Although the Archos 32 has a camera, it’s not impressive. The low 2-mexapixel resolution isn’t the worst of its problems; the shutter lag is almost intolerable, there’s a dreadful amount of noise in photos, and video is choppy and laggy. Frankly, we’d rather have see the camera removed entirely and have another few pounds taken of the asking price.
Although running version 2.2 of Andoid the Archos 32 has had a few modifications. The music player is different from, if not an improvement on the stock Android player. The Cover Flow-eqsue album browsing effect is gimmicky, but works, and we do appreciate being able to transfer media via USB without using a dedicated program. The lack of an SD card slot could be annoying, however, as the Archos 32 has only 8GB of memory.
It’s also worth pointing out that although the Archos 32 can run Flash, you probably won’t want to, as it’s just not a pleasant experience, with TR’s own videos grinding the device to a halt. We might agree that Apple needs to enable support on a device the size of the iPad, but on media players such as the iPod touch, and the Archos 32, leaving it disabled is arguably a better experience, rather consumers know they can’t run it, than try to do so half-heartedly. Which is possibly why AppsLib, from where applications are downloaded to the Archos 32, doesn’t offer Flash – you have to transfer it t o the device and install it yourself.
Nonetheless, that this option exists is an undeniable advantage in the favour of the Archos 32. It’s just another example of why the openness of Android can reap its rewards, and for many this ability to do pretty much what you want with their device is more important than the ‘slickness’ of the iPod touch. Especially, as we keep mentioning, given the Archos 32 is only £100.
As experience has shown, Android wasn’t built for tablets, so it’s fortunate that the Archos 32 Internet Tablet is a tablet in name only. As an iPod touch-like media player, it falls short of Apple’s level of slickness, but its excellent format support, and its low, low price, let it get away with that.