Archos 70b IT review Part 1: Introduction

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Back in June 2011, Archos Generation 9 tablets were announced. While nearly everybody was hoping to see more, only two tablets were presented to the public – 8 inches with 4:3 screen aspect ratio and a widescreen 10.1 inches tablet. 70IT owners started to complain, the 80G9 was not portable enough and was not really suitable for watching videos. Back in June, nobody knew that Archos was already working on an upgrade for the 70IT. In July, the mysterious 70S2 passed the FCC and 70H2 followed two weeks later. Unfortunately, it took more than 6 months for Archos 70S2(now known as Archos 70b Internet Tablet) to be available in the shops and we can only guess why there is still no 70b IT available with 250GB of storage.

The new ARCHOS 70b IT is an enhanced version of the ARCHOS 70 IT Gen 8 that received a few upgrades. We got a comparison table:

Model Archos 70IT S
Archos 70bIT S
Processor OMAP3630@1GHz OMAP3630@1.2GHz
RAM 256MB 512MB
Flash Memory 8GB 8GB

(tested Read 18421 kB/s, Write 8165 kB/s)

Display characteristics 7 inches
800×480 resolution
2 point multi-touch
7 inches
1024×600 resolution
5 points multi-touch  
Bluetooth 2.1 (+3G tethering) 2.1
Wi-fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n
GPS No (only via Bluetooth) No (only via Bluetooth)
Gravity Sensor Yes Yes
Battery Life ??? 4hours 45minutes  
Android Market No (available via Arctools) Yes
Kickstand Yes Yes
HDMI Yes, mono output Yes, mono output
Dimensions 201 x 114 x 10 mm 201 mm x 115 mm x 11.5 mm
Weight
RRP 249EUR 199EUR

Designwise, there are a few changes. The bezel on the front is changed, it is now made of black brushed metal which is improvement, because the fingertips are not that visible as on the 70IT. The metal casing on the back is gone which resulted in thicker casing and not so nice look:

Because of the cheaper casing, tablet has become thicker and has also gained some weight. The difference in the weight is not that big, because Archos decided to put a slightly smaller battery in the device.

For those, who don’t know, how big is an 7 inches tablet, we got a picture of 70b IT laying next to 3.7 inches Nokia Lumia 800:

Basically, the screen size of an 7 inch tablet is four times bigger than 3.5 inches phone/pmp. It is nearly twice as small as ordinary 10 inches tablets and it is much more portable than the 8 inches tablets with 4:3 aspect ratio. Archos 70b IT fits in most jacket and pants pockets.

Continue to Part 2: Hardware & Look and Feel.