Archos' awkward answer to home automationClunky design defines the Archos $250 Smart Home Starter Pack.
Hey, I'm Megan Wollerton for CNET here with a review of the Archos Smart Home starter pack. It includes this Android tablet, two mini cameras, two weather tags, and two movement tags. You can place the accessories around your house and pair it to the tablet using bluetooth. You can also program the accessories to say, if the store opens, then take a picture or record video and you can also opt to receive emails or push notifications when an activity event occurs. So let me start with the good stuff. The set up was pretty straightforward, pairing it to the tablet was very simple, and the performance is pretty good too. I never lost connection between the devices and the tablet. And, I got an alert every time an event took place. My main concern is with the execution with this whole package. The Argos tablet is really the hub of the whole system, and it claims to function like a regular android tablet, which it does in terms of software. It has all the components, you can check your email, browse the internet, listen to music, all of that. But, it has this odd stand in the back. They're taking a basic Arcos, android tablet, and giving it all of these smart home features, and the execution just feels really, really clunky and confusing, because the whole point of a tablet is its mobility, right, you can take it from room to room maybe even take it on a trip with you. But using this tablet as the core component that has to stay at home, and really can't leave your side table, or your coffee table is really confusing. So, I just wish that Arkose would offer these accessories separately for a more entry level option that makes a little bit more sense. That way you can use the Android app on your tablet, or phone. And access everything the way you can now, just without this odd, stationary tablet. Another thing I don't like, is, that the app has two different connection options. One if you're on your home Wi-Fi, where the, tablet is located. And another if you're on a remote connection. So, if youre heading out for the day and want to monitor whats going on at your house on the app., you have to go through a completely connection process than you would when youre at home. And that really just over complicates things. Thanks for watching this review of the Archos Smart Home starter pack. I'm Megan Wollerton for CNET. [MUSIC]