The Archos 32 is the first of five new Android tablets from Archos to hit the streets. This model runs $149.99 and it’s probably best to think of the Archos 32 is a souped up portable media player that can run Android apps rather than a full-fledged Android tablet.
Archos sent me a demo unit to review, and while I’m going to reserve final judgment until I’ve had more time to put the little guy through the paces, here are a few initial thoughts:
- The resistive touchscreen is pretty responsive, but it’s still tough to enter text with a fingertip. You’re better off using a fingernail, and I found that accuracy improved significantly after I ran the screen calibration tool.
- I was a bit surprised to notice that there’s no built-in speaker, because the Archos 5 Internet Tablet I reviewed earlier this year had one, but the Archos 32 is a much smaller device.
- It takes a bit longer than I would expect for the screen to shift from portrait to landscape mode when you tilt the display, but the accelerometer seems to work quite well for controlling games.
- Archos includes custom audio and video players which are quite nice, as well as media playback widgets for the Home Screen that make it easy to switch audio tracks, pause playback, or make other changes by swiping the Home Screen until you hit the appropriate widget without having to pull down and Android notification bar.
- While the Archos 32 supports pumping audio and video out to a TV, you’ll need to purchase an A/V cable which will be sold separately.
- There’s a basic equalizer built into the Audio Settings menu, which is something not included in the stock Android user interface.
- There’s a tool that lets you tether the Archos 32 to a cellphone via USB or Bluetooth to share an internet connection, since the tablet supports WiFi and Bluetooth even though it doesn’t have its own 3G modem.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more on the Archos 32 Internet Tablet as I spend more time with the device.
You can check out an unboxing and first look video after the break, complete with cameo appearances by the Google Nexus One and the 4th Gen iPod touch.