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Playing back movies on the machine itself is smooth, but we're not entirely sold on the screen. While most expensive tablets tend to use IPS panels, such screens are expensive, and so in order to hit that low price point, Archos has instead gone for a more traditional LCD TFT panel.
Cheaper tablets, such as the Hannspree Hannspad, tend to use budget TN panels, which suffer from appalling viewing angles. But there's none of that apparent here, even from extreme angles.
What there is, however, is a coarseness to the pixel pitch that doesn't sit quite so well with a tablet aimed at enjoying media. There's an underlying grid on the screen that, once seen, is really hard to ignore.
It knocks out the vibrant areas a little, but is most apparent in darker areas, where muddy greens and browns seem to win out if the source image is much more intense. Even if you're watching the machine at a relative distance (using the flimsy stand to hold the tablet at a comfortable viewing angle), it's still apparent.
If we're being picky, it would have been good to have a standard-sized USB port too, so that you could plug USB flash drives filled with media into it.
You can of course connect to your shared devices wirelessly, if you've been forward-thinking enough to set such things up. Plus, the micro USB charging cable enables you to transfer straight from a host PC, so it's not a great loss. Even so, given how most media players, Blu-ray players and even TVs boast USB ports these days, it is notable for its absence here.
This model is somewhat limited in the storage stakes, as well. Sure you can slide a microSD card in the waiting slot for an easy boost, but install a few applications on there (especially the larger 3D games, such as the aforementioned Dungeon Defenders), and you'll eat through what's left of the 8GB of storage.
There's a reason why most tablets boast at least 16GB, and that's before you start looking at the huge storage-gobbling media.
Sound on the whole is passable, if not particularly amazing. Long movie watching is better experienced through headphones, and the same goes for playing back music. If all you want to do is watch the odd YouTube video or listen to a bit of internet radio, though, it's adequate enough.
Battery life is good, managing five hours of use when playing back movies. Playing games will reduce this, while simple surfing should see this extended to as long as seven hours.
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