Do ANDROID’s dream of ipad’s covered in cotton wool

So if I had a USB or BLUETOOTH keyboard I would have a crack at writing this on my shiny ARCHOS 101 ANDROID tablet, but I’ll have to use the trusty MACBOOK PRO rather than hack an article together a letter at a time on the touchscreen.

 

I like APPLE technology, but find it lacking at times and your definitely paying a premium for its stealability  beautiful aesthetical design.

 

So about a year ago I needed a new phone contract and got a great deal via http://buymobilephones.net – a shiny ANDROID based WILDFIRE handset and contract for the same cash I previously just paid for telco service – the handset’s main downsides being processing power and battery life, couldn’t fix the former, but the latter could be fixed by an extended battery from e-bay – over 3x’s capacity for less than a tenner. The handsets upsides being the ANDROID operating system, far cheaper than IOS, but a lot more open, leaving it more open to security breaches, but it let me understand what all the fuss was about with these new fancy smartphones – you can take pictures, play games, listen to music, keep up with whats happening in the social Facebook / Twitter etc space, use the inbuilt GPS for driving directions or to replace the Garmin Summit I previously used for geocaching, read e-mail, know what you had coming next via your calendar, find out if it is going to rain in the next hour, pull up a map and find your way back to your car, buy stuff on e-bay while out having coffee and cakes and it can EVEN be used to speak to someone !

 

So crimble last year wandered round and I decided to pitch at one of the multitude of highly !!! spec’d ANDROID tablets on e-bay – iRobot / Mid  – it worked and had the advertised spec – but it was very poor at doing anything useful and I was very disappointed as it was a gift for someone else.

 

Anyway was wandering round Tesco’s the other day and spotted some of the new tablet’s theyve got in and had a bit of a look see – noticed the Archos 7″ unit @ £99 and the Archos 10″ unit at £150 – the 10″ unit looked quite nice – apart from it wouldn’t turn on, somebody, hopefully not the shop staff 😉 had plugged the power cord into the headphone socket, moved the power cable to the power in and read that it said hold power button for 10 secs to reboot, so thought I’d give it a go. After a VERY quick reboot had a bit of a play, seemed nice and nippy, but obviously didn’t have much loaded on it, it being a shop display model, so I pulled my memory stick out and plugged it in, one of the benefits of this unit, not seen on many tablets, is it’s standard USB port. Displayed pictures from memory stick really well and played moves really nicely. So after we finished shopping and got back home had a look round at some reviews on the internet, an updated firmware had been posted on the Archos website just a few days ago, showing to me that there still working on / developing the unit, didn’t find anything to bad about the unit, so I went back to the store and bought one. When I got it home and started setting it up the same unit was advertised on TV by HMV £20 quid cheaper, but I was so impressed with what I had bought that I wasn’t upset by the advert, I have since confirmed in the LOCAL HMV store that the unit is in fact cheaper and in stock – c’est la vie. Two current items that I’m a little concerned about are (i) the bottom of the touch screen doesn’t seem very sensitive, which can be a pain when touch typing (ii) The unit doesn’t always show 100% charged when it stops charging – but the battery when charged lasts for ages, maybe it’s just one of those things ? The unit has a high def screen and a 3d graphics processor and it really shows with many games like TANK HERO, FRUIT NINJA, PYXIDIS and the games play really well, no lag at all playing ANGRY BIRDS SEASONS the 1ghz processor really helping, unlike when playing on the WILDFIRE smartphone and its 600 mhz processors, Angry Birds running slow and laggy on this platform.

Initially the amount of APP’s available for download is limited by the bespoke marketplace (WHY, I don’t understand) http://www.appslib.com , but having a dig around I discovered ARCTOOLS which enables the download and installation of GOOGLE MARKETPLACE V3.026 enabling the downloading of LOADS of stuff from the GOOGLE MARKETPLACE.

 

I also, like the built in Photo Frame application, it can connect directly to your Facebook and use your photos from Facebook.

 

Tried to use TWEETDECK, but I’ve replaced it with the far better implemented PLUME to keep abreast of what’s happening on TWITTER.

 

Anyway, I know there’s loads of tablets out there, but picking one up and using it in the shop and being able to connect a memory stick into it with personal files on it was great to see how it performed in the real world. Somethings are great bought online, but others like shoes 😉 are better bought from bricks and mortar shop.

Archos 101 Android tablet – so impressed I had to write about it

 

 

 

 

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