The Archos 70 internet tablet is a middle of the road Honeycomb affair with a design that hardly sets our hearts alight. But, its tiny appearance and price is enticing.
Touted as the first Android Honeycomb tablet available under £180, the 70 internet tablet positions itself as a media device more than anything.
Its 7-inch size and solid battery life mean this could be just the right device for watching a movie during tedious bus journeys and lengthy airport delays.
The glossy, brushed-metal body is a magnet for fingerprints, but the built-in kickstand at the back is a winner. Pull it out and the device stands all by itself, allowing you to kick back and enjoy a video or album - why haven't we seen this on other media tablets?
The 70 internet tablet's higher resolution capacitive screen is a big selling point, stepping up the pixel count from 800 x 400 on the original Archos 70 to 1,024 x 600.
Just like Honey
Honeycomb is a step up from the Gingerbread OS that dominates sub-£200 tablets. Google designed this version specifically for tablets - and it shows. You get five home screens to fill with widgets and apps as well as the option to customise background, sounds and layout.
Although the 8GB of on-board storage limits the amount of media you can load onto the 70, there's a built-in MicroSD card slot for bulking it up.
An ARM Cortex A8 processor running at 1.2GHz and supported by 512MB of RAM is nestled inside. These specs are enough to produce a reliable, if not lightning-fast, experience. There are hints of lag when moving between homescreens or opening applications but we never experienced a freeze.
Given the pocket-friendly size, connectivity is limited to a Mini-USB and Mini-HDMI ports, along with the aforementioned MicroSD card slot. On the wireless side of things you've got 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
At around half the price of tablets like the new iPad or Samsung Galaxy 10.1, performance is what we'd expect here - up to the basics, but not much beyond.
The 70 internet tablet's Lithium Polymer battery stood up well to scrutiny, lasting the best part of a day during casual usage - browsing the web, tapping out the occasional email and playing music. When we looped some high-definition footage, the 70 internet tablet ran for 206 minutes before giving out. This isn't a bad score and combined with the portability of the smaller size, makes it actually a very good option for regular commuters or travellers.
Given its size and price, the Archos 70 internet tablet could be a neat purchase for anyone regularly travelling or on a budget. But, thanks to performance foibles, we'd suggest this as a secondary device rather than a first choice machine.