Our company recently purchased a few Archos Internet Tablets for customer use in our workshops and seminars. We found the $299.00 price irresistible. Our first thoughts were to wait for the Honeycomb platform, but at these prices we thought it was better to have these tablets for use now instated of waiting. The tablets we ordered offered a 10.1 multi touch screen. The design was slim and light. the tablet offers full web surfing with Adobe flash 10 support with WiFi. It has HDMI video output, Thousands of applications for downloading and a built in webcam and microphone. My goal was to order a few of these and use them for customers that wanted to attend our in-house internet workshops. the reason for these tablets was to allow our workshop attendees to use these tablets to follow along and create their own online marketing programs in our how-to workshops. We feel that these units are a great low cost alternative to more expensive and bulky PCs.
The Archos tablet is a sleek efficient internet browser. Some of the apps that come with the unit are a litttle glitchy, but you can add apps of your choice that work flawlessly.. Because the company is located in France some of the application instructions are in French. I am sure they will fix these issues shortly. We were some of the first customers to get the tablets and there is usually some pain involved with this. The Tablet offers it's own browser which works pretty well. We added Firefox as a browser and it was a little slow, so we reverted back to the default browser which is fine. The Application software was somewhat limited if your used to the full droid applications, so we rooted the tablets to allow us more freedom of use on the Android platform. This allowed us to add our Google applications which would only be available with the new Honeycomb technology which wasn't ready to be released at the time of this writing. rooting the Tablet allowed us to synch Google calenadr and mail with the tablet.
I was very pleased with the tablet right out of the box. The touch screen is very responsive and reacts to the lightest touch. It has a power button, a volume rocker button. an LED charge indicator, headphone jack, micro USB port, micro SD card reader and a mini HDMI video output located along the left hand side of the device. Along the right hand side of the screen there are 4 hard coded soft buttons for search, hoe menu and back buttons.This allows you to navigate on screen and through the menus like most Android applications. The home screen offers icons of your most widely used apps. You can scroll to the right and left onto different screens.The screen immediately to the right has five icons for wireless, Bluetooth, cell phone tethering, refresh and contrast and brightness. The screen immediately to the right allows for video storage. The unit we bought has 8 GB disk space. You can also opt for 16 GB at this time. As you would expect, because of the newness of this size tablet some of the applications are not ready for a 10.1 inch display. More than half of the applications I tried handled this display beautifully. If you are like me and the screen size of your Android phone is a little annoying for reading, this tablet will become your best friend. One of the Apps I found fantastic was World Newspapers and Google Books. Reading on this tablet is spectacular. It is a little difficult in strong sunlight as you may expect.
Some of the drawbacks on this unit are:
The screen is sensitive and fragile. My wife put the tablet in her purse, and the zipper scratched the screen. You may want to add a screen protector or encase this unit in a bag. In my opinion this tablet should come with a cloth bag to protect the screen, but it doesn't. Loading too many apps can cause the tablet to run slower. They do have an application kill button that cleans up unused applications so the tablet will run faster if it bogs down. The video can lag at times. I find that even in the best of connections the video synch isn't perfect.
While on vacation I found this tablet to be very useful for reading books and newspapers. It's a great web browser and after adding a better virtual keyboard I used the tablet to write articles on blogs and answer emails. Some of the game applications worked very well on the 10.1 inch screen. Others didn't adapt well to the new screen dimensions. I found that the whole family was using this tablet instead of booting up the laptop. It proved to have excellent screen resolution but it doesn't run any software. You can use it for android apps, videos , web browsing, as a reader, for email and correspondence.. It's great for all around use. Don't throw your laptop away yet though.
All in all I like the Archos10.1 Internet Tablet. I would recommend it it anyone that needs a portable internet browser but doesn't want to carry a laptop or notebook PC. I find myself using this tablet to show clients websites. The display is excellent for this. I don't need to carry my laptop any more. For most appointments this does just fine.