Archos 32 Internet Tablet [Review][HD]With there now being five (oh yes, five!) Archos Android Internet Tablets on the market, it's understandably hard to keep 'em all straight, but in our minds the 32 is easy to separate from the rest -- it, along with the 28, is more of an Android PMP than anything else. With 3.2 inches of resistive touchscreen, the 32 packs the specs of a typical media player: 8GB of storage, media player software with support for loads of audio and video formats, and a VGA camera. But unlike most, it runs Android 2.1 (2.2 will be a firmware update, we're told), which adds quite a bit more functionality in terms of applications and web browsing. And it's also got an accelerometer for playing games. At $150, it seems like a pretty good deal, especially when you consider that it's cheaper than an iPod Touch or even a Zune HD (depending on where you're shopping), but there are a few issues that may hold you back from forking over the cash. You'll want to check out our full review after the break to find out just what those are.
Look and feel
When powered off, the Archos 32 looks like the company's typical music player -- it's primarily crafted of black plastic, though the back is made of some sort of brushed metal. However for weighing just 2.5 ounces we're fairly impressed with the build quality of the .3-inch thick "tablet." The little thing felt right at home in our pocket at the gym and didn't protrude much when we put it in our jeans pocket. There's no carrying case included, so we'd strongly suggest nabbing a small pouch for protecting it against bumps and bruises in a bag.
The front of the device is mostly glossy screen, although below the display are six touch-sensitive buttons that actually happen to be more responsive to finger taps than we expected. However, they're not backlit so seeing them in the dark is a struggle. The left edge holds the 32's power button and volume rocker, while the bottom is home to micro-USB and 3.5mm headphone jacks. There's a small mic on the bottom as well, but the device is missing a speaker. It's a fairly odd omission considering most of the other Archos PMPs have had it in the past. Your run-of-the-mill plastic earbuds are included in the box -- they're loud, but outrageously uncomfortable in comparison to our Shures.
Music, video player and camera
The 32 can do a handful of things, and we'll get to them in a bit, but its real talent is music and video playback. On the music front, the little guy handles a slew of audio formats, including MP3, WMA, WMA-Pro 5.1, WAV, AAC, OGG. Also, Archos has done some work to the music interface -- they've added a Cover Flow-esque UI for easily sifting through recently played albums. There's also the typical Artist, Songs, Albums and Playlist organization, and scrolling through the long lists is particularly easy with the alphabetical option that appears over the scroll bar. We transferred over a bunch of our newest albums and had no complaints about the sound of our tunes. Oh, and to whoever preloaded our review unit with Journey's Greatest Hits... thank you! We should mention that we do wish the 32 had an FM tuner, you know, so we could stay hip and listen to the American Top 40 on Sunday mornings.
The video application, which is just a basic list of files, isn't as polished, but still gets the job done. It also can play a variety of formats including 720p MPEG-4 clips, H.264 HD, and WMV9 files. Our review unit also came preloaded with Archos' MPEG-2 codec / plug-in that allows for watching AVI, MP4, MKV, MOV, FLV and other video files. A sideloaded 720p AVI Scott Pilgrim trailer as well as some other AVI movies played quite nicely. Archos will carry a composite out cable for $12.99 for outputting the video to a larger display.
As we mentioned at the get-go there are a few things that perturb us about the Archos 32 -- its mushy, glossy screen, poor camera placement, lack of a speaker, and the missing Android Market are all up there -- but we still found the experience of using the Android PMP or tablet, call it what you will, to be rather enjoyable. If you're looking for a gadget with a smaller screen for playing music, watching videos and occasionally surfing the web the Archos 32 is a fine choice. Of course, for $80 more you can grab an $229 8GB iPod Touch, which has none of those application, screen or camera issues. Is it worth the extra cash? Hey, we can't answer everything for you! engadget.com http://forosadvance.esPT4M37S
Archos 32 Internet Tablet video review
Archos 32 Internet Tablet video reviewThe Archos 32 is a handheld media player with Google Android, a 3.2 inch display, and a $150 price tag. This is a video review to go along with a full review published at http://liliputing.com/2010/09/archos-32-internet-tablet-review.html.PT12M23S
Archos 32 Internet Tablet review
Archos 32 Internet Tablet reviewIn this video, I try to show you the quality and to demonstrate the value of the Archos 32 Internet Tablet with Android.PT12M22S