Apple's iPad is apparently a big seller even before hitting its retail release date. So if you didn't preorder, reserve a unit, or plan to line up at 5 a.m. outside your local Best Buy (which will carry iPads in 600-plus stores), it's time to start considering your touch-screen options.
As we've previously pointed out, there are many tablet/slate devices available that do things the Apple iPad simply can't. Though Apple's tablet runs a version of the company's iPhone operating system, most of these tablets run different versions of Windows, and (… Read more
This week, Microsoft finally launches the long-awaited Facebook app for the Zune HD, but it's wrought with bugs and naturally, the MP3 Insiders have a few things to say about that. Also, Donald mulls over the depressing fact that people are downloading less music from both P2P and legitimate music stores, while Jasmine attempts to offer solace in the form of speculation that music has always been around and will continue to be. Finally, we take a look at a disappointing new Archos product and a cool new remote accessory for the iPod and iPhone, and compare both to the excellence that is Sonos.
Do you like the idea of a coffee table tablet PC, but can't imagine shelling out $500 for an iPad? If so, perhaps you'd be interested in paying half as much for half the functionality at half the speed.
The Home Tablets are both based off Google's Android operating system, but skinned and augmented by Archos in a similar fashion as the Archos 5 Internet Tablet released near the end of last year.
The smaller of the two new tablets is the Archos 7, which sports a design similar to the Archos 5, but uses a larger 7-inch touch screen. Internally, the Archos 7 takes a big step back from the Archos 5, running its system on a basic 600MHz ARM 9 processor. You can connect over Wi-Fi to check e-mail and browse the Web, but Archos 5 features such as Bluetooth and GPS are a no-go.
The Archos 7 also includes a microSD memory slot, which is a good thing considering the device will only come in 2GB and 8GB capacities. Multimedia playback is mentioned in the press release (including Flash video), but no… Read more
With apologies to Sega's classic "Genesis does what Nintendon't" ad campaign, there are many tablet and touch-screen PCs that do things the upcoming Apple iPad simply can't. While Apple's tablet runs a version of the company's iPhone operating system, most of these tablets run different flavors of Windows, and (at least in theory) are capable of performing any task a standard laptop can.
The benefits of having a full computer operating system are many, from running your choice of Web browsers, such as Firefox or Chrome, to streaming Flash video from Hulu and … Read more
Update: CNET's full review of the Archos 5 is now available.
I've had my hands on the Archos 5 Android internet tablet for more than seven days now, and to be honest, I'm still not sure what to make of it. What's hanging up the review isn't the price (which starts at $249), or capacity (up to 500GB), or the impressive selection of features; it's the devices spotty performance. So far, some stuff just doesn't work as advertised.
If this were Apple or Microsoft, these performance glitches would probably have me spitting venom right now, but Archos is a relatively small company. Chalk it up to looking out for the little guy, but I'm going to give Archos the benefit of the doubt that many of the issues I'm experiencing will be fixed quickly with firmware updates and swept under the rug. In fact, a firmware update earlier this week (v1.1.01) already addressed a problem I had accessing content from microSD cards. In a perfect world, products wouldn't leave the warehouse half-baked--but every company is guilty of it to some degree.
My contact at Archos says there will be another firmware update available next week. Assuming this next round will iron out the kinks, I'm going to hold off on a formal review until then. Of course, I'm also advising that potential buyers wait until our rated review is up before investing in an Archos 5. Considering that Amazon recently froze sales of the 160GB model of the Archos 5, I think it's safe to assume that I'm not the only one having some issues.
Now, true to the title of this piece, my time with the Archos 5 has had its share of bright spots too. Most notably, its video player is one of the best I've used on any device. Unlike previous versions of Archos PVPs, the Archos 5 ships with all the critical video codecs installed, instead of requiring users to purchase codec plug-ins individually. My HD video podcasts, XviD torrents, AVIs, and WMVs all play flawlessly. Videos look great on it too, with the 4.8-inch 800x480-pixel resolution LCD that gives a rich and razor-sharp picture that holds up well, even in daylight. By extension, photos also look great on the Archos 5--although thumbnail previews and transitions aren't nearly as fast and fluid as on the iPod Touch.
If you ask me, the Archos 5's video player alone is worth the price of the whole device, assuming that digital video is really your cup of tea. Unfortunately, as a company, I think Archos is a little tired of being cast as a portable video player manufacturer. Looking at the packaging for the Archos 5, you'd hardly know the device played videos at all. According to the box, this is an "Internet tablet," a term Archos has whittled down from the "Internet media tablet" we saw last year. The choice of phrasing seems particularly odd considering that the device's media features are stronger than ever. I assume Archos wants people to understand in no uncertain terms that they are in the tablet business, in spite of seven years spent manufacturing media players. … Read more
Donald and Jasmine discuss potential issues with the Android-based Archos 5...namely, why does the sucker keep crashing on everyone? Also, a look at the freshly posted reviews for the Monster Turbine Pro and JayBird Tiger Eyes earphones, as well as the old-school appealing Altec Lansing inMotion Classic. Finally, big ups to SanDisk for its straightforward approach to an audio issue with the Clip.