Archos 70 Review

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £195.00
  • Android 2.2
  • 7in screen
  • Capacitive touchscreen
  • 8/16/250GB RAM

The Archos 70 is the little brother of the Archos 101, another
Android tablet we reviewed recently. Like the HTC Flyer and Samsung Galaxy Tab, this has a 7in
screen device, but unlike those grand débutantes of the terribly trendy tablet
scene the Archos 70 will leave you change from £200. The market’s already
packed with poor-quality Android tablets though, so will this budget number be
just another one for the slag heap?

The Archos 70 is a largely plastic tablet. If it looks
curiously familiar, it may be because you’re familiar with Archos’s 7 Home
Tablet, released last year. It’s the direct successor to that cheaper gadget,
bumping-up the CPU from a 600MHz model to a 1GHz chip and running Android 2.2
FroYo rather than the now-aged Android 2.1.

In a rare move for an Android device, a 250GB hard drive
edition of the Archos 70 is available alongside the flash memory 8GB and 16GB
options. The model we looked at was the lowly 8GB edition, but if you’re out
for a bargain basement tablet, this is likely to be the one you’re eyeing-up

 Archos 70

Aesthetically the Archos 70 is a scaled-down version of the
Archos 101. Its front features two shades of grey, a shiny screen surround and
a more textured finish for the edges, which function as hand grips. In-laid
into each of these grips are holes for the sound of the stereo speakers to
escape out of. At maximum volume, they provide enough clout to watch some video
in bed happily but they can’t contend with much ambient noise. Naturally,
there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack on its body that can also be used as an
output for external speakers.

This sits on the left edge of the Archos 70, when held in
the standard horizontal position. Alongside it are the microUSB, microSD and
miniHDMI ports, along with the power jack. The only other physical controls are
on the other side of the device – where the volume and power buttons live.

Although the design is more utilitarian than stylish, the
Archos 70 is impressively slim. At 10mm thick it’s thinner than both the
original Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Weighing-in at just 300g too, one-handed operation is no
problem, although the design positively encourages two-handed
“sideways” operation. Archos 70

These numbers sound impressive, but the Archos 70 lacks the
cohesive build of a more expensive tablet. The reams of seams, the mix of
plastic and metal construction – a brushed metal panel makes up the most part
of the back – and a lack of flair ensure that it’s simply not as desirable as
some more expensive rivals. But as it could save you £400, the sacrifice may be
worth it.

Some of the body elements that compromise its looks come in
handy too. The rubber feet on the back will help to avoid scratches to the
backplate and the flip-out stand is useful for movie-viewing. It’s made of
fairly flimsy plastic though, which is disappointing when the Archos 101 uses a
much stronger metal alternative. The general build quality is good – leagues
above the creaky Archos 70b eReader – but it’s just rather uninspiring.

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