyboard's a fail by the sound of things, probably because the form factor is to small for a proper one.

    Chalk those up to cries of derision. But OTOH, Archos' kit tends to be aimed at the PMP market, where such things matter much less. And at £130, it can browse the web, read your mail, and play your media.

    Probably occupy a niche as a 'poor man's iPad' until something sexier comes along in a similar price bracket.

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