Jan 23, 2011

Comprehensive Review and Hands on of Archos 7 Home Tablet in Pakistan (Video)


Tablets have been a real hit this year at Consumer Electronic Show 2011 in Las Vegas as we are sure our regular readers already know with over 30 devices launched running Android and Windows 7 mostly. Tablets have been around since ages but for a long time they were a niche option since they were slow and not very finger friendly. Basically everyone in the early days tried to cram up a RAM heavy Windows into a less than top notch performance hardware. Since the advent of high processing speed for mobile devices came along, Apple's Steve Jobs, just like before, was the first to keep his finger on the market's pulse and released a device that would later revolutionize and revitalize the whole category. This device of course is the iPad. 

Since than many devices have been launched to eat Apple's share which will one day surely become minimal but Apple, being Apple, would probably have moved on to the next big thing! The tablet we will talk about is the Archos 7 Home Tablet which is recently launched in Pakistan by Homeshopping.pk for Rs 25,000/-. This devices runs Android 1.5 (Cupcake) and is undoubtedly the cheapest tablet available in Pakistan besides the Chinese tablets.


The device is built solidly. It has matte plastic all around which doesn't give you the luxurious feel as it gets soiled very easily with you fingers. The screen is a resistive High resolution touch screen with 800x480 pixels, 7'' TFT LCD, 16 million colors. I must say, it is a brilliant display to look at. You can enjoy movies and view images on this device and it will feel like nothing but a high end product. Although it has a resistive display, the on-screen keyboard is still pretty easy to use, most likely due to the large size of the display. The only issue with the screen is that the viewing angles aren't that good, but than again. if many people are watching a movie at once, they should be using a TV!

Overall the built quality is satisfying from the price perspective but it cant be compared to the much more expensive iPad's metallic body, then again, its 3 times cheaper. 

It has a 600MHz ARM 9 processor and 128 MB of RAM.It has a kick stand which will last you easily with normal usage. There are no creaks or sounds while handling the tablet. It has 8GB internal memory and that can be expanded by 32GB by MicroSDHC. Size-wise, the tablet is actually ideal -- the seven-inch display isn't too wide, and at 8 x 4.2 x 0.5-inches it doesn't take up much room on a nightstand or in a small shoulder bag. And because it weighs less than a pound (13.7 ounces, to be exact), it was quite easy to hold up in bed to read an e-book or surf the web – it's noticeably lighter to hold up than the 1.5-pound iPad while lying down. It's actually closer in size and weight to the 10.2-ounce and .36-inch Amazon Kindle. You can see our size comparisons in the pictures.

There's not much to report in the way of buttons and ports – Archos kept it relatively simple with a power switch and micro SD card slot along the top edge, and headphone / composite video out and mini USB sockets on the right side. There's a circular opening on the front of the tablet where you'd expect some sort of cam, but unfortunately it doesn't have a camera.

Another thing we'd like to point out is that the 7 doesn't have an accelerometer, and even worse not a software utility or hardware switch for switching the orientation of the screen. The speakers are quite loud and clear and will not leave you wanting more.

Lastly no, this device doesn't support GSM (we know you were wondering). You cannot use this device to make calls unless of course you use WiFi to make calls using Skype. Also, the screen does not support multi-touch. So you cant use your fingers to make an image larger using pinch-to-zoom, also you cant rotate the image using two fingers.


In reality, the fact that the tablet runs an outdated Android 1.5 operating system will probably mean very little to the average consumer. It runs stock Android Cupcake and will be easily usable for anyone who has previously owned an Android device. App store is not loaded in the firmware but Homeshopping.pk will load it for you if you want before handing over the device to you. Beyond the app experience, web browsing is what you would expect from an Android device. The default browser was quick to load sites and was easy enough to navigate using the resistive touchscreen. The Archos 7's 600MHz ARM 9 processor and 128 MB of RAM aren't the fastest combo, but they aren't the slowest either. Most apps take four to five seconds to open, but moving through menus isn't sluggish.

Using the movie player is a breeze and many formats are supported through which you can play videos without converting them. The eBook reader on the device is nice and more books can be added. Homeshopping.pk will soon launch a service that will make an eBook database available to its customers for free.

Final Impressions

The battery life of the tablet was impressive. You can watch videos on it a good 6 and a half hours before it dies, so it would not die out on normal usage. The device quality is good for  a tablet PC worth 26K which is a huge advantage over the similar screen Galaxy Tab by Samsung which is worth over Rs. 55.000/-. Considering that a good 7-inch digital photo-frame would set you back Rs. 12,000/- we would say the Home Tablet is a pretty good bargain. This tablet is basically aimed at harnessing the media experience of Android but you cant really find the best Android experience here. Cupcake is a dinosaur compared to Gingerbread but this particular reason wont be high on the list of many first time Android users. With the help of Homeshopping.pk you can harness the fully power on Android from the App store and download applications to make this device a powerhouse. The only limitations in this device are obviously due to the low price range which to us, is understandable. Overall, if you are not looking for a high end tablet and have a limited budget, this device is definitely the thing for you and you dont have many options in the market but you do have choices besides this as you can see in our section below.


The Apple iPod touch comes to mind. It has a much better processor and graphics. It has a lower price than this tablet. It has App Store functionality built-in and it has a much faster and fluid UI. It has a much easier to navigate touchscreen as well. The only thing it loses out on is the screen size which is possibly the reason why you went for a tablet in the first place.

Other options are the Galaxy tab and the iPad which are both 2 to 3 times more expensive. If you can wait a little while, there are many many more tablets to be released this year with much better specs and easier UI as we have already mentioned.

Below you can find the full Specifications and Videos.

Tech Specs

Mass storage memory• Flash Memory: 2 to 8 GB* 
• Extendable via micro SDHC Slot
Operating system• Linux, ANDROID™ 1.5 application framework
Display characteristics• High resolution touch screen with virtual keyboard, 800x480 pixels, 7'' TFT LCD, 16 million colors
Video Playback1• H.264 up to 720p resolution – 30 fps / 2.5 Mbps.
• MPEG-42 – 30 fps / 2.5 Mbps.
• Realvideo™ up to 720p resolution – 30 fps / 2.5 Mbps
With the above codecs, the device can play video files with the following extensions: .avi, .mp4, .mkv, .mov, and .flv
Audio Playback1• MP3, WMA (non protected), WAV3, APE, OGG, FLAC, AAC3
Photo viewer4• JPEG, BMP, GIF
Interfaces• USB 2.0 Slave: Mass Storage Class (MSC)
• USB 2.0 Host: Mass Storage Class (MSC) – Connect a mass storage device or keyboard & mouse (adapter micro B/A sold separately).
• Micro SDHC card
Communication protocols• WiFi (802.11 b/g)
Miscellaneous• 2 built-in speakers
• Leg stand
• Microphone
Power source• Internal: Lithium Polymer battery
• External: Power adapter/charge
Battery life5• Music playback time: up to 42 hours
• Video playback time: up to 7 hours
Dimensions & weight• 203 mm x 107 mm x 12 mm (8” x 4.2” x 0.5”) – 388 g / 13.7 oz
Compatibility• Microsoft® Windows® XP, Vista, 7 or higher, Mac OS or Linux in mass storage mode
Computer Interface• USB 2.0 interface
Package includes• ARCHOS 7 home tablet, earphones, Standard USB cable (micro B/A), power adapter, user guide, legal and safety notice.

Author : TechGuRu

Archos 7 Home Tablet in Pakistan English Review

Archos 7 Home Tablet in Pakistan Urdu Review

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