Up until recently, Apple has had very little to deal with in terms of mainstream budget competition for their iPad. The most recent addition to the market is the Dell Streak which, at almost half the size, is more often seen as a smartphone than an iPad substitute.
When ARCHOS approached me with their ARCHOS 8 Home tablet, I was initially dubious. The gadget looks more like a digital photo frame then a touch screen tablet, however they assured me that although it does double as a showcase for your favourite images, it also boasts far more browsing and entertainment features.
Plus it retails at £129.99.
Got your attention now? Excellent, read on for my review.
The ARCHOS 8 Home Tablet gets its name from the 8-inch screen, slightly smaller than the 9.7-inch screen of the iPad. It weighs in at only 400g, which makes it a lightweight alternative to a netbook. Running on an Android system, the user has the opportunity to pick and choose from an assortment of apps for your surfing pleasure.
The tablet can be used upright on a table using the inclusive kickstand, or as a handheld gadget for checking Facebook whilst watching Doctor Who reruns. You won’t be able to create documents or do anything more complicated then check up on Twitter, but what more do you expect for £130?
Budget browsing and entertainment
I’ve tested it out for a few days and there are a few aspects I really like. Reading ebooks is a joy, connecting to wi-fi and surfing is, in general, a smooth process, and slideshows and videos are fairly high quality. However, webpages are displayed in mobile format, which can be irritating on sites like YouTube when you want to search for something specific or require more advanced options.
Pros and Cons
Wins points for:
- Being quick and easy to set up.
- Responsive touch screen.
- Ideal for casual surfing and for use as an ebook reader. The makers also suggest it’s great as an interactive cookbook (similar to the format of the Dishy iPhone app we reviewed last year)
- Price. At an RRP of £129.99, it’s a fraction of the price of an iPad.
Loses points for:
Digital photo frame appearance, slightly tacky.
Not particularly transportable (check out the ARCHOS 7 for a more portable option)
A minuscule 4 GB for the £129.99
Whilst it lacks many of the extensive features of the iPad, it offers a decent budget alternative for your browsing and viewing needs. It’s actually cheaper than the Kindle reader, so if you’re considering buying an eReader, this might be a suitable option with extra features.