I have collected Archos Tablets for some time, and this post will hopefully be some help to anyone considering buying one of the earlier Tablets, many of which are still available at very low prices, and despite running older versions of Android are very functional.
In the main this post will deal with Gen8 and Gen 9 devices, but the final section 'THE USEFUL' is relevant to almost all genres.
I will deal with 'THE GOOD' first.
Despite some bad reveiws, Archos have produced many fine Tablets. In particular those with internal 250gb hard drives. The A70, A80 (Gen 9), and 101 (Gen 9) are excellent tablets. The latter two also having the benefit of a full sized USB socket, and the ability to connect via 3G using the Archos dongle (if you can find one). For multimedia use, having 250gb of storage is of course fantastic.
Although these Tablets come in other, non hard drive, versions, despite them being slightly slimmer and lighter they only charge via the mini USB port, whereas the Hard Drive versions, charge via a dedicated socket.
Sadly Archos moved away from devices with internal hard drives, no doubt to compete in the 'slim Tablet' market.
Earlier generations had even bigger hard drives, but these are not easilly available, and run much older versions of Android.
So if you are on a tight budget, or just want a Tablet that can store lots of video and/or music, these are a great buy.
PROBLEMS CAUSED BY BATTERY/CHARGING
Many now are being sold as 'refurbished' customer returns, and in 'THE BAD' section I will explain the main reason why these Tablets were often considered 'dead on arrival', when in fact they were 100% functional.
Archos Tablets (and many other manufacturers) have what I consider to be some POWER related design faults. If the internal battery is 'flat' then the Tablet will not turn on even when the power cable is connected.
I am sure that in many cases this is why many of these Tablets have been written off as dead.
It can take an hour or more of charging before the Tablets shows any sign of life.
In addition, the Tablets will drain down to 0%, when not on charge, even when supposedly completely 'switched off'.
In reality this meant that even NEW Tablets, often appeared dead on arrival, even after 30 minutes or
more on charge.
The other design flaw is that the power socket ONLY charges the battery, it does not provide any power to the Tablet at all.
So if you have an Archos Tablet it is important to keep the battery charged regularly.
The really annoying thing is that the batteries cannot be replaced, or at least not unless you are prepared to dismantle the Tablet, and have the electronic expertise to do it. Since Archos will NOT supply new batteries, that makes things more problematical, and to make it even worse even if you manage to obtain a Lithium battery that will fit, its charging circuit will not be compatible with the Tablet.
Archos are not alone in this approach. Having said that my Tablet's batteries are still going strong,
after several years of use.
FULL SIZE USB SOCKET
The full size USB socket available on the rear of the Gen9 and 101 models were designed to 'slide'
in and out. The internal connection is however very flimsy, and often breaks. The easiest way of preventing this is to carefully use superglue to stop the socket sliding out. It will still be functional.
Finally I must say that although others may dispute this, I have found Archos support appalling. They will NOT repair any Tablet. They will NOT supply any spares. If it is in guarantee they replace it. In my case with another defective device, and then with an inferior model, AND you have to return the device at your own expense.
Their Site is set up to automatically reject any personal email requests for support, and you have to be very lucky to 'talk to' anyone there. Even if you do, even when you send a reply to a query of theirs, the email is rejected.
AS A MULTIMEDIA DEVICE
If you want to pick up a very good Tablet at a low price, then at present it is worth considering the
Tablets I mentioned above. I have converted many videos to DivX (very small file size), and these play very well on the Tablets, and with a 250gb hard drive you can store hundreds of them, and they look great on small screens. The Android versions available on the Tablets are still fine for most Apps.
The supplied Archos Video App is very good, and plays many different file types. It also allows you to connect to LAN based storage.
CHARGING THE BATTERY
The chances are that even if you manage to buy one of these Tablets as 'new' the battery will be flat. Even if you buy one as 'non booting', then it may well just be the flat battery problem and may be worth a gamble.
Always, always charge the Tablet for at least 2 hours when it arrives, and after that keep the battery topped up regularly.
On the matter of battery charging, and this applies to many Archos models, if you look in the 'About/Status' section to check your battery percentage as it charges, the information it gives is often incorrect. You only get an accurate figure AFTER you remove the charging cable.
No doubt much of the above has been covered in other posts, if you have the time to find them.
Hopefully my thoughts may be useful to some of you, and while Gen 9 Archos Tablets in particular
are being sold off at 'silly' prices, they merit a lot of consideration.