Archos 80 Titanium review

This tablet is about as affordable as Android devices get, but is the Archos 80 Titanium a budget stunner or just too cheap?

Interior matters

The price might be low, but it hasn't stopped Archos fitting a reasonable processor. The quad-core ARM A9 processor runs at 1.6GHz and, while it's a step behind the tablet world's most powerful chips, it rarely struggled during our time with the Titanium. High-end games such as Dead Trigger and Reckless Racing 2 only exhibited the tiniest frame rate judders, and Rayman: Jungle Run was butter-smooth.

The OS was slick in day-to-day use, with smooth transitions between homescreens and only minor judders when opening occasional menus or apps. Archos has left Android alone for the most part, resisting the urge to load its own skins and installing just a couple of proprietary media apps. The Titanium runs Android 4.1.1 and it hasn't yet been updated, which is a disappointment.

Longevity takes a hit, though, because of the 4,400mAh battery. It's got the same sort of capacity as rival tablets, but it lasted just 5hrs 10mins in our looping video benchmark one of the worst results we've seen from a tablet, and half the lifespan we've recorded from many rivals.

The budget means that the battery isn't the only area that's suffered. There are several important components missing: the lack of a light sensor means automatic screen brightness can't be used, and NFC and Bluetooth have both been left out. The 802.11n Wi-Fi chip is only single-band, too.

The rear camera might as well have been left out, too. Its 2-megapixel resolution makes for blurry images, there's no autofocus, and the results are awful, with a lack of detail and lifeless colours throughout.

Conclusion

The Archos is missing several features we're used to seeing in more expensive tablets, is seriously deficient in a couple of other areas - its battery is poor, and the camera isn't capable of taking more than the most basic of snaps.

We'd previously have recommended saving your cash and paying a little extra for the Nexus 7, which cost less than 200 and had a better screen, superior specification and a newer version of Android, but that's no longer an option the original has been withdrawn from sale, and Google's new Nexus 7 has a price of 199.

That leaves the 137 80 Titanium as one of the best tablets at the extreme low-end of the market. It's not perfect, but it's ideal for basic browsing, mobile gaming and media consumption on a budget.

Verdict

The Archos 80 Titanium gets it right in several key areas, with decent build quality, a reasonable screen and enough performance to enable gaming, browsing and media consumption. Its cut-down specification, poor battery life and awful camera work against it, but it’s a fine option if you need a tablet on a budget.

OS: Android 4.1.1 Processor: 1.6GHz quad-core ARM A9 Memory: 1GB RAM Storage: 8GB Screen: 8in 768 x 1,024 IPS, 163ppi Connectivity: 802.11n single-band Wi-Fi, GPS Other: Accellerometer, Gyroscope, Compass Camera: 2mp rear-facing Battery: 4,400mAh Li-ion Size: 154 x 200 x 9.9mm (WDH)

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