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Archos 80 Titanium review

Cheap and cheerful iPad clone

Media is where the Archos 80 Titanium behaves less like 'any Android gadget' and begins to deliver an Archos-centric experience.

Part of the Archos Media Center software suite, the Archos 80 Titanium includes both Archos Movies and Archos Music.

Movies

As a platform to play videos, Archos Movies is far superior to the vanilla Android experience, though still not the polished experience it could be.

File format support wasn't as wide as we had expected, with no support for MKV HD files, though tests with AVI, MP4, MOV, WMV and WMV HD files were all successful. The audio within sample AVC HD files we used wasn't supported, though.

There are three ways to watch natively 21:9 video in Archos Video - either as it comes, zoomed in slightly (both of these options put black bars top and bottom) or zoomed in full-screen, which cuts off the edges.

Archos 80 Titanium review

We also noticed that by touching the screen during video playback, only controls associated with the app itself were reachable, with the core Android controls in the bottom left-hand corner appearing only fleetingly, and unpredictably. That hard Home button therefore did prove very useful after all.

The quality of video playback, however, is mostly excellent. Contrast is good, colours are well saturated and HD detail is high, though we did notice a slight emptiness to black areas of the image, along with some blur during fast-moving sequences. The viewing angle was wider than we'd expected during our generally very enjoyable video test.

Music

The Archos Music app is also far better than the vanilla Android experience, although once again the file format support is only mildly impressive.

Lossless FLAC music files are supported, as are MP3 and M4A files, but little else. The presentation of cover art in a carousel, file lists and sorting by album, artist and many other divisions is dynamic and thoroughly impressive.

In both the Archos Music and Archos Video services we managed to stream from an iMac sporting UPnP software.

Archos 80 Titanium review

So it's a shame that both music and movies are hampered somewhat by poor sound. The Archos 80 Titanium's mono speaker, which is housed on the back panel near the bottom - beside a huge Archos logo, the model name, and an HDMI logo - is pretty ropey.

That problem remains with headphones attached, sadly, with thin, weedy and bass-less sound that lacks in the mid-range, too. Sadly, there's no way to change the parameters of audio.

Books

There is no native support on Android tablets for ebooks of any format, though there are myriad app choices on the Google Play Store, such as Ebook Reader or the dedicated Kindle or Kobo apps if you have an account or similarly-branded device.

Archos 80 Titanium review

However, even after we downloaded one of these, we tried emailing a DRM-free ePub file to a Gmail account, but couldn't get the Archos 80 Titanium to open it as an attachment - despite it now having the correct software/apps installed.

It wasn't quite the joined-up experience we'd hoped for, then, though it's likely a problem with Android, rather than Archos.

Apps and games

The Archos 80 Titanium offers full, unrestricted to Google Play, and it's also possible to load up apps from other sources. However, there are a few bonuses and pre-installed apps that Archos has curated.

Archos 80 Titanium review

As well as the likes of Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Google+, Streetview, Google Play Books / Magazines / Music / Movies and Google Calendar, Archos has also proved Archos Music, Archos Video, Archos File manager and Archos System Monitor.

However, the classiest extra is Mobile Systems' OfficeSuite 6, which is a collection of word processing and spreadsheet viewing applications.

Upon first launch, we were taken to a website, then linked to Google Play, where the latest version 7 downloaded for free.

Archos 80 Titanium review

It's nothing special - just a document reader and sharer - but it does come with Brief Me (a free social media dashboard), free news app News Republic and the World of Goo game, worth 65p ($0.99).

Either way, you'll need to upgrade to the Pro version for £9.65 (around $14.50) if you want to partake in some serious word processing and spreadsheet creation and editing.

Archos 80 Titanium review

For test purposes we downloaded Angry Birds and the massive CSR Racing. We found that gameplay was smooth, with no jitters, delays or freeze-ups.

One thing we did notice, though, was that when the Archos 80 Titanium was busy updating apps - something we set it to do without seeking permission first - the stability of the entire operating system was seriously threatened, with frequent app crashes and an inability to get online in Gmail and YouTube. It all returns to normal afterwards, but perhaps it's best not to permit auto-updates.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity8 GB
Processor ManufacturerARM
Graphics Controller ManufacturerARM
Graphics Controller ModelMali 400
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
HDMIYes
Product FamilyElements
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
Operating SystemAndroid 4.1 Jelly Bean
Brand NameArchos
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCortex A9
Screen Size20.3 cm (8")
Screen Resolution1024 x 768
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)440 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
Height9.9 mm
Width200 mm
Depth154 mm
Screen ModeXGA
ManufacturerArchos Technology
Product Model80 TITANIUM
Product NameElements 80 TITANIUM Tablet
Product LineElements
Aspect Ratio4:3
Manufacturer Part Number502357
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.archos.com
Marketing InformationThe 1024 x 768 resolution of the ARCHOS 80 Titanium means that you will see every detail of your pictures and videos. Thanks to IPS technology the ARCHOS 80 Titanium has extra wide viewing angles to make sure that you can share your tablet experience in every situation with sharp, truly vivid colors.

Because it's got a mini-HDMI port, you can plug your ARCHOS 80 Titaniuminto your HDTV to experience the complete Android™ interface on your TV. Great for watching videos or sharing that gaming session on the big screen.
Package Contents
  • Elements 80 TITANIUM Tablet
  • AC Adapter