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Tablets are a hot topic these days, particularly Android tablets. Archos is one of the companies to give rise to affordable tablet PC’s running the Android platform. One of its products, the Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet is gaining quite the reputation of being one of the cheapest tablets there is however there are also drawbacks that people noticed compared to its predecessors.
The Archos 5 Internet Tablet surprised the tech world of how competitive it can be when it was released. Although, many people wanted a screen larger than the 5” it has, so Archos made an upgrade through the Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet. The newer and wider screen version seem to offer a lot of promise on paper, however when it was released, it caused a lot of disappointment leading many to believe that it was really a downgrade. It lacked many hardware and software options that were found on its predecessor.
If you’re looking for a gadget that will blow your mind, the Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet isn’t it. That being said, it’s not a bad little device for the price.
- Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet – Specs
- Device: Tablet
- OS: Android 2.1 (Éclair)
- Dimensions: 8 x 4.2 x 0.5”
- Weight: 13.8 oz.
- Display: 7” TFT LCD Resistive Touchscreen, 800 x 480 resolution
- Processor: Single Core, 800 MHz, 128MB DDRAM
- Built-In Storage: 8GB (Expandable to 32GB through SD Card)
- Connectivity: Wi Fi 802.11b/g, USB 2.0
- Battery: Li-Polymer (Video Playback 7 hours, Music Playback 42 hours)
- Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet – Performance
- The Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet’s 800MHz ARM 9 processor and 128 MB of RAM aren’t the fastest combo, but they aren’t the slowest either.
Most apps take four to five seconds to open, but moving through menus isn’t that sluggish. The system is able to support running multiple applications in the background however, I’m not sure if that is something that you’d have patience for as it really slows down the speed and makes it quite laggy.
It is also noticeable how the device easily gets warm. For a handheld device, the Home Tablet got very hot on the bottom. Even with just the browser open and idle, the back right of the slate reached quite the temperature.
Storage-wise, the device has a built-in internal memory capacity of 8GB which can be upgradeable to 32GB using an SD card. It is not that bad as it can support a number of music files and full length movies altogether.
If there’s one thing we’re content with on the performance side of things it’d be the battery life. On a video rundown test the Archos lasted for six hours and 45 minutes, with brightness set at 50 percent and WiFi on. That’s not too shabby, and you can expect to get at least a few hours more of normal usage.
Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet – Operating System and Applications
The Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet comes with the Android 2.1 (Éclair) OS platform. This is quite an upgrade from the previous version that is running the obsolete Android 1.5 however not that up to par with other tablets running newer versions such as Android 3.0. This means you miss out on a lot of the features included in current Android version.
And – like the Archos 5, the 7 lacks access to the Google app market – opting to offer downloads through the Archos applib. This means the majority of good apps for Android are unavailable such as Facebook, Gmail, etc. Of course, there are ways around this, but the extra effort involved may not be worth it.
Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet – Design and Display
The Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet feels fairly well made – most of the front and back are covered in polished metal. The design is pretty standard having a power switch on the top, microSDHC expansion slot. Right side of Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet features headphone, power adapter sockets and a microUSB port. Front of the device features speakers. Back part has a plastic kickstand.
The Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet display runs at the same resolution as some Android super-phones. It’s a lot easier on the eyes at 7″, and the display is bright and reasonably sharp. It looks good, though not jaw-dropping when playing video and the built-in photo frame app does a capable job of standing in for a dedicated digital photo frame.
A very dreaded drawback of this tablet PC is its resistive touchscreen which is very difficult to use and maneuver. It is not as responsive as many users expected. It didn’t register taps about 25 percent of the time, and scrolling wasn’t always smooth; sometimes the screen stopped responding to our finger partway through a motion.
Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet – Connectivity
As a web browsing tool, the Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet is decent, and we like the large display that makes for readable text without zooming. There is no pinch and zoom, and the browser features are basic compared to recent smartphones running Android OS 2.1. The WiFi 802.11b/g didn’t have stellar range, which is surprising for a device this large with plenty of room for an antenna.
A drawback here is the lack of Bluetooth connectivity and support for Flash which does not permit many flash-based websites to function.
Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet – Pros and Cons
Pros: The Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet is sleek and slim design plus its portability is a big plus compared to other bulky tablet PC’s. Moreover, audio and video playbacks are decent and sharp. However, the biggest attracting factor for this tablet is its affordability. You can’t find a similar device with the functionality (although not that high-end) in its price range.
Cons: The biggest drawback to this tablet in addition to the resistive touchscreen is the processor. The tablet will occasionally stutter when using applications, or when flipping through screens. It could be a major annoyance if you are trying to run many applications at once. It easily runs hot plus it does not contain many choices for multimedia content. Plus, it lacks Bluetooth connectivity and does not support Flash.
Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet – Summary
The Archos 7 V2 Home Tablet is ideal for users with a limited budget. This is a great buy considering the price, and it works fine. The new model comes with Android 2.1 and new 800 MHz processor. You can surf the web, manage emails, listen to music and watch a movie. If you’re looking for a tablet that is extremely portable, and performs basic functions, this is your product.
It’s got the basic features you’d expect from a tablet device (multimedia and connectivity) and the price point is something that could interest a lot of people looking to try a tablet PC for the first time. Don’t expect a lot from it though.