The Archos 70 Titanium 7-inch Android 4.1 Jelly Bean based tablet has been announced earlier this year as the cheapest model in the new Titanium lineup. Widely available currently in Europe for around 119 Euros and rarely found in stores in the US for about $130, the Archos 70 Titanium offers much more than the army of Android tablets selling for under $100.
Here are its highlights, which can’t be seen too often on average sub-$100 tablets.
- Dual-core processor: The 70 Titanium sports a dual-core Rockchip RK3066 CPU at 1.6GHz, based on two ARM Cortex A9 cores and four Mali 400 graphics cores.
- IPS screen technology: It delivers wider-than-average viewing angles.
- 1GB RAM: Double the amount of RAM on usual cheaper alternatives.
- HDMI: The tablet has a mini HDMI video output, which is a rare feature on the budget tablets.
- Aluminum lid: Its lid and sides are made of aluminum, with matte silver coating.
- Google Play: The device is Google Play compatible, making it easy to download apps without neeed for third party app stores. Many of the affordable tablets don’t have Google Play access.
Other important but common features are:
- 1024 x 600 screen resolution
- capacitive 5-point multi-touch input
- 8GB of internal memory
- microSD card slot for storage expansion up to additional 32GB
- front VGA (0.3MP) webcam
- single speaker
- Lithium-Polymer battery
The device weighs 0.62 pounds and is 0.33″ thick.
However, Archos’ new entry tablet has more serious competition in form of the tablets such as the $150 HP Slate 7 and Asus MemoPad 7 ME172V-A1, but even against them the Archos doesn’t lag behind and leads in some aspects.
Let’s take a look at the comparison table below.
|Archos 70 Titanium||HP Slate 7||Asus MemoPad 7 (ME172V-A1)|
|Display||7″ 1024×600 pixels, 160 dpi, capacitive multi-touch||7″ 1024×600 pixels, 160 dpi, capacitive multi-touch||7″ 1024×600 pixels, 160 dpi, capacitive multi-touch|
|Processor||Dual-Core 1.6GHz, ARM Cortex A9 / Rockchip RK3066, Mali 400 Quad-Core Graphics||Dual-Core 1.6GHz, ARM Cortex A9 / Rockchip RK3066, Mali 400 Quad-Core Graphics||Single-Core 1GHz, ARM Cortex A9 / VIA WM8950, Mali 400 Graphics|
|microSD||up to 32GB||up to 32GB||up to 32GB|
|Cameras||Front VGA 0.3MP||Front VGA 0.3MP, Rear 3MP||Front 1MP|
|Speakers||Mono||Stereo, Beats Audio||Mono|
|Battery||Lithium Polymer||Lithium Ion||Lithium Polymer|
|Weight||0.62 lbs||0.82 lbs||0.79 lbs|
|Dimensions||7.8″ x 4.5″ x 0.33″||7.76″ x 4.56″ x 0.42″||7.72″ x 4.69″ x 0.44″|
|Android||4.1 Jelly Bean||4.1 Jelly Bean||4.1 Jelly Bean|
As you can see, the Archos 70 Titanium is very similar to the HP Slate 7 specs-wise. The former offers external display support thanks to the included HDMI port, whereas the main advantages of the Slate 7 are its back 3MP camera and stereo speakers versus a single speaker (more about its weakness later), so if you are an Instagram junkie and audio is important to you, the HP is the way to go. The Memo Pad 7 is better in terms of internal storage, thanks to 16GB capacity, and it’s more convenient for video chats because of the bigger 1MP camera versus 0.3MP. On the other side, the CPU is much better on the Archos and HP. Also, the Titanium 70 is the only model of the three with IPS screen technology, allowing ~180-degree viewing angles versus ~150-degree.
Design and Build Quality, Speakers, Webcam
Regarding design and build quality, the reviewed tablet looks pretty much appealing with white but fairly thick LCD bezels and matte silver-colored aluminum sides and lid. The slightly rounded lid has a big but unobtrusive Archos logo in the center of it. The back panel paint could have been more durable, because it has collected a couple of minor scratches after a couple of days of use, so putting it in a protective case is highly recommended. On the other side, the front is totally durable and it feels like Gorilla Glass. Archos doesn’t say anything about Gorilla Glass in the specs sheets, so the Titanium probably doesn’t have it, but it was impossible to easily create a scratch like on the lid.
Rounding up the exterior, all ports and slots are located on the right side in landscape. Beside the volume rocker, There’s an audio jack, microSD slot, mini HDMI, power connector, and a mini USB port.
The power on/off button is on the top in landscape.
The speaker holes, two of them, are located on the left side, but there’s actually only one speaker inside. Speaking of audio, this is the weakest point of the Titanium 70. The speaker is very under-powered and quieter than those found on many cell phones. Sound is a kind of flat, without clear high tones and without any bass. Watching movies or listening to music without headphones is possible only in the quietest environments and the speaker degrades video/audio chat experience a lot. Archos hasn’t included a pair of earphones with the tablet.
While we are at online chatting, the embedded VGA camera makes it possible, but without any sings of quality, especially in low light. In fact, it’s barely usable in a mildly dimm room in the evening and video is additionally choppy. That’s expected for a 0.3MP cam.
The bottom contains only the microphone hole.
In the next a couple of images you can see viewing angles of the IPS screen and picture quality. The picture is decently bright and well contrasted. However, it looks a little bit washed out when viewing from the left or right in landscape mode (black bar on Android interface becomes dark gray, for instance), but colors don’t invert like on the non-IPS LCD displays.
As expected, resolution of 1024×600 and 160 ppi pixel density are on the lower-end, so individual pixels are visible when you use the tablet from a normal distance from your eyes, especially if you have small fonts displayed on it.
The multi-touch panel is responsive and works good. We have encountered no problems with it.
Software, Gaming and Benchmarks
As mentioned earlier, this device runs Android 4.1 Jell Bean, a stock version of it. It does it very smoothly while sliding through the interface and menus. Web browsing is one of the most important tasks the average user throws at its tablet and the Titanium 70 delivers it in a mediocre way. While simple HTML pages containing text and images scroll smoothly and zoom in & out without a glitch, pages with embedded Flash elements such as YouTube videos and banner ads slow down browser use. On the other side, the built-in YouTube app gives excellently fluid experience, including video playback. While we are at video performance, 1080p full HD videos run effortlessly. Gaming is also fluid in games we tested, such as 3D titles Raging Thunder II and SG Dead Zone. You can take a look how at does the tablet run in the video on the end of this review.
For benchmarks, we have tested the tablet using Quadrant, Antutu, and Java Sunspider. Real world use and the benchmark results indicate that the included components offer far better user experience than with the common cheap single-core / 512MB tablets, as we saw in the AllWinner A13 review. On the other side, the tablet is still behind the $200 Nvidia Tegra 3-powered Google Nexus 7. Note: Antutu benchmark shows Titanium’s advantage over the Nexus’ in the graphics department, but keep in mind that this software uses a lower resolution for calculating graphics speed of the former.
Java Sunspider score is 1,784ms. For comparison, the AllWinner A13 completes the same benchmark in much slower 4,187ms, so the Rockchip RK3066 CPU adds true value to the Titanium 70.
The battery life lasted for 4 hours and 35 minutes in our test with web surfing as the main task (with about 15 minutes of YouTube videos played) and screen brightness set to 2/3. The screen was pretty much bright on that setting during daylight, so it can be lowered to 1/2 for even longer battery life, while still maintaining bright picture.
Here are the main “pros” and “cons”, to conclude this review:
- Decent overall performance.
- IPS display with wide viewing angles.
- HDMI port included.
- The most affordable 7″ tablet among well-known brands.
- Good battery life.
- Nice design.
- Weak speakers.
- Frail back panel coating.
- Webcam could have been better.
- Slow browsing of web pages with heavy Flash elements.
Finally, please take a look at the video showing the slate in quick unboxing and in action, including OS handling, web browsing, video playback, and gaming.