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Hands On: Archos 97 Titanium review

The 97 Titanium has its sights set on the iPad's crown

Our Early Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 2048 x 1536
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel

View full specification

For

  • Decent screen
  • Good price
  • Runs Jelly Bean

Against

  • Heavy
  • Lacks fluidity
  • Average cameras
  • Poor storage

The iPad has been a roaring success so unsurprisingly every manufacturer out there has looked to match Apple's tablet in terms of style, functionality and most importantly popularity.

The next young pretender to the iPad's crown comes in the form of the Archos 97 Titanium and after all the legal shenanigans with Samsung we're surprised this tablet bares so much of a resemblance to Apple's slate.

As with the smaller 80 Titanium, Archos has emblazoned the front of the 97 Titanium with its logo and a front facing camera positioned in the top corner in an attempt to give the tablet an air of originality.

Archos 97 Titanium review

The tablet itself looks relatively premium with the version we got our hands on actually the 97b Titanium – a plastic-rear clad variant destined for the US market, while Europe will be treated to the 97 Titanium, sporting a smarter aluminium rear.

Picking up the 97 Titanium we noticed it had quite a weight about it which made one-handed use a strain on the wrist, so you'll need to use both mitts or rest the tablet on your lap for extended periods of usage.

Archos 97 Titanium review

As the name suggests there's a 9.7-inch display present with boasts a Retina-like 2048x1536 Super HD IPS resolution, providing a bright and crisp image.

This meant that Android Jelly Bean looked impressive on the 97 Titanium's screen, and Archos has not meddled with Google's platform giving you full access to the highly flexible operating system.

Archos 97 Titanium review

With a 1.6GHz dual-core processor and quad-core GPU the Archos 97 Titanium is modestly powered, although Jelly Bean wasn't the slickest operation we'd experienced.

The tablet did take a second or so here and there to load what we had requested and while the 97 Titanium is still running a development build we were hoping for the performance to come close to that of the iPad.

Archos 97 Titanium review

We found that the screen often got confused when it came to rotating, with us going from portrait to landscape sometimes leading to the screen being upside down.

This is something we hope gets fixed before it goes on sale next month, as it would be highly frustrating for any user if it doesn't.

Archos 97 Titanium review

Of course video playback on the 9.7-inch Super HD IPS display is impressive with vibrant colours and a high level of detail, and the dual speakers round the back of the 97 Titanium produce a decent audio volume although it's not the crispest sound.

The 97 Titanium release date will be before March this year, while its price is an exceedingly competitive £199/$249 (around AU$300) which makes it far more affordable than the iPad 4 to which Archos believes it rivals.

Archos 97 Titanium review

This is the only price band for the Archos 97 Titanium as it's only available in its 8GB, Wi-Fi only guise – a big disappointment for anyone who likes a large amount of storage in their tablet or the ability to access the web on the move.

An ace up the 97 Titanium's sleeve though is the inclusion a microSD port allowing you to build on the pitful storage inside – something a lot of 10-inch tablets don't support these days.

Archos 97 Titanium review

Archos has also provided metal power/lock and volume keys on the 97 Titanium it give it more of a premium look and feel, setting it apart from the plastic buttons found on the smaller 70 Titanium and 80 Titanium.

The Archos 97 Titanium provides a dual camera offering with a 2MP lens on its rear and a VGA snapper on the front.

Archos 97 Titanium review

The camera app and shutter speed are not particularly quick, but at least the system is intuitive thanks to the stock Android software in play.

As you'd expect from a 2MP camera image quality isn't great but the Archos 97 Titanium isn't a device made for taking pictures, it just has cameras to tick another box on the spec sheet.

Archos 97 Titanium review

Early Verdict

Archos want the 97 Titanium to be seen as an iPad on a shoe-string and while it does have a decent display the overall experience left us a bit empty.

Sure it's got the various bells and whistles of most tablets these days but it lacked the polish of Apple's creations and other Android tablets are faster, smoother and feel nicer in the hand.

The price point is certainly competitive and you get a decent chunk of tablet for your money, but if you're looking for something which is going to rival the iPad then you've come to the wrong place.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Green CompliantYes
Flash Memory Capacity8 GB
Processor ManufacturerARM
Graphics Controller ManufacturerARM
Graphics Controller ModelMali-400 MP
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
HDMIYes
Product FamilyElements
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
ColourAluminium
Operating SystemAndroid 4.1 Jelly Bean
Brand NameArchos
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCortex A9
Screen Size24.6 cm (9.7")
Screen Resolution2048 x 1536
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)640 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Height9 mm
Width240 mm
Depth184 mm
Screen ModeQXGA
ManufacturerArchos Technology
Product Model97 Titanium HD
Product NameElements 97 Titanium HD Tablet
Product LineElements
Aspect Ratio4:3
Manufacturer Part Number502352
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.archos.com
Marketing InformationIntroducing the ARCHOS 97 Titanium HD, with its super HD screen, dual-core processor and complete access to the Google Play store and Google apps.

Design

The ARCHOS 97 Titanium HD features a 9.7 inch super HD (2048 x 1536 pixel) screen so your Android experience will never look better.


Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean"

Running Android 4.1, "Jelly Bean," the ARCHOS 97 Titanium HD has full access to apps, games, and more on Google Play™ as well as the full suite of Google™ apps.

Package Contents
  • Elements 97 Titanium HD Tablet
  • AC Adapter
  • USB Cable
  • Documentation