However, there are plenty of benefits to using a smartphone OS and a colour display. It uses a 7in LCD display, has a plastic body and sports two hinged side buttons to flip through pages in the built-in reader app. The only side of the reader with any sockets is its bottom, which is home to the full-size SD card slot, power socket, mini USB slot, 3. The speaker ports sit on the back of the device, as does the pin-sized reset button, useful should Android software gremlins take hold.
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However, there are plenty of benefits to using a smartphone OS and a colour display. It uses a 7in LCD display, has a plastic body and sports two hinged side buttons to flip through pages in the built-in reader app. The only side of the reader with any sockets is its bottom, which is home to the full-size SD card slot, power socket, mini USB slot, 3.
The speaker ports sit on the back of the device, as does the pin-sized reset button, useful should Android software gremlins take hold. Give the 70B a squeeze between thumb and forefinger and it groans as the plastic plates that make up its body creak.
Flex it between two hands and it feels as though tiny tectonic plates are grinding over each other uneasily. Archos claims the 70B lasts for around eight hours, and our tests back this figure up.
We watched around two and a half hours of video and still had enough juice for several more hours of web searching and ebook reading. At the top of the screen are four shortcut icons, for the Video, Music and Photo apps plus the browser.
Below this are the History and My Library ereader tabs, intended to be the main route to your ebook library. You can tap on the title of either to get a full-screen view or scroll through your library of books direct from the widget, tapping on and opening the book you want when you encounter the icon. Do we really need home screen access to our whole ebook library from the homepage? As there are just two page-turning hardware buttons, Archos also uses a touch navbar for basic navigation.
After all, it comes with the perfect pen partner, a built-in Sudoku game. Additional apps like this are accessed using a menu pulled up from the bottom of the home screen. Compared to the full Android Market, Applib only offers a tiny selection of apps, but several of our Android favourites are there. TuneIn Radio will turn your eReader into an internet radio, the RealPlayer app has a slightly snazzier interface than the built-in media player and the paid-for OfficeSuite Pro lets you edit Microsoft Office docs.
There are also several unofficial Youtube and Facebook apps, although no official ones. And no, Angry Birds is not yet available for this tablet from Applib. You can expand upon this using SD cards. With a MHz processor, this tablet has roughly the same power as a mid- or low-end Android smartphone. The Archos 70B is dubbed an ebook reader, but is it any good for reading on? For short bouts of reading, this tablet performs well. Turning pages is quicker than most dedicated ereaders, changing font size is easy and there are five font sizes available — enough for all but those with severe issues reading close-up.
E Ink screens are used in most dedicated ereaders for good reason. Over time these advantages result in less eyestrain and just generally a nicer reading experience. Whether or not you suffer from eyestrain following prolonged usage of an LCD display, the Archos 70B is still let down a little by the quality of its screen. Its powers surpass almost all big-screen Android smartphones, and codec support is comparable to the Samsung Galaxy Tab — although with a faster processor that tablet can cope with much higher-quality video.
The 70b is versatile, but as when reading an ebook the screen quality is an issue. Once tilted in this way, brightness is severely diminished and detail in darker parts of the image is lost almost completely. Transferring files over USB is slow, although you can side-step this issue by loading your content directly onto an SD card. For casual browsing, the sharpness issue we noted when using the 70B as an ereader was no problem.
Next to an iPad, browsing the net on this device feels clumsy and slow. Verdict Casting judgement on the Archos 70B is tricky. After all, it is a fifth the price of more premium tablets. We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer — a sort of automated referral fee — but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process.
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Archos 70b eReader Review
Access to Google Play store Against Sluggish performance, including terribly slow accelerometer Short battery life Inconsistent Wi-Fi performance Runs hot Archos has been in the tablet game for a while now, and its latest 7-inch slate, the 70b, looks to challenge market leaders such as the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet. The device also has a powerful set of speakers and a built-in kickstand. Is this tablet really a bargain? Design Click to EnlargeLike other Archos tablets, the 70b is dark gray in color, with a black brushed metal bezel surrounding its 7-inch touch screen.
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