Archos 5 Internet Tablet

I saw an eBay deal a couple of weeks back for an Archos 5 Internet Tablet for a low price.  The specs sounded pretty cool for a small cheap handheld

  • 4.8″ Touchscreen 800 x 480
  • 800 Mhz
  • 8 GB storage
  • MicroSD/TF Flash Slot
  • WiFi
  • BlueTooth
  • GPS
  • FM Radio and Transmitter (can broadcast to your car’s FM Radio, for example)
  • Android OS

It’s really focused on “media’ playing all types of video and audio file formats.  There’s even an add-on that turns it into a DVR!

So I bought it.  The main thing was the GPS.  I had an Acer Iconia A100 with GPS, but I broke the screen, and with the holidays coming up, I was planning a trip and wanted the GPS.

I was pretty excited to find a handheld Android tablet with GPS for under $60.

Then I got the device.

That 4.8” screen – it’s resistive and TFT.  There’s only 256 MB of RAM. The GPS app built into the device is not free.  It does not run Flash, or an HTML-5 browser.  So while it claims to play YouTube videos – it only does so in the old-school iPhone way of downloading the originals temporarily to the device, not streaming like you would expect.

And worst of all – the “Android” is 1.6…  There is no Play Store.  There is no Google Apps Store.  The Amazon App Store won’t even work on it.  The include “App Store” has about 500 ~ 800 apps total, maybe.  And most are worthless.

Do not buy this.  At least not for anything more than say $25.  Or at very least, know what you are getting – a glorified media player.  The specs sound like there would be a lot you can do with it, but it is crippled by the software.  And it is no longer supported by Archos, even though it only came out in 2010.

This all leaves a very bad impression in my mouth towards the company Archos.  It really makes me question if the GamePad would actually be worth it.  It all looks very good on paper, but will they kill it with software, will they drop support in a few months when the next model comes out?  What specs aren’t they telling us, and how will that affect the machine?

I hope I am wrong.  I was really looking forward to the GamePad, but now… I think I will just stick with my Yinlips.

What do you think?  Am I being too harsh on a 2-year-old device that costs less than dinner and a movie for two? Hit up the comments and let me have it, or not – either way.  The comments are open.

13 thoughts on “Archos 5 Internet Tablet”

  1. It seems to me that the author is butthurt for not reading the description and doing his research more thoroughly. Good lesson for next time, isn’t it, Chad?

  2. To be fair… this device came out nearly 3 years ago — before the iPad, and before even the first Samsung Galaxy Tab.

    Nobody was really making Android tablets at the time, and while there were already phones with better specs than the Archos 5, this was one of the first Android-powered non-phone devices.

    The company has released a number of devices with better screens, faster processors, and more improvements since then… but it sounds like you managed to find a good price on a tablet that’s now awfully dated.

    You can still buy first-gen iPads, ancient Dell, HP, or Apple laptops, or other devices that are pretty much past their sell-by date. But I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. I’m also not sure I’d judge 3-year old products by today’s standards.

    • If the Archos gamepad is successful you can bet there will be custom firmware at some point. I wonder if you can put some sort of CFW on this like you can with other cheap tablets. I heard somewhere that this might not be possible because Archos uses non standard hardware. I hope they did not do that with the gamepad. I just picked up the Polaroid 4.3″ ICS tablet at one of those discount joints for $40. Low screen resolution but the specs are pretty decent and unlike the jxd it has a capacitive screen

      • Which JXD are you talking about? There are plenty of JXDs with capacitive touch screens. Do you mean the JXD S18 Mini Pad? That was a disappointment that they went resistive on that one.

        I saw the Polaroid mini tablet and had to laugh that it didn’t have a camera. It’s strange enough to see a Polaroid branded tablet at all, but the fact that this camera company didn’t include a camera on their tablet is just hilarious.

        The Archos 5 does have some hacks out there to get it to Android 2.2 / 2.3 but you lose a lot of functions. From what I could find, one thing you lose is GPS, which would completely defeat the purpose for me getting this thing in the first place.

    • The Archos 5 Internet Tablet came out in September, 2009. While that is a little over 3 years ago, and before the iPad, it was not before the iPhone or the iPod Touch, which is what it would most likely have been compared to. Also, while Android 1.6 Donut was the latest release in September, 2009 – 2.0 came out the following month, and 2.1 before the end of that same year. So it’s not like I am expecting 3 year old hardware to run up-to-the-second OSes. I would expect a 3 month old device to run the latest OS. I’m not expecting ICS or JellyBean on this thing. But supporting the device longer than a season would be nice.

  3. You might be being a little harsh. I don’t doubt that this device is a steaming pile but companies do get better at making devices. Look at HTC. They used to make crappy Windows Mobile phones back in the day and ended up becoming the leader in Android (for a short time at least). I wouldn’t go rushing out to buy an Archos Gamepad (I’m concerned the d-pad is 4 buttons) but if public opinion is positive, it’s probably still worth considering. You know what you’re getting with the Gamepad which is something you can’t say for this Internet handheld. If you knew it was running Donut or had a resistive touchscreen, you would have never bought it. Sounds more like you got swindled.

  4. My father bought the same one 1 year ago or something, that’s really a piece of crap ! I totally agree that’s not worth $60 at all. I had exactly the same reaction as you regarding Archos and I’m pretty sure I won’t buy anything from them since I had the opportunity to try this tablet.


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