I am considering buying a Tablet for my Daughter, and the Archos is on the list as well as the Vega and Samsung tab, and I am trying to find out what they will all do to compare them what is best.
I am looking for a Tablet that will play the Flash based games that you see on the internet, and especially the ones that you see on Facebook like Pet Society etc. Also it needs to do streaming Video, from say iplayer, or You Tube, play the odd game, Skype and general surfing.
So, can any owners of the Archos, tell me if the tablet will do these things, and how well they do them as I would rather hear the reviews of real people than sales staff on the shop floor.
Thanks in advance.
Hi Spanner (interesting nickname, for sure... at least in German
I own the Archos 101 it 8 GiByte for about four weeks now and am very please with it, after the firmware update to 2.0.71 and adding a non glare screen protector.
Some Pro's and Con's I became aware of:
- Price (other tables are either of lower quality or much more expensive, expect that to change in 2011)
- Multimedia capabilities (plays 720p videos smooth and clean)
- Flash is ok for non-HD movies and clips, should improve alot as soon as the Archos version of the flash player is being certified by Adobe.
- USB Host for USB storage (sticks, notebook harddrives) and mouse/keyboard, probably more with custom roms to come
- Very responsive touch screen
- HDMI-out to route the output to any HDMI-device like LCD-TV
- long battery time, quick charging
- less weight that comparable devices (especially the iPad)
- thin frame
- microSD-Card slot
- extendable back stand
- stereo speakers of good quality
- can been rooted (at cost of warranty depending of the country you live in)
- Screen viewing angle is very small, especially without any anti-glare screen saver
- Memory is quite low with only 256 MiByte -> freezes or non working apps
- App memory is low (300 MiByte)
- No google market or other google apps out of the box
- Stock launcher laggy and sometimes freezing
- Will most likely not be updated to Android 3.0 by Archos due to the hardware requirements (custom Roms may bring Honeycomb anyway).
- Stock android screen keyboard's keys are too slim (at least for my fingers, often missing the correct row).
Cons can be reduced by using
- Anti glare screen protector. I use one from the german Danto GmbH.
Without it you will be very restricted where to use the Archos because the reflections tend to make the screen unreadable. Still don't get it why so many people buy devices with glare type displays while there are alternatives. For Tablets, there are none, bad enough. Screen protectors should be available for around $15-20.
An installer package which brings you all the google apps you need including full market access. A must have. No root required.
- Another launcher
Launcher Pro and Zeam Launcher have been reported to run very good on the Archos tablets. I tried both and am now using Launcher Pro. No root required.
- Another keyboard:
There are several other soft keyboards available in the Archos Applib and in the Google Market. I'm using Smart Keyboard Pro, which increases my writing speed significantly. Again: No root required.
Most of the other cons can be dealt with by using the developer edition and a custom firmware (like I do). You get:
- Root access
- Swap space (to boost memory)
- Lots of space for apps and data
- Much faster filesystem by using ext4 instead of the default ext3
- Overclocking for more performance
- Backup functionality
- Firewall, ad blockers
At the end of the day I'm very satisfied with the Archos tablet. Samsung's galaxy tab is only 7" and more than double the price and prone to lags due to the bad OS implementation of Samsung. iPad is much heavier and thicker, costs as much as the galaxy tab and has no flash at all. Plus, you're tied to Apple Corp.
As for flash games: I do not play them, so I cannot say if they'll work or not. Probably the small main memory of the Archos will fail you on some of them. Plants vs. Zombies Web version doesn't work, but that's more a problem of the flash implementation on android than of the archos in particular.