CNET First Look
Archos 70The Archos 70 Android tablet offers more horsepower and features than any other tablet under $300, but its limitations make it more of a toy than a tool.
Hey, I'm Donald Bell and today we're taking a first look at the Archos 70. This is a 7-inch Android tablet, priced around $275 for an 8-gigabyte model. There's also a 250-gigabyte model for an extra $50. Normally, when I see tablets at this price, they're pretty horrible, but the Archos 70 has a lot going for it. The touchscreen is relatively responsive, there's a VGA camera on the front for photos and video, and on the side here, you have a micro SD memory expansion slot, an HDMI output that will mirror the screen on to an HD TV and crank out 720p video. On the downside, the construction quality feels pretty cheap, although you have to admire how thin they've been able to make this. It's running Android 2.2 which is somewhat antique at this point and there's no support for Google's suite of mobile apps including maps, GMail, and most importantly, Android Market. Archos has their own app store on here but the selection is pretty thin. There's a kickstand on the back which is cool, except that it's really flimsy and the screen's viewing angles are decent but not great. There's tons of video format support but unless you're running it out to a TV, you're stuck watching it on the screen's 800 X 480 resolution. If you're the tinkering type, there's a community of Android and Archos fans out there that will help you tweak and customize this thing, but there's nothing that will magically turn it into a dual-core Honeycomb tablet. Still, the price is right, and if your expectations are humble, you can have a lot of fun with this thing, so that's the Archos 70 Android Tablet. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell.