Tag Archive | "archos 5"

I Guess That’s @mikecane Sorted Then? (Archos 5 + Kindle App)

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For those of you that don’t know who Mike Cane is, dont’ worry too much. This post is pretty-much aimed diredtly at him.  He’s a long-time customer, commenter and participant at UMPCPortal and Carrypad and runs a continuous chain of personal blogs (currently he’s at Mike Canes iPad Test) that  focus around the ebook theme. He’s also very opinionated, sometimes rude and one of the biggest procrastinators I know. I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that because he’s also happy to hear opinions. I like having him around.

He’s been following the UMPC-MID-Tablet-Kindle-iPad theme for a while and also knows a bit about ebook publishing, ereading and reading in general. He likes open standards but recognises that if open standards don’t enable content then there needs to be choice until a de-facto solution arrives. He likes being connected, participating in Twitter, being mobile, understands ergonomics and he wants value in his products. JKK and I often take the Mickey out of him for getting excited about devices, finding a roadblock and then never buying anything. Well, Mike, when I installed Amazon’s Kindle application on my Archos 5 this morning (with one foot on the baby rocker,) I had to think of you.

Amazon's Kindle Application on the 5" Archos 5 Tablet

The Archos 5 [details] isn’t a new tablet and is not the most advanced tablet. When it was launched it had a continuous string of software problems which ruined the user experience for many and damaged the reputation of the device. Personally, I enjoyed the device as it had a good, fast browser, processing power, screen clarity, portability, flexibility, ability to support many many video standards and most-of-all, a great price. Over time we’ve seen improvements in the firmware and through applications like Aldiko, FBreaderJ, NewsRob, ACast, Seesmic and a number of ‘hacks’ the device has blossomed into something that makes a perfect handheld gadget and quite possibly one of the nicest and most flexible handled e-readers out there. Many people complain about the lack of a capcative touchscreen or the lack of Google Applications but at $250 (RadioShack looks like a good source in the U.S.), you can complain all you want – it’s a great value, internet connected MID, PMP, PND, Ebook reader, Web tablet and more. (See the full review.) Add another $50 for a 16GB micro-SD card, a case and a docking station with USB host and TV-Out and your’re set-up for  some real gadget fun. For the ebook reader, you’ve got Epub support, Kindle support, PDF support and through the Think-Free application, you can read Microsoft Office Docs and your Google Docs. There are more ebook store solutions too.

Kindle on Archos 5 (4) Kindle on Archos 5 (3) Kindle on Archos 5 (1) IMG_1220

Mike knows about the Archos 5 but this Kindle application  might be the final straw for him. There isn’t much else in terms of hardware on the horizon Mike. Summar is here and it will be quiet for a few months. Maybe we’ll see some new Archos devices later in the summer. The Dell Streak is double the price; The iPad too. The SmartQV7 is not powerful enough. Maybe the WiTS A81 is an option but it needs a lot of testing before it can be recommended. The same goes for the top-of-the-Carrypad-charts Huawei S7.

So, Mike. Does the Kindle application take you over the edge or did you buy something already?

Anyone else having fun with their Archos 5. Would you recommend it to Mike?

Full information, specs, links, images, reviews for the Archos 5 in our product database.

How To: ‘Backing-Up’ and Sideloading Android Apps to the Archos 5

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070720102801 I just discovered something that I’m guessing the world and his dog already knows about but despite possible embarrassment, I’m still going to write about it.

I updated the firmware on my Xperia X10 yesterday (don’t get excited, it was just a maintenance release. I’m still waiting for the latest firmware to roll-out on unbranded X10s in Germany) and part of the procedure called for backing-up the applications using the free Astro File manager (good recommendation.) I had no idea that the file manager would simply create APKs on my SDCard but it did. I popped the SD card into my Archos 5 and hey-presto! I was able to install the apps. Latest Seesmic, NewsRob and Kindle all worked first go so I’ll be looking to back-up quite a few more onto that SD card.

There’s a ‘hack’ that allows Marketplace to run on an Archos 5 but I don’t recommend it for stability reasons. The complete Google app suite is installed and there’s just not enough memory on the Archos 5 to handle it all. You’ll be forever killing applications to keep things tidy and smooth. One alternative then is to use this back-up method. If you haven’t got an Android phone, look for a second-hand one or even buy a new one. At 150 Euros entry price it’s worth having one to play around with anyway!

So to summarise: You can ‘back-up’ applications from an Android phone onto an SD card using the Astro File Manager. To install the backed-up files onto your Archos 5 just open the built-in file manager, navigate to the SDcard and backup->apps folder and you’ll find the .apk files. Double click on a file and it will start the install process. Note that the Google app suite including Maps, Goggles and Gmail needs more than just application installs to work fully so you’ll need the Marketplace hack for that.

More about the Kindle application on the Archos 5 in the following article and of-course, full information about the Archos 5 in our product page.

Apple iPad and Archos 5 Android Tablets. Video Comparison

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IMG_3246 Is it fair to be comparing a $250 5” tablet with a $500 9” one? Yes because a) people have been asking about it b) comparing anything to a device that gets people thinking, talking and experimenting is worthwhile in my book.

Thanks to the German blog, TouchMeMobile I’ve got an iPad this week and although I don’t intend to do a full review, I am taking the chance to learn and compare as much as possible. This video is a detailed look at the differences and the overlap between two home-focused devices. Music, Video, Internet and E-Reading are at the heart of both the iPad and Archos 5 but each one delivers it in a different way. The Archos 5 is the very personal, lightweight 30cm experience with a lot of flexibility. The iPad is a 1-meter experience with a refined user interface but misses out on some connectivity and flexibility. One is easy to hold in one hand; the other needs two. One has an industry-leading application store; the other something rather disappointing. One can ‘play’ the web and 720p video out via HDMI, the other is limited to analogue video.

In the 25-minute (get yourself a cuppa!) video I discuss the form-factors, the weight, the video capabilities, the app store, communications and e-reading. The two devices do ‘internet entertainment’ in very different ways so I hope this video helps you refine your gadget ‘wanted’ list or buying decision. Feel free to feed back on YouTube or below. For the next week I’ll track it closely and try and answer queries ASAP.

A tale of two Archos 5 Android owners

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Archos 5 Internet Tablet _32_ I love the Archos 5 Internet Tablet. Jenn of Pocketables, on the other hand, doesn’t and we’ve been having a to-and-fro on Twitter that’s worth extending here because  it shows how personal opinions can vary widly. We’ve challenged ourselves to write one paragraph on the A5 to say why we think what we think. Before that though, here are a few tweets that kicked the discussion off.

@Smith922 I’ve never had a 5, 6, 7, 9 or 10″ device that beats this around the house. @pocketables will give you a different view though.

@chippy You’re kidding! What about it beats other at-home devices for you? And do you *only* use it at home?

@pocketables yeah. The Archos 5 rarely leaves my home, just fits me perfectly. Quite stable now too. Might get digital a/v dock soon.

@chippy Stability has been OK on mine. I just can’t stand resistive screen, stock OSK, & “ungoogled” Android. Dell Streak, where are you?

@chippy The Archos 5IT is fantastic as a PMP (like previous gens) but I went in expecting an awesome Android MID, which for me it isn’t.

Remember that this is all personal, subjective opinion!

Here’s my summary:

The Archos 5 fits my consumer internet device requirements both physically, through form-factor and font-sizing through to OS and applications and succeeds in doing it in a way that is better than any other home experience I’ve had before. Battery life is fantastic, it looks good and it’s priced at an a level that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. My use-case is home-based Twitter, email, Google Reader, MP3 player, podcatcher, storage, TV-playback, YouTube, ebooks and of course, the browser that supports all the links you receive through email and social apps. When you get a URL through twitter, you want a fast browser to view it! It CAN be better (smoothness, stability, capacitive screen, 3G) but it doesn’t exist yet and that makes the Archos 5 unbeatable in my book.

For Jenn’s summary paragraph, see her post at Pocketables here

Any Archos 5 owners care to offer another one-paragraph perspective?

Archos 5 8GB and Archos 7 Android Update.

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$499 too much for your next gadget purchase? Closed iPhone OS not quite your cup of tea? Looking for digital video output, video recording, micro-SD slot, USB (host and slave) capability and portability with a high-end processor?  I can’t say that the Archos 5 is as slick as an Apple iPad or iPod Touch but it’s a damn good product.

Archos8GB

The Archos 5 8GB is now available in the US Archos store. We’ve also heard that EU versions will be shipping soon too so for some sub $250 pad action, this comes highly recommended. [Full review here]  If you prefer RadioShack, it’s also in stock there.

If you’re looking for something a bit larger though, the 7” version of this is, to all intents and purposes, confirmed. (See comments on this post.) We’re expecting Archos to announce this soon and wouldn’t be surprised to see a 3G version of the Internet Tablets too. Would 512MB RAM and a full Google-approved Android build be too much to ask for too? Stick a slider keyboard and 3G on a 512MB Google Android version and I’m sure a lot more people would be happy!

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Thx to grnxf and Chris Street who commented on this post.

Full Archos 5 information and links page.

Live Today, Live Tomorrow with the Archos 9.

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In a few hours, I’ll be down in the studio playing around with the Archos 9 that is on it’s way from the DHL depot. I won’t be too interactive as I want to record an unboxing video

Unboxing video now available

Update: Live session finished.

Live Review Session available here.

…and some testing in preparation for the real live session with JKK (one of our Friday night, bring-your-own-bottle sessions) on Friday evening starting at 2130 CET. (Check your time here)

Live sessions take place in the LIVE page which is always available (and open for chat via IRC)

In the live session we’ll be talking about the Archos 9, the Archos 5, the Motorola Droid/Milestone and the Eking S515 (also known as the Psixpda)

We look forward to seeing you.

Thanks for Mobilx.eu for sending the Archos 9 over for testing.

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My (Current) Working Mobile Device Line-Up.

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I’m back to using the N82 as my smartphone. This amazing device that I bought in Jan 2008 is locking me in like no other device has ever done in the past. I was close to buying a Motorola Milestone and after upgrading my Omnia Pro B7610 I though I might stick with that but no, the Xenon flash captures moments and the Ovi Maps guides me to moments that no other device is able to. And it’s small!

One of my big issues with high-end smartphones is their size and price. You don’t buy a Ferrari to go to work in a town office because it’s not practical. You don’t (or shouldn’t) use a 4×4 either. It’s a waste of space, uses too much fuel and is difficult to park. I feel the same way about phones. They need to be phone sized, economical and good value. I need to be able to park them in my pocket. I need them to have fuel to get me home. The N82 is a great, practical smartphone.

Around the house I use the Archos 5 Internet Tablet. It’s like a quad bike. Useless forpublic roads but great for some jobs around the locality. Fast web, long battery life, big screen, great social communications apps and entertainment in a very small package. I published a big review of it the Archos 5 IT this week which highlights how multi-faceted it is.

Away from the house I’m using two devices. The U820 (AKA Loox U/50) is my short-term productivity device. My UMPC. It’s the device I carry with me if I don’t have any work planned. I’m able to use it almost anywhere and it’s been a fast, reliable, ultra-mobile solution. It sits on it’s docking station ready for action. I’m not sure how I could improve this device right now. The Mifi 2352 usually charges alongside the U820 and comes with me everywhere the U820 does.

I’ll usually take the U820 to work away from home too but mostly I would be using my Gigabyte T1028M. It’s a modded 10” touchscreen netbook that has fantastic 3G reception, a rugged and fast runcore SSD drive and an extended battery. It’s a device that I’m looking to upgrade. I need to keep the same features but advances in technology and falling prices mean that I think I can now get all of this with more processing power and a bigger screen for a smaller size. I’ve been looking at sub 1.5kg 12” devices to replace it and actually, there aren’t many in the market yet. The Sony Vaio X11 is offering a lot of what I want and I’m itching to test one out. Saving 600gm (40%) in weight would be amazing but is it worth 1400 Euro? Over 2-years of increased productivity I think I could justify it but i’ll wait until I’ve done some more testing on the Viliv S10 first. If Viliv make a 2.0Ghz, SSD, 3G version of that available for under 1000 Euro, I’m in!

50 Photos of the Archos 5 Internet Tablet

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Some of you know that I’m working on a full review of the Archos 5 Internet Tablet. It’s turning into a huge project and is taking me way longer than I had planned. The Archos 5 has so many angles that I don’t want to miss anything. PMP, PND, Web Tablet, Ereader, gadget, microblogging, set top box etc etc.

To keep you going while you wait, I’ve uploaded a nice set of photos of the Archos 5. The full set is in the gallery over at UMPCPortal. Click on any of the images below to hop over there.

Archos 5 Internet Tablet - backlight

Archos 5 Internet Tablet (28) Archos 5 Internet Tablet (34) Archos 5 Internet Tablet (33)

Archos 5 Internet Tablet (13) Archos 5 Internet Tablet (1) Archos 5 Internet Tablet (8)

Archos 5 Internet Tablet (22)
The new set is available here.
Other photos including press photos and random Archos 5 images in the gallery.

Archos 5 makes a capable client computer

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archos 5 client Check out this cool video which shows just how easy it is to turn the Archos 5 into a capable terminal for remotely accessing full fledged computers:

Look at how simple the Bluetooth integration is. I didn’t know that Android would even provide a mouse cursor given a Bluetooth mouse — very cool. This is pretty impressive when you consider how small the entire kit is. It is also remarkably similar to the Archos 9 slim blogging kit that I’m planning, the difference being that the Archos 9 will be the full computer, and won’t need to remotely connect to anything!

Archos renews my faith in mobile tech companies

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IMG_0901 My mobile tech interest feels reinvigorated, thanks in part to the recent efforts of Archos. You may recall my recent article about Apple causing me to lose my faith in other tech companies. But after seeing all of the recent fun that Chippy seems to be having with the Android based Archos 5 [Portal page], I must say that thinks are looking up in my mind.

Simply put, the Archos 5 looks like a substantial contribution to the MID field, rather than another stab in the dark from a clueless tech company that seems to churn out experiments rather than real, usable products. It will be devices like the Archos 5 (once it comes down a bit in price) that introduces less tech-savvy consumers to the MID – a device which acts as a mobile companion rather than just a phone, or just a media player.

Beyond the Archos 5, I’m also looking toward the Archos 9 [Portal page] with much anticipation (and it looks like I’m not the only one, the Archos 9 is currently topping the Portal charts). While a keyboard-less device without even a capacitive OSK would normally worry me, I’m happy to see that the Archos 9 is reportedly coming to market for a reasonable $499, and I’m hoping to augment the device with one of my favorite Bluetooth accessories, the iGo foldable BT keyboard. We’ll see how that goes once the Archos 9 actually rolls out.

Thanks Archos, you’ve helped me get over a mobile tech depression, and given me something exciting to look forward to!

Ubergizmo reviews the Archos (Android) Internet Tablet

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archos5mt

Update: Our own unboxing video is now available.

I met Hubert from Ubergizmo at IDF last week and the one thing I forgot to do was to steal his Archos Android Tablet for an overnight hands on. Luckily he’s put up his full review and based on that I’m impressed and inquisitive enough to have ordered one this evening. Yes, Android Tablet live session and review coming soon on UMPCPortal!

archos-5-android-and iphone

The ubergizmo review is generally very positive about audio, video and web along with the overall style of the device, the screen clarity and user interface. The review isn’t so positive about the early, built-in app store which only covers Archos specific apps. Fortunately, standard Android applications can be installed individually and I’m sure we’ll see someone create a generic application store ‘application’ before long.

Most interesting to me is the detail on the browser. Note that it doesn’t support flash (Flash 10 is expected in Q1 2010 with the release of V2.0), isn’t as smooth as the iPhone 3GS but it still ‘good.’ I understand that YouTube videos play through the built-in video player which, based on what I use on my Archos 605 Wifi, is a much smoother way to play back videos. The 4.8” screen at 800×480 is an ideal web size/pixel ratio and so I’ll be interested to see how it compares in usability to the Nokia N900 when I test it at the Maemo summit next week.  Ubergizmo posted this video of the browsing experience.

Check out the full review at Ubergizmo and the new Archos 5 Internet Tablet information page in the product portal. I’m expecting the Archos to arrive here next Monday so stay tuned for another live session!

Archos 5 browser speed shows promise.

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‘Faster over fuller’ is the expression Jenn uses to describe how consumers want their browsing experience and I tend to agree. Personally I want Firefox 3+add-ons for my browser as it’s long my most important piece of software but I’m not most consumers. A consumer MID doesn’t need to be 100% FIE for most people but it does need to be close.

3mids

The browser on the Archos 5 is, relative to existing consumer and smartphone-based browsers, a big step forward in the eyes of most people that have tested it so it’s nice to confirm it with some stats. Jenn has lined-up the Archos 5, the iPhone 3G and the Nokia N810 in a browser speed test and overall, you’re seeing page load times 1.5 times faster than an iPhone 3G  and about 1.8 times faster than a Nokia N810. But is it fast enough? MIDs and low-end UMPCs are likely to beat these times and return more accurate results but does the difference really matter?

What we’re seeing here is proof of, not just a fast new Archos device, but how the ARM Cortex core could improve the Internet experience. In this case, the ARM core is sitting on the Ti OMAP platform but Ti aren’t the only people using it. Intel really do need to watch their backs in this territory now because they’re not fighting against relatively small companies like AMD and VIA here, they’re fighting against the huge ARM ecosystem and they certainly know a thing or two about mobile hardware and software.

Read about the 3-way test at Pocketables.



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