So I finally got a chance to look at the Archos 5 Internet Tablet. Between late ’09 and early ’10 there were some unfavorable reviews written about this tablet. It’s biggest issue was lag and crashing. There have been many firmware updates since then that, to my understanding, have addressed these issues. It’s still not without its glitches, however. The touch could be more responsive and the video player controls were finicky. Maps loaded well, so did contacts, video, gallery, the browser and a bunch of other apps. There has definitely been some improvements since JKK Mobile’s review. He did a great review but I think that some of the issues that he experienced have been remedied.

If you don’t know already, I’m trying to hunt down a good Android tablet for filmmaking. I firmly believe that tablet/slate computers are extravagant in many cases but that filmmaking is one of those niche markets where it can really prove to be a practical tool. I don’t have the $$ for an iPad so I’m looking to google to save me money that can go directly to my film projects!

Now my issue with the Archos 5 IT is the pricing. $250 is pretty good but at 4.8″ you’re pretty close to the price of an iPod Touch with a screen that’s only a little bigger. Don’t get me wrong 3.5″ on the iTouch to 4.8″ on the Archos 5 is a big change but not enough. You pay an extra $50 for a slightly larger screen and you get less performance. The Archos is zippy but still needs improvements.

However, the improvements we have seen with the Archos 5 give me hope for the upcoming Archos 7 Home Tablet. It’s 7″ so now we’re far past the iTouch and it’s starting at $199! Why such a low price? Well, it’s a little more stripped down. The CPU is a bit slower than the Archos 5, there’s no accelerometer, it’s a resistive touch screen rather than a capacitive one (essentially a capacitive touch brings a more finger friendly experience) and there’s no HDMI out. For me these sacrifices are acceptable. So there really is a value here. As a filmmaker tool I’m really more interested in the communications and productivity offerings. More than likely I’ll be using google docs a lot as well as the media player. We’ll have to wait and see if the Archos 7 delivers on performance given these sacrificed qualities.

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