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Decent for playing MP3s, not much else
Pros: Lightweight, inexpensive, Android 2.2 "Froyo" platform. Has a Micro-SDHC slot, supporting up to 32GB of additional storage. The sound processor on this unit is quite good, and sounds very true on decent headphones even with a flat EQ. The platform is open with no DRM, and as with most Android devices, you can mount the root filesystem on your computer without special software. Archos has traditionally done a good job with their Android builds, not including a lot of built-in bloatware you can't get rid of, and this device is no exception. The speed of the device is fairly good, and I haven't found myself waiting on the hardware much if at all. The onboard 2.4GHz wireless works adequately, and I had no problems joining it to my WPA2 Personal encrypted wireless network. Based on battery wear patterns so far, 24-hour audio playback on one charge seems plausible. Also, the battery charges pretty fast; 0%-100% charge in 20 minutes on my Nook AC charger.
Cons: The screen is very low-end. The first model I received had a factory defect, with a bright red line down the middle of the screen. The RMA looks fine though. And speaking of the screen, at 270x480 and resistive touch, you're not going to be wowed by it. While it's not the worst touchscreen I've ever used (no stylus required), this is definitely no Gorilla Glass. Having the screen on also eats a *lot* of battery. The 6-hour estimate for video playback is most likely with the volume low or off, and the screen at the lowest possible brightness. Onboard storage is a paltry 4GB, but you should be using the SDHC slot for music anyway, and this thing's not much good for apps. Finally, the volume controls are permanent buttons built onto the front panel, much the same way as the home or back buttons common on older Androids. This means you can't change the volume while the screen is off.
Other Thoughts: This is clearly designed to be a low-end, Android-based, Internet-capable MP3 player, *not* a general purpose tablet. If you don't expect any more than that, you won't be disappointed. Got this for my young daughter on sale for about 40% lower than list, and felt it was worth the money. Updates to "Froyo" 2.2.4, and with the hardware being so low-end, there's not much point going to a newer Android build anyway. I recommend enabling Deep Sleep mode in order to keep background processes from needlessly running down the battery. It's an MP3/MP4 player after all, not a dedicated advertising platform for Rovio.
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