I’ll be back to work on Wednesday but until then I’m taking a break with my family over in sunny (really!) England. Thanks to Three UK I’ve got 3G connectivity both on the smartphone and via my Mifi and it has given me the ability to really test the Nokia N900 [info] and Archos 5 Internet Tablet [info] in real-world mobile and home scenarios that have ranged from a night out with the lads to car-navigation, photography, Skype, sofa and bed-surfing, presence and day-to-day email and website management duties.
I’m no expert on e-book reading but I’m a big e-reader. What I mean by that is that I read electronic content all day long but I don’t read many books. I’ve been working my way through the Adventures of Tom Sawyer on the SmartQ7 and have tried to continue on the Archos 5 but I don’t get very far before I’m distracted by an email or twitter notification and then I’m off into one of those enjoyable but never-ending web journeys.
Based on my experience with the Archos 5, its form factor, hours of using Google Reader (Android formatted) and the web browser I’d say that the form factor lends itself perfectly to 1hr reading sessions and that due to the weight (smartphone weight) and screen characteristics (200 ppi and well-aliased fonts and adjustable back-lighting) many people will end up doing more. What effect that has on your eyes is unknown to me but it certainly feels more comfortable than smaller screens I’ve tried.
I can’t really show you the quality of the screen on a video but you might get an idea of how you might use this device to read e-book content in the video I’ve prepared for you below. You’ll see FbreaderJ with a mobipocket-formatted e-book and Aldiko and an epub-formatted book with online download. One thing missing is commercial content. It is possible to convert encrypted and even DRM-protected content but I’d like to be able to link directly into books from commercial stores like Amazon and Mobipocket without all that hassle.
Don’t forget to watch in full-screen and hit the ‘HQ’ button for the higher quality version.
Archos 5 Internet Tablet and E-Book Reading
I’ve shown you Social Messaging, HD video playback and now Ebook reading on the Archos 5 IT but there are at least two other usage scenarios that I want to show you. Next week i’ll be highlighting the Web browsing experience and the navigation experience and that will probably round-up the Archos 5 IT coverage for a while.
If you have experience with dedicated e-book readers, let us know how you feel about this LCD reading experience. How would you feel if the Amazon Kindle software was ported to the Archos Tablet?
P.S. Anyone know if there are commercial audiobook apps for Android? An Audible app would be awesome!
Twitter is not just about a simple client application and 140 characters. With something like 50% of those simple 140-character tweets carrying a link to a web page, if you haven’t got a fast internet connection, a quality browser and a powerful CPU, you’re missing out on half the experience.
The Archos Internet Tablet needs 3G to be a first-class mobile twitter device but even in it’s current form it shows how much of an advantage screen real-estate and a quality browser platform are. The 4.8” 800×480 screen is perfect for portrait-mode usage. The device weighs the same as a Nokia N900 smartphone and is just 10mm thick.
Here’s a quick video that shows Twidroid running on the Archos Tablet.
For more information on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, including unboxing and first impressions, check out the information and links on the Archos 5 product page.
The Archos 5 Internet Media Tablet is a 4.8” 800×480 tablet device running Android and Archos Media Player software. Prices start at 230 Euro (8GB) but I’ve got the 32GB version here (bought myself) and I’ve had been pounding it hard since I got it last Friday. So far I’m loving its capability and excited by its potential but am frustrated by the amount of crashes and lock-ups I’m experiencing. At this stage I’d advise customers to hold-off on a purchase and take the time to do some more research and to monitor my ongoing experiences with the device before diving in.
If you didn’t catch the unboxing video or the live session on Friday [video embedded below], I recommend taking a look because so far the device has been really interesting. One word of warning though, it’s very unstable and buggy right now. I’m experiencing at least one software problem per hour of use. Version 1.022 of the firmware desperately needs an upgrade and I’d go so far as to say, DONT BUY THIS DEVICE YET if you’re thinking of using it for business or if you’re the sort of person that gets frustrated at unfinished products. Archos have clearly skimped on testing. Even as I type this paragraph, a notification has come in but I can’t unlock the device to get to it. I’m going to have to reboot. Not good enough Archos.
The Archos 5 Internet Tablet (oh so slim!) unboxing video is now ready…
So far i’m really liking what I see. There’s no flash support in the browser (Q1 2010 for Flash 10 and Android 2.0) but YouTube plays via the built-in video player in excelent quality and the general browsing speed is really impressive. I threw a load of videos at it and they were all recognised (some need an HD plugin) and there’s a bunch of exciting apps in the app store. It’s early days but I’m feeling really positive about this. If only it had 3G!
For the first time ever it’s an ARM-only show featuring Cortex CPUs from Freescale and Texas Instruments. The Sharp Netwalker will be there and, if Mr DHL does his job, the Archos Internet Tablet (Android version) too.
We’ll be focusing on the Mobile Internet experience as usual but we’ll be giving a hardware overview, software overview (as much as we can given that these devices are brand new on the market) and trying to answer your questions.
The Sharp Netwalker is kindly provided to JKKmobile by Conics.net. The Archos Android Internet Tablet is kindly provided by you readers. (Please keep supporting our advertisers!) The session is unsponsored so bring beer and expect a no-holds-barred session.