Archos 7HT v2, 8gb
Purchased on Amazon
Received my Archos on March 7th, 2011
INFO ON THE REVIEWIER: Because people buy these devices for various reason, I thought IÔÇÖd give you some background on my motivations for buying a tablet in the first place. I travel the world a lot and about 6 years ago I purchased what, at the time, was an amazing personal media player: The COWON A2. It held 30 gigs of memory, utilized a drag and drop scheme as opposed to Apples horrible (in my opinion) iTunes scheme, read e-text, had built in radio and recorder, and also had a battery that lasted 6 hours watching movies. It played nearly any format around at the time (again, unlike apple) and was a drag and drop scheme. It also had a <GASP> 4 inch screen which at the time was about as big as you could get it. Since I usually fly around the world, I spend upwards of 14 hours on a plane just getting from one place to another, so the A2 really fit the bill. Well, that was 6 years ago, and even though its been around the world with me three times over, it was time to upgrade due to a failing headphone jack (that a friend soldered for me a year ago when it first went out) and antiquated hardware/functionality (no wifi). I dislike Apple due to their proprietary cables and iTunes, plus I donÔÇÖt have much money to spend (I used it all on travel lol), so I was looking for something around $150.00 US dollars. I am ALSO visually impaired and therefore need at LEAST a 6 or 7 inch screen if IÔÇÖm going to be able to view the content. I decided to give the Achros 7 HTv2 a try, and have so far had a mixed reaction.
FIRST IMPRESSION: When I first turned the unit on, I was disappointed to see how basic it was: the touch screen was finicky, there werenÔÇÖt many apps, and there was no market. I knew all of this when I bought it, but I also knew an active community of hackers and modders were diligently working on new image files, so I got what I expected. It fit nice in my hands, and the most impressive thing right of the bat that I noticed was its great display. Other units I looked at, while all displaying at DVD quality, did not compare to the AchrosÔÇÖs display. Being visually impaired, crispness in the image is very important to me, otherwise it all melds together and I canÔÇÖt ÔÇ£seeÔÇØ it. This isnÔÇÖt so much a problem on the home screen because thatÔÇÖs smooth and crisp all the timeÔÇª.but crispness and sharpness are also important when im watching movies, and WOW did the Archos blow me out of the water when I ran one of its HD sample movies.
THE GOOD (part 1): The screen and video quality are great. ItÔÇÖs the perfect size; not too bulky, not too small either. I can fit it inside a jacket pocket, in a back pocket, or carry it around easily. The touch screen, after some tweaking (read in THE BAD section), is surprisingly nimble and smooth (well, as smooth as a resistive can get at any rate). Perhaps the best thing about the Archos 7 htv2 is the community of modders that have developed ways to make the archos 7 what it should have been from the get go. More on this later.
The Bad: Why oh why did archos decide to use a mini USB connector instead of the full sized USB that units such as the COBY Kyros utilize? There may be some perfectly reasonable explanation that is beyond my technical understanding, but this definitely counts as a BAD. In order to hook up any USB device, you have to find a female/female connector. Is this a huge deal breaker? NoÔÇª.but again, for someone who travels a lot and in my case canÔÇÖt see very well, thatÔÇÖs just another cable to carry around (and another cable to get lost).
Appslib. Really?? Again, IÔÇÖm new to android and to Archos, so there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation for why market does not appear on most tablets (including the Archos HT v2) so this is just a general gripe perhaps not specific to the Archos. However, this gripe is quickly resolved (see GOOD 2).
The heat that comes from the back of the unit is more intense than I thought it would be. It DOES get surprisingly hot. IÔÇÖm not sure if thatÔÇÖs the battery or a result of the screen. It took abiout 15 minutes turned off for the unit to return to room temperature.
Finally, although I donÔÇÖt have any other tablet to compare it to, it seems the power cord is haphazardly designed. I can easily see it breaking off inside the unit if it gets pushed or shoved the wrong way. This may be a standard design on tablets, but IÔÇÖd love to see a different design, perhaps an L shaped power cord that fits flush against the unit as opposed to jutting out like the current power cord does.
GOOD (part 2): Ok, back to the good, because most of my gripes specific to the Archos are resolved through utilizing images created by the community found right here in these forums. First off, a BIG THANK YOU to all the folks diligently working on improving the archos, and for that matter sharing your work with the rest of the world at no charge. Because of you folks:
I now have froyo running on my rooted Archos, which includes Marketplace.
Flash, youtube, etc. are now accessible to me.
Maybe itÔÇÖ my imagination, but after upgrading to froyo (also did the arhocs update as well)my touch screen is super smooth
ItÔÇÖs relatively difficult to ÔÇ£brickÔÇØ. I know some folks might disagree with me, and I myself was stuck trying to get my computer to recognize the unit after I toyed with itÔÇª.but it still worked even though it wasnÔÇÖt recognized and once I figured out what was wrong and realized how simple the solution was, I felt much more confident in playing with it further. I have yet to stumble across a post on this forum of someone who has truly ÔÇ£brickedÔÇØ their Archos (IÔÇÖm talking about the average or novice user like myselfÔÇª.people who are actually writing their own code and images may have a different experience than what I am talking about). On the other hand, my wife has bricked her iPod and IÔÇÖve stumbled across numerous posts where iPod users have done the same.
CONCLUSION: I really like my Archos now that I have rooted custom firmware installed that gives me access to everything the Archos really should have provided in the first place. Keeping in mind that its one of the cheaper tablets out there, I think now that itÔÇÖs froyoÔÇÖd and completely customizable, it is COMPLETELY worth the money I spent on it(and then some), and a GREAT unit. BUTÔÇªfor those who have no technical savvy or who donÔÇÖt like to mess with devices, IÔÇÖm not sure I would recommend this to them at all. In fact, if it wasnÔÇÖt for the community here, I probably would have returned this unit for something more customizable and functional.