Monthly Archives: December 2012

80xs-internal

FCC has just made the 80xs photos public. While there is nothing new to see on the outside because the 80xs was already launched officially a few weeks ago, it is interesting to see the internals. When opened up, it looks like all the space is filled up with hardware to make the thin design possible.

80xs-internal2Speaking of the battery capacity, it looks like there are two batteries of 8.58Wh and 8.98Wh placed inside. By converting Wh to mAh, we get about 4750 mAh which is about average for 8″ tablets. iPad Mini has 4500 mAh at the same voltage with pretty good battery life.

80xs-internal3

christmas-dicount-2If you are late on choosing a Christmas present for yourself or someone you like, we might have something interesting for you. Archos is offering everybody, who registers his or her 101xs, a 20% discount coupon for the Speaker Dock. And well, we are sharing the discount code. Fill it in when placing your order on the Archos online store and get your 30€ discount. ;)

christmas-discount

We don’t know how long the reduction will last, so be fast. ;)

Archos speaker dock on Archos Store

familypad2-2 While the original Arnova FamilyPad was only launched two months ago, it looks like Archos is already working on a follow-up. One of our forum members noticed the Archos Family Pad showed up on GLBenchmark pages, running RK3066 CPU. familypad-2

Apart of the updated processor and the new operating system(Android 4.1 instead of Android 4.0), it looks like nothing else has changed. The new YF Tech model actually already managed to pass the FCC, so we can expect it to hit the shops along with the Arnova G4 tablets in the months to come.

Specs list from YFTech website:

· CPU: Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 1.6GHz
· LCD: 13.3″; 1280×800 pixels
· CTP: G+G
· 1GB DDR3
· 16 GB FLASH
· WIFI: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
· Dual camera: 2MPix front camera and 2MPix rear camera
· 3D G-Sensor
· USB HOST& HDMI 1.4
· Battery: 10500mAh

Thanks to yousef8824 for the tip.

0

While it was only one week ago we mentioned the Arnova G4 tablets were coming at the beginning of 2013, one of them already managed to pass the FCC a few days ago. There is not much to see on the FCC pages for the Arnova 8 G4, with the real photos going to be revealed only in February 2013 and a label location image available now.

8g4-fcc

What we see is (again) an iPad a-like design like what we saw earlier on the Archos 80 Cobalt and Arnova 8c G3 models. In one of the application letters, we have found traces of the manufacturer for the 8 G4. In addition, Archos kindly requested a new FCC id for “purpose of marketing” and asked FCC to keep the photos under embargo until 26th of February 2013. letter-8g4 Basically, Dongguan Technology Co. tracks down to YF Tech, the company that already makes the FamilyPad for Archos. While YF Tech doesn’t have the MR18-8008 listed on their website yet, we expect it to have roughly the same specifications as the MR18-8006 and MR18-8007 models.

arnova-8g4

MR18-8006 and MR18-8007 specifications as listed on the YF Tech website:

· CPU: Dual-core ARM Cortex-A5 1.6GHz
· LCD: 8″IPS, Optional:TFT;1024×768 pixels
· CTP: G+G
· 1GB DDR3
· 8GB FLASH; Optional 16 GB FLASH
· WIFI: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
· Dual camera: 0.3MPix front camera, Optional 2MPix rear camera
· 3D G-Sensor
· USB HOST& HDMI 1.4
· Battery: 5000mAh

Possibly, the Cortex A5 CPU is just a spelling mistake and we will see an ordinary dual-core Rockchip or Amlogic Cortex A9 CPU in there. We expect Archos to choose the model with a TFT screen and 8GB of flash memory, but you never know. ;)

Update:

Arnova 8G4 showed up on Nenamark 2 pages with a 59.50FPS score.

AN8G4-nenamarkThe CPU clock and reported GPU suggest we will see a Rockchip RK3066 CPU in there. ;)

 

Earlier today, we’ve seen Archos releasing their Video application to allow movie playback on most Android 4.0 tablets. Archos chosed, probably for licence cost reasons, to distribute separately a plugin to enable MPEG-2 support at a cost of €5.00.
A free “Archos Video All Codecs Plugin” application has appeared on Google Play Store this afternoon, seems to offer same functionality. While the legal status of this application is quite questionable, we thought it would be of interest to report about it. We do not support or promote piracy.

ARCHOS_Video_All_Codecs_Plugin_b

Update

A quick disassembly of the application shows it does not seem to do much more than checking the device CPU ABI (Application binary interface) and copying the appropriate libraries to com.archos.mediacenter.video/files/plugins/ directory.

Application Permissions

Looking at the permissions does not reveal fishy access or trojan type application.
ArchosVideoAllCodecs_permissions_b

Application editor

Old times Archos Gen8 owners may remember gapps4archos-apk, a Android Market (now Google Play Store) enabler from the same? “m4rk3t” user
M4rk3t_archosfans_c

With more than 10 years of multimedia experience, Archos is well known for the rock solid video playing features on their devices. They have been perfecting their multimedia suite over years, delivering optimized multimedia solutions that , unfortunately, were proprietary and locked to Archos tablets only. For the first time, they are now releasing their software as a paid application simply named Archos Video available on Google Play Store, for €4.99 or $4.99. Android 4.0 or later is required to run the application.

Archos_Video_c

Archos Video main features

Compared to similar Android video playing applications from Google Play Store, Archos Player offers a very complete list of features:
support for most video formats, hardware or software decoding depending on the devices.
MPEG2 video format and DTS need extra plug-in (see below)
– play videos locally from the tablet, from an attached USB storage or from local network (UPnP and SMB / Windows shares)
– automatic online retrieval of Movie and TV show information with poster and backdrop for both local and network content (uses open databases from themoviedb.org for movies and thetvdb.com for TV/Series)
subtitles support: display and automatic download (uses opensubtitles.org)

Don’t forget to check our quick review of Archos Video, as we tested it on the Archos G9 tablet.
The video below illustrates the following features: retrieving movie and TV series information online, movie classification and library feature with posters, H264 1080p content display.

The application is already included (for free) in the following tablets: Archos Gen8, Gen9, Gen10 (80 XS, 101 XS), Archos GamePad, FamilyPad and probably on coming Elements models.

Optional MPEG-2 support

MPEG-2 format videos (that are mainly used on DVD files) aren’t supported in Archos Video application, purchasing the optional Archos MPEG-2 Video Plugin is required for these file formats to be played.
This plug-in is currently available for €5.00 on Google Play Store.
Archos_MPEG2_Video_Plugin_b

The Arnova 7c G3 is a product refresh of the older 3G connected Arnova 7c G2 tablet.
This update features a Snapdragon S2 MSM8255 clocked at 1.4 Ghz processor which can be found in devices like Sony Xperia Active/Play 4G/Ray, HTC One V, Sensation, Flyer and many other devices. This 7 inches tablet is very complete offering all the features you may need to fit in your jacket’s pocket: 3G, GPS, HDMI output, Bluetooth and a dual camera. It runs on Android 4.03 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Arnova 7c G3 specifications

Operating System Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Build fingerprint: ARCHOS/msm7630_fw8930/msm7630_fw8930:4.0.3/IML74K/user.release.20120523.141215:user/release-keys
Linux Kernel Version: 3.0.8-perf chenqh@ubuntu-int #6
CPU Qualcomm MSM S2 8255 1.4 Ghz
Integrated GPU: Adreno 205
Flash Storage Memory Capacity 4 Gb or 8 Gb
Speed Class 6 equivalent, see our benchmark below
System Memory 512 Mb
Additional storage Micro SD slot (SDHC compatible)
Display TFT LCD 7 inches capacitive dual touch screen
800×480 resolution
3G Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Wifi 802.11 b/g/n
Gravity Sensor Yes
Camera 0.3 Mp (front facing)
3 Mp (front facing)
GPS Yes
HDMI Yes (mini HDMI, aka HDMI type c connector)
Interfaces Micro USB slave 2.0: Mass Storage Class (MSC)
MicroSD slot
Battery life Video playing test: ~ 9 hours 15 minutes
Wi-FI/Bluetooth/3G disabled, brightness to 50%, Bick Buck Bunny 720p continuous video play
Android Market / Google Play No Has Archos own Market place, Appslib
Kickstand No
Dimensions 199.4 mm x 119.2 mm x 10.8 mm (7.8’’ x 4.69’’ x 0.4’’)
Weight 368 g

Arnova 7c G3 presentation video

Arnova 7c G3 case, buttons and connectors


Back camera (3 Mpixels) and reset pinhole.


Audio jack connector located in the center and single speaker


Buttons and connectors, from left to right: Power and Vol – / + buttons, micro USB connector, micro HDMI port, SIM Card slot, Micro SDCard slot.

Snapdragon S2 processor

Qualcomm MSM8255 System on Chip (SOC) Specifications:
Manufacturing process: 45 nm
Frequency: 1.4 GHz
Adreno 205 GPU (which offers HD playing capabilities of 720p videos)
Embedded DSP (GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS/WCDMA, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+, MBMS baseband)
GPS Module

Arnova 7c G3 benchmarks

Arnova 7c G3 vs Arnova 7c G2 benchmark results
  Arnova 7c G3
Arnova 7c G2
Firmware versions used for tests

msm7630_fw8930
4.0.3 IML74K
user.release.20120523.141215
msm7627_fw8918
2.3.3 GINGERBREAD
eng.bingo.20110817.155043
Antutu Benchmark
higher is faster
Total score: 3964 Total score: 1620
Linpack Pro v 1.2.9
higher is faster, benchmark run in multi-thread
(we took the best numbers we could achieve, there is a lot of variance on these bench results)
35.56 MFLOPS 9.50 MFLOPS (single thread)
CF-Bench v 1.1
higher is faster
Native score: 5516
Java Score: 2004
Overall Score: 3408
Native score: 1343
Java Score: 778
Overall Score: 1004
ArcTools I/O benchmark v 0.69
higher is faster
Read: 34 307 Kb/s
Write: 6643 Kb/s
Not tested
Smartbench 2011 v 1.2.1
higher is faster
Prod. index: 
Games Index:
Prod. index: 342
Games Index: 1395
Quadrant Advanced 1.1.7
higher is faster
Total: 2796
CPU: 2954
Mem: 1332
I/O: 7096
2D: 689
3D: 1911
Total: 1084
CPU: 3135
Mem: 881
I/O: 792
2D: 119
3D: 511
Vellamo v 1.0.3

higher is faster

1364 306
Nenamark v 2.0

higher is faster

33.9 FPS 10.4 FPS
GPUBench v 1.0.0

higher is faster

Absolute: 38752

Relative: 36439

Absolute: 19317

Relative: 16902

GLBenchmark v 2.5

higher is faster

does not work does not work

Arnova 7c G3 battery life

We ran a battery life test playing Big Buck video (720p, mp4, reencoded sound in AAC format: this file big_buck_bunny_720p_AAC.mp4), brightness was set at 50%, sound at 50% and Wi-FI disabled.
ArcTools battery life test was used to generate the following graph.

With this test scenario, the battery life of the Arnova 7c G3 continuously playing a video was around 33 000 seconds, that is about 9 hours and 15 minutes, which is so far one of the best battery life we have measured on an Archos/Arnova 7″ tablet.

Arnova 7c G3 and other Arnova 7 G3 tablets


From top to bottom: Arnova 7c G3, Arnova 7f G3 and Arnova 7 G3
Compared to the other 7 inches tablets in the Arnova G3 family, the 7c G3 offers 3G connectivity, dual camera, Bluetooth, HDMI outpout, GPS and increased battery life. This comes at a price, the Arnova 7c G3 has 512 Mb memory where other models have the double while the Arnova 7 G3 or 7f G3 costs about half the of price of an Arnova 7c G3.

Our opinion

The strong points of this tablet are the weight which is only 368 grams, the 3G capabilities, transforming the tablet in a good companion to keep you updated with news/emails and therefore an alternative for a laptop. It is also Skype capable tablet, the audio/video calls are working fine even over the 3G connection. Using navigation software makes this tablet a good choice to not buy a dedicated GPS device. There is also a micro HDMI port which helps you connect the tablet to a TV and play multimedia content on it.

The screen resolution is 800×480 with 120 PPI density is quite the minimum for a tablet; we are hoping to see an improvement in the future on this side. A new addition to this tablet is the second camera, which features a 3Mpx CMOS, you will not see much performance from this new camera, is missing a stabilization sensor to improve a little the quality of the videos and pictures, the front camera now sports 640/480 resolution which makes it a little better for video chatting.

Selling between 200 to 250 euros, it may look quite expensive for an entry level 3G tablet which is finally a little limited by its relatively ancient processor, low resolution display and the absence of Google Certification and Play Store support. At current prices for the 7c G3, there may be other options to consider, depending on your budget, such as the Chinese Ramos W23 tablet (7″, 3G, ARM Cortex-A9 AMlogic MX Dual Core, 1.5 GHz, Mali 400 Dual Core GPU, 1 GB RAM) that sells for around 120 euros or the new Google Nexus 7 3G (HSPA+) just available at 299 euros.

The Arnova 10d G3 Android tablet has started to sell a few days ago. A few shops like Conrad.de in Germany or Auchan in France are already running promotions under 120 euros, making this 10 inches Android tablet a great deal on the market. Still, the buyers feedback we gathered on the Internet, give mixed echos: some are quite happy with their new tablet while others are mentioning serious flaws. Let’s have a look !

Update 2012/11/21: We have added a video showing the (poor) screen viewing angles, see in the users reported issues below, thanks Mannix.

Arnova 10d G3 specifications


Operating System Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
CPU Single-core VIA 8850 running @1.2 Ghz (ARM Cortex A9)
Integrated GPU: Mali 400 (single-core)
Flash Storage Memory Capacity: 4 GB
System Memory 1024 MB
Additional storage Micro SD slot (SDHC compatible)
Display TFT LCD 10 inches capacitive 5 points screen
1024×600 resolution
Bluetooth No
Wifi 802.11 b/g/n
Gravity Sensor Yes
Camera 0.3Mp (front facing)
GPS No
HDMI Yes (mini HDMI)
Interfaces Full size USB Host
Micro USB slave 2.0: Mass Storage Class (MSC)
MicroSD slot
Google Play Store Yes (but the device is not Google certified)
Kickstand No
Dimensions 200 x 127 x 10 mm
Weight 590 g



User reported Arnova 10d G3 issues

There is some users feedback on android-hilfe.de german Forum, if you want to save yourself the 30+ pages of forum reading in German :) you will find a summary below:
  • SDCard detection problems: Link
  • Poor Google Play Store support (device is not Google Certified), link
  • Wi-FI issues: connection lost Link and Link
  • Low quality display: poor viewing angles, flickering, low resolution: Link, Link and Link

  • LCD screen backlight bleeding: Link


  • Arnova 10d G3 vs Arnova 10b G3 benchmarks

    On the performance side, comparing with the Arnova 10b G3, it seems the Arnova 10d G3 got a little performance boost with its Cortex A9 Single core running at 1.2 GHz. Still, it shows limited performance compared to actual Android tablets powered by recent processors such as the Rockchip RK3066 that we added in the comparison table below (Cube U30GT-H model)

    Arnova 10d G3 vs Arnova 10b G3 and Cube U30GT benchmarks results
    Arnova 10d G3 Arnova 10b G3 Cube U30GT-H
    (RK3066 tablet)
    Antutu Benchmark
    higher is faster
    Total score: Total 3088
    CPU: 1039  
    GPU: 1251 
    RAM: 382 
    I/O: 416
    Total score: 2417
    CPU:  743
    GPU: 761
    RAM: 422
    I/O: 491
    Total score: 7724
    CPU: 4023
    GPU: 1578
    RAM: 1440
    I/O: 683
    CF-Bench v 1.1
    higher is faster
    Native score: 3851
    Java Score: 1402
    Overall Score: 2381
    Native score: 3064
    Java Score: 1018
    Overall Score: 1836
    Native score: 13727
    Java Score: 3899
    Overall Score: 7830
    Quadrant Advanced 1.1.7
    higher is faster
    Total: 1194
    CPU: 1789
    Mem: 1139
    I/O: 784
    2D: 275
    3D: 1987
    Total: 1551
    CPU: 1378
    Mem: 2735
    I/O: 2142
    2D: 457
    3D: 1045
    Total: 4344
    CPU: 7426
    Mem: 4555
    I/O: 6746
    2D: 870
    3D: 2122
    Nenamark v 2.0
    higher is faster
    19.2 FPS 18.3 FPS 54.1 FPS



    Our opinion

    Based on the product specifications and users feedback , the Arnova 10d G3 looks like a good entry level Android tablet for anyone interested in a budget 10″ model. If you can do with the relatively low CPU performance and the other limitations we noted in this article, the 10d G3 model should be OK for you to handle simple tasks such as web browsing, video/music playing, Youtube, eBook reading… If you really want more, it may be wiser to wait for a few weeks as new devices with better screen and more CPU power that will probably be available at less than 150 euros near Christmas time.

    I would like to know more about the Arnova 10d G3

    View Results

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    Sources used in this article:
    android-hilfe.de German Forum
    Tarnatos member on computerbase.de German forum
    First picture from arnova website
    Cube U30GT benchmarks: slatedroid.com forum, hardware.fr forum, mp3mp4players.co.uk
    Mannix for the display viewing angles video.

    0

    While our site is dedicated to Android devices and accessories, we sometimes like to check original products that we found interesting. This time we are reviewing a natural acoustic smartphone dock, made to amplify the sound without needing any battery or power supply. The product is called Mangoobeat, named after the natural mango wood used to build the dock. While the wood imported from Thailand, the company behind the MangooBeat seem to have put special efforts in making the handicraft production eco-friendly. This review covers the medium sized model (35 cm high x 10 cm diameter).

    Packaging

    The product comes packaged in a plastic tube, holding the Mangoobeat dock.
    Mangoobeat_box_DSC_0278b

    The package comes with a soft bag pouch in cotton, that is great to carry the Mangoobeat for outdoor activities.
    Mangoobeat_pouch1_DSC_0279b

    Mangoobeat design

    The Mangoobeat has a very simple design, it looks like a bi-conical piece of wood. The bottom part is cut to make sure the dock stands on a flat surface, it also features some kind of signature from the craftsman.

    Magoobeat_flat_bottom_DSC_0138b

    Magoobeat_signature2_DSC_0135

    The wood piece has an opening in the middle where the phone or portable media player is inserted. The opening is covered by a strip of leather that will make sure the phone stays in place and also improves phonic isolation.
    Mangoobeat_Leather_strip_DSC_0103

    The Mangoobeat design requires that the speaker part of the phone fits inside the wood tube. If the speaker on the playing device is not located at the bottom, it requires to turn the phone upside down.

    mangoobeat_opening_size_nowrmk

    According to Mangoobeat the dock is compatible with most smartphones and media players on the market, for example: Apple Iphone (1,2,3,4), Galaxy S2, Galaxy Nexus, Xperia Arc S and Blackberry Bold 9900.

    Different models

    mangoobeat.com website shows many variations of the product, offering many colors and designs in 3 sizes.

    Sizes and prices are the following:

    S size (25×8 cm)M size (35×10 cm)XXL size (100×15 cm)
    24.90 euros39.90 euros189.90 euros

    Sound

    The Mangoobeat amplifies the sound using natural resonance inside the dock like in an acoustic guitar body. The sound reverberates off the mango wood and goes out amplified on the two cone ends. The sound actually comes louder but is a little changed in the process, loosing a bit of high pitch and getting some echo. You can’t expect high fidelity but we found the amplified sound quite pleasant. It’s important to keep in mind that the acoustics also highly depends on the quality of the playing device speaker.

    It’s not easy to experience the amplification produced by the Mangoobeat from a video, but we have tried a quick demo to give an idea of the sound. We also used a sonometer during the tests to show the sound level improvement.

    Eco-friendly

    According to the company making the Mangoobeat, each dock is produced from a single piece of mango wood, fully handmade product from Thailand. The main material comes from fruitless trees that are harvested for wood. The product benefits from the Thai label OTOP (One Tambon One Product) promoting local production in each Thai tambon (subdistrict). Manufacturing such products provides additional revenue for mango farmers and supports the local community.

    Conclusion

    Listening to music using a piece of wood is smart idea, the simple and nice looking design of the Mangoobeat makes a great piece of Lo-tech electricity-free “speaker”. The sound isn’t exactly high fidelity but we found it quite enjoyable on the devices we used in the test (Google Nexus One, ARCHOS 43 IT and Ipod)
    We’ll hopefully see a model for tablets soon :)


    Pros
    Cons
    • simple and stylish design, each piece is unique
    • nice lo-tech, no battery, no wires, no connectors
    • eco-friendly designed product
    • dimensions limited to certain phones, no tablet support
    • limited sound boost, perfectible acoustics

    Product page: mangoobeat.com

    Latest 4.1.0 firmware for the ARCHOS 101 XS (Gen10) tablet integrates a joystick “Mapping Tool” that was originally designed for the ARCHOS GamePad. This great software let you map the buttons and sticks from a remote controller to specific zones on the tablet screen. This helps to get better joystick compatibility for games that were not initially designed for it.

    ARCHOS_Mapping_101XS_Modern_Combat4b

    Configuring Sixaxis / DualShock3 controller on the ARCHOS 101 XS

    Sony PS3 game controllers (Sixaxis and DualShock 3 are natively supported on the ARCHOS 101 XS with stock firmware, rooting is not necessary. In our test setup shown in this demo, the following hardware is used:

  • ARCHOS 101 XS tablet
  • Sony wireless Sixaxis or DualShock 3 game controller
  • Sony DualShock 3 Wireless Controller

    AMAZON USAUsually ships in 24 hours$ 39.99
    AMAZON UKUsually dispatched within 24 hours£ 33.4
    AMAZON DEGewöhnlich versandfertig in 24 Stunden43.8 EUR
    AMAZON FRHabituellement expédié sous 24 h40 EUR
    AMAZON ITGeneralmente spedito in 24 ore56.06 EUR

    The device pairing needs to be done connecting the game controller to the tablet thru USB. The following are requied:

  • USB Host/OTG Cable, such as the Nokia

  • Nokia USB OTG Cable CA 157

    AMAZON USA$ 7.99
    AMAZON UKUsually dispatched within 1-2 business days£ 1
    AMAZON DEGewöhnlich versandfertig in 24 Stunden4 EUR
    AMAZON FRExpédition sous 1 à 2 jours ouvrés2.91 EUR

  • USB cable with USB mini connector end (to the game controller)
  • USB mini cable (USB 2.0 A-Male to Mini-B Cable)

    AMAZON USAUsually ships in 24 hours$ 5.49
    AMAZON UKUsually dispatched within 24 hours£ 4.99
    AMAZON DEGewöhnlich versandfertig in 24 Stunden9.98 EUR
    AMAZON FRHabituellement expédié sous 24 h5.99 EUR
    AMAZON ITGeneralmente spedito in 24 ore5.99 EUR

    Video demonstration:

    Video demo with Modern Combat 4

    The following video demonstrates stick/button mapping and gameplay of latest Gameloft FPS game “Modern Combat 4” played on the ARCHOS 101 XS with Sony DualShock 3 controller.

    Compatible games

    See our list for games supported by the mapping application. This list targets GamePad, but most games mapping should also work on the ARCHOS 101 XS and 80 XS as they use the same mapping system.

    ARCHOS GamePad

    Mapped games

    264 compatible games

    Check yours now !



    Thanks Mr. Gorsky for the Sixaxis controller and cajl / jbmm.fr for his help.

    SOCIAL