Phoning it in
With only 256MB of RAM available, performance is acceptable rather than dazzling with the Quadrant Standard benchmark turning in an average score of 1110 which is about would you could expect from a Nexus One running Froyo. In practical terms, this means that screen reorientation isn’t iPad-instant and you will need to shut down any running apps before you fire up games like Angry Birds.
Archos remote app for your Android phone
Download Archos’ free Remote Control from the Market and you can operate your tablet from any other Android device connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Handy if you have your tablet hooked to your home entertainment system.
The speakers that sit each side of the screen deserve a quick mention in dispatches - the sound they produce is loud, clear and punchy so you can easily enjoy a movie without using headphones.
For your communication needs a VGA web cam sits above the left hand speaker, where it’s just little too easy to inadvertently cover with your thumb. There’s also a built-in mic for headset-free Skyping.
Quibbles? Well, the surface of the screen is made of plastic rather than glass, so it’s ultimately not as nice to stroke and fondle as an iPad. There’s no GPS either, so you can’t press it into service as a satnav, and the headphones and power jacks are exactly the same diameter and on the same side which can cause confusion. I’d also like to see an HDMI adapter bundled.
Next page: Charge coupled device
No USB charging?
Really; it won't charge from the micro-USB socket? (Checks Archos site) Nope, the 70 and the 101 require the charger. Bit of a fail there then; if the thing needs mort current than standard USB they could at least have supported USB charging ports so that car chargers with standard USB sockets would work.
The Android 3 tabs are on the market now, why bother with a 2.2 tab that won't be upgraded and will always be restricted in comparison. These should have hit the market 6-12 months ago, now their opportunity has passed.
It's not that bad
I agree that the Android 3 tablets are a definite must for most people who read El Reg, but, my friend just bought the 10" version of this tablet which I had a hands-on with last night. I was quite impressed, it was cute and worked well for her. For me, the screen glare was an issue, the lack of USB charge was a bummer but it had a USB socket, HDMI, MicroSD slot and it's own built in stand. Not bad for the money really. Angry birds is awesome on the 10 inch screen.
I nice budget model IMHO.
Every time I read a tablet review, I get as far as the bit that reads "unfortunately it doesn't charge from USB" and just lose interest. A note to all you manufacturers out there.... check, your calendars guys, we're now in the 21st century.
Trickle charge is better than no charge. I leave my Desire HD in a dock all day so it's always topped up.