Look and feel
Perhaps because it closely resembles the Apple iPad Mini, the Archos 80 Titanium is a good-looking white and silver beast. It’s well put-together and can take some punishment.
Ease of Use
Although it’s a little heavier and bulkier than Apple’s iPad Mini, the Archos 80 Titanium can still be used one-handed in relative comfort. The eight-inch touchscreen is responsive.
The 2MP rear camera will do in a pinch for shooting home movies and photos, even if it’s a little feature-light and fails in low light. You also get a front-facing lens for video chats.
The dual-core processor running at 1.6GHz guarantees smooth performance, even when running demanding action games.
The Achilles heel of the 80 Titanium is its battery life. You’ll only get four hours of constant use from each charge, placing it well below average in the tablet stakes.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,4/24/2013 4:27:22 PM
Ease of use
Sharp, colourful mini display;
Solidly built and sleek;
Below average battery life;
Screen a little dim;
While many tablet manufacturers opt for a plain black design, Archos has gone for an all-out iPad clone with its latest ‘Titanium’ tablet. The eight-inch Archos 80 Titanium sports a white glass frame and sleek silver back – so far, so familiar – although it’s also a fair chunk heavier at 440g (compared to the iPad Mini at 308g). Thankfully, while the weight has bulked up, the price has done the opposite. You can snap up an Archos 80 Titanium for a shade under £150, almost half the cost of the dinky iPad. So, is it a bargain, or bust?
Sleek and solid
The Archos 80 Titanium is certainly solidly constructed, with nary a hint of flex. Aside from an ever-so-slightly imperfect join between the glass panel and the silver back, it’s very well put-together and can put up with a bit of push and tug on your travels. Of course, like the iPad Mini, those smooth surfaces mean just one knock and it’ll fly off your table, desk or knee, so you’ll have to be careful.
That extra bit of weight and girth compared with the iPad Mini makes the Archos 80 Titanium a little trickier to hold one-handed, especially if you want to grip it around the back. However, the borders around the screen are still thick enough to allow you to comfortably clutch it in either landscape or portrait mode. You get a Mini USB port for hooking up to a TV, and a standard Micro USB port for connecting to a computer to exchange files. Unfortunately the tablet doesn’t charge via USB like most other tablets: you need to use the bundled proprietary charger, which is added bulk to pack when you’re off on your holidays.
Starting up the 80 Titanium, we instantly noticed the crisp and colourful nature of the eight-inch IPS display. It’s not quite as bright as we’d like, but we only struggled to see what we were doing in harsh sunlight, so it’s not a deal breaker. The Android 4.1 desktop looks fantastic, scrolling through menus and desktops is nippy and responsive, and we love the way that shortcuts and widgets fade out as you flip from one desktop to the next.
Browsing the web did seem a little slow over our home Wi-Fi network, with some pages taking several seconds or longer to load, and we also found that the 80 Titanium lost Wi-Fi signal a lot quicker than similar tablets such as the Google Nexus 7 when we ventured a few metres from the wireless router. However, once pages were loaded, browsing through them was a smooth experience, even when zooming with pinch gestures, and photos and text appeared crisp.
With its foundations rooted in portable video players, we always expect excellent media performance from Archos’ tablets. HD video looks great and we like the movie app, which gives you a scrollable wheel of all of your videos, separated into movies and TV. The only problem is the 80 Titanium’s battery life. We only managed to stream video for a little over four hours before the tablet conked out, a good chunk less than the tablet average of five hours. On the other end of the scale, the Apple iPad Mini and Google Nexus 7 lasted close to ten hours on a single charge.
Thankfully there are no such issues when it comes to performance. The dual-core A9 processor handles all of your media, games and apps with ease, and we never saw so much as a stutter when using the 80 Titanium. Even the latest fast-paced action games ran perfectly. You get 8GB of storage space for all of your apps and media, which isn’t much at all, but the handy Micro SD memory card slot means this is expandable.
Increasing numbers of tourists seem to be wielding their tablets to take photos and movies, so almost every tablet these days comes with a decent rear-facing camera. The Archos 80 Titanium opts for a basic 2MP lens, which is strong enough to capture decent family shots when you’re out and about, but falls down somewhat when lighting conditions aren’t perfect. The lack of a flash means you can’t take evening shots, but that’s something that’s missing from most cut-price tablets.
You don’t get much in the way of features, but you can capture basic panoramas and shoot video (with the ability to take low-res shots at the same time). A front-facing camera is also in place to capture your grinning mug, useful for video chats online. It’s low quality, so we came out quite dark and blurry, but it does the job for a simple Skype session.
The Archos 80 Titanium is a good looking eight-inch tablet that seems to ape the iPad Mini, but at half the cost. It’s comfortable to use with a crisp, colourful screen and good performance, although the below-average battery life means the iPad Mini and Google Nexus 7 are still our favourite mini-tabs.