Where Apple goes, many will follow. In the past, Archos's tablets weren't all that much like Apple's iPad tablets, but its latest range features tabs that could be identical twins of the iPad 4 and iPad mini. The Archos 97 Platinum is the full-size iPad impersonator, with a high-quality screen and aluminum body, matched with Android 4.1 software.
The Archos 97 Platinum is shamelessly iPad-like. It has a glass-covered front, anodised aluminium rear and body curves that could have come from Apple HQ. It's a big improvement over the plastic-shelled Archos tablets of old.
However, the Archos 97 Platinum isn't finished with quite the attention to detail of Apple's devices. This becomes particularly evident when you look at the tablet's connections.
The Archos 97 Platinum offers much better physical connectivity than an iPad. There's a microUSB port, microSD card slot and a video output. However, these ports are finished with the style of a budget tablet rather than a high-end one.
The cut-outs in the aluminium aren't as well-finished and all the connectors are unceremoniously dumped in a row. The power and volume buttons are also relatively low-grade. It's not a huge problem, but anyone thinking they're getting Apple-matching design with an Archos 97 Platinum is fooling themselves.
Compared with most other Android tablets, though, the Archos comes off reasonably well. It's solid enough and looks great as long as you don't get too close.
The core specs of the Archos 97 Platinum hold up to close scrutiny much better. The tablet uses a quad-core 1.2GHz CPU and eight-core GPU. Archos has not yet revealed the exact type of procesor used, but in our time with the tablet it seemed to run the Android 4.1 software at a decent speed. It's Google-certififed too, meaning you get Google's own apps and Google Play store access.
Screen tech is another win for the Archos 97 Platinum. Its specs match the current iPad's display like-for-like. It's 9.7 inches across and 2,048 by 1,536 pixels in resolution. The aggressive following of the iPad blueprint pays off – the screen is sharp, bright and colours appeared vivid.
As we found with the hardware casing, it likely misses out on the finishing touches like a good oleophobic coating though. This resists fingerprints, which the Archos 97 Platinum seemed to pick up readily.
It's not entirely bereft of extra features, though. There are dual 2-megapixel cameras and while the Android UI is almost entirely vanilla, Archos says the great Archos media player will come pre-installed – it's able to cope with many more codec types than most.
Set to sell for $329 in the US, the Archos 97 Platinum is likely to retail for somewhere between £250 and £280 in the UK. Judging by the core specs alone, you'd probably conclude that the tablet is fantastic value. However, the slightly lacking finish leads us to feel that, as usual, Archos's latest is a respectable showing, but not a great deal more.