Prepurchase Archos 101 questions for those who have had it for a while


  1. bullfrg

    bullfrg Member

    I have been debating on purchasing an Archos 101 (or Viewsonic G Tab) and have some questions now that it has been out for a while.

    How durable is it? If you have had one for a while you have carried it around from place to place, is it still holding well together? Is there a case to help protect it?

    How are the software upgrades since it came out? I am not sure I want to void the warranty if there becomes a hardware problem.

    How is the USB port? I read lots of problems on it. Can you stick a 500 gig hard drive to it?

    What megapixel is the camera? I read .3 someplace is that true?

    Any other info would be good as well but I have read many reviews and videos so I have a basic idea.

    I want something that I can use office products, watch movies, good WiFi, internet, Bible software (I am a chaplain) and some games. I have a computer for really awesome games (or will have with Star Wars Old Republic comes out and I purchase a new computer) so I am not looking for some uber game system but rather something useful for work type scenarios (like in a hospital but we know games are good for meetings).

    Thanks

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  2. linuxmel

    linuxmel Well-Known Member

    Buy the Nook color instead, and root it, then install a custom rom. A rooted nook is awesome!
  3. Hajile_Ibushi

    Hajile_Ibushi Well-Known Member

    I have had the 101 since it came out. First week of november and proof that Archos did achieve their shipping deadline. I assuming that the first batch didn't reach the US because americans will likely return theirs because of the missing 't'. Thus the rest of us that didn't mind getting an Archos "Table" got shipped theirs instead =P

    So that would mean i've had it for over five months now.

    Can't help you there much unfortunately since i use it mostly indoors, it's too big to carry around outside when you're commuting. I have the iPod touch for that. In trips that include my car tho, i actually have it tracking my car with the GPS tether. Helped us get through detours quite a few times.

    I also don't have butter fingers. I stub my toe a lot, but rarely let anything slip.

    They come out pretty regularly. The first Froyo update was a mess, but they fixed that a week later, the current firmware is pretty stable.

    Only on the 101. The power rating on it is enough to support USB devices, the unit lasted five hours when i played HD anime on it from my WD Passport. It was during a trip so i had the screen dimmed and the wifi turned off.

    On the 70, the USB doesn't have enough juice, so it can only support low power peripherals, like keyboards and thumbdrives. It's still compatible with external harddrives, but you'll need an external power source.

    Some external drives have dual USB heads, maybe you can stick one of them to an AC->USB adapter?

    Also, 101 has two USB ports, a micro usb for connecting to the PC (Same way you connect your gadgets to your PC), and a standard USB host port (so you can stick your gadgets to it). The 70 has a shared usb port, and you'll need a special cable to get it to turn into host more, otherwise it's just a client.

    Camera is rather low quality. About the same as my laptops, only more obvious since it's now stretched across a large screen. Imagine a picture taken off your webcam and stretched to 1024x600. It may not be adequate on cellphones, but on a 10" screen, it's pretty bad.

    *

    Be sure the sound is muted when you're in a meeting because the speakers are *loud*. Everyone in the next room will know playing angry birds.

    *

    Video playback is beyond what my iPod can do. No need for iTunes or spend hours converting videos. I just drop my MKV's on it and instantly play them. Contrary to popular believe, the iPod *CANNOT* run any of your h264 videos without converting them first. Which kinda negates the claim of 720p.

    Video streaming is okay if you're too lazy to even copy, just browse your network and play directly off your shared folders. Just note that 720p with 4.1 profiles will tend to choke when streamed, it's best to copy them on the unit. My anime's below that tho stream fine.

    I watch a lot of videos so being able to support my multi terabyte library is a requirement.

    *

    The network function is a big plus because now *ALL* of my apps can browse the network. If you were using windows and wanted your application to open a text file on another PC, you enter this in the address bar.

    \\RemotePCName\SharedFolderName\myfile.xls

    On the Archos, *ALL* your apps can browse the network, even the ones that aren't designed for it. Your network is treated as one big folder and completely transparent to the apps. They still think they're browsing your local files.

    \Storage\Network\SMB\WORKGROUP\RemotePCName\SharedFolderName\myfile.xls

    *

    Battery is amazing. My china gadgets would have batteries that would be down to less than an hour after a few months. But i just tried playing a video until the battery ran down last week (five months old), and the 101 lasted Eight hours and Thirty Three Minutes!!! CPU set to max, screen dimmed, and wifi off. Of course, web browsing with brightness on max will eat your battery pretty fast too.

    *

    GPS is a neat feature. I'm tethering to the internet through my phone anyway, might as well tether the GPS as well. Helps when i'm going through unknown areas. The phone does have a mapping app, but it's easier to navigate on the tablets bigger screen.

    *

    An actual file system is a big benefit. It's what allows it to share files with your PC. You can browse your sdcard, external drive, thumbdrive, and even the network, and access files from other devices. Heck i actually use the 101 to access my phone camera and copy files from that over bluetooth. If you have a digital camera with a USB cable, you can stick that into



    There are some issues however:

    Screen

    -If you open your laptop all the way, and try looking at it from below, it will start to solarize (The colors reverse). The archos has the same screen and the optimal viewing angle when watching videos is limited to just the front (then again, you don't actually watch movies with your head tilted to the side right?)

    -The good news is that it doesn't happen to ebook apps. Ebooks are usually black and white, so there's nothing to solarize. I read manga on it all the time (You read the bible before bed? I read Naruto.)

    -Certain apps also have issues with the screen. Lets say your desktop monitor is 1680x1050. That doesn't actually mean your applications can use the full screen tho, because that taskbar is taking about 50 pixels off the bottom, leaving around 1680x1000 for the actual app. When i make an applications, i take my dimension from the Window size, not the monitor resolution. The same thing applies on the Archos. Some apps take the screens resolution rather than the 'window' size and end up making their interface too big. It's a very simply fix, but apparently easy to overlook. This won't be an issue in future apps tho, because Honeycomb uses virtual buttons like the archos, so future applications will have to get their parameters properly.

    *

    Stability

    -Unfortunately, it isn't completely stable and you can tell the limitations of putting a phone OS on a tablet. It will crash at times and you have to do a forced reset. HTML sites with poorly written javascript can make the browser stop responding.

    *

    Storage

    -This is where the phone OS becomes glaringly obvious. Android has no drive letters, and there are no specs in the apps to address this. When you stick in several storage devices (ie. Passport and/or sd card) the apps will always default to the internal memory. It's like having several harddrives on your PC, but can only access Drive C and MyDocuments. They patched in the other storages by turning them into virtual folders. So it's like, to access Drive D, you go to C:\My Documents\Drive D, C:\My Documents\DVD Drive, etc. On the archos, the internal storage is "/sdcard", the Micro SD Slot is "/sdcard/sdcard", and the external drive is "/sdcard/usb_host". It's a mess.

    -I'm hoping Honeycomb would have a better storage layout. Froyo apps do access other storage devices and network folders, but they always default to the internal one.




    Wow, this got kinda long.

    Anyway, if you need a phone, get the Galaxy Tab. If you need a multimedia device, get the Archos.

    If you need something more stable, wait for Honeycomb.
    bullfrg and UBRocked like this.
  4. euph_22

    euph_22 Well-Known Member

    The only OS I can think of that has drive letters is Windows (ok, DOS). Linux (which Android is a variant of), Mac, Unix, Haiku, Chrome OS, etc DON'T. And it's not that complicated. Just think of the /sdcard directory as the "my computer" folder in windows. so from there you can either access your internal directly, your sdcard (in the completely obvious ./sdcard folder), or your usb device (again, an obviously named folder ./usb_host).
    Could they be a little more clearly named, yeah. But they have to be consistent across the android platform, or else apps wouldn't know what directory to look it (ok, there are ways around this but alot of devs wouldn't think to use them).

    But saying that the file management is a mess because it isn't identical to Windows is just silly and misinformed.
  5. PSkeptic

    PSkeptic Well-Known Member

    Neither do most OS's... Windows is the only one.

    Sure there is: It's called the "Filesystem Hierarchy Standard": Filesystem Hierarchy Standard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Of course it would default to the internal memory. It's the only location guaranteed to exist. You may or may not have another storage device plugged in.

    It's not "patched". It's part of a standard (Several, actually). Removable file systems get "mounted" into the file system tree.

    That is the standard, and it's not likely to change. They will always default to the internal storage, because it's the only one guaranteed to be there. You are always free to "tinker" if you like, and change the mount structure. Or, just move files around.
    xmr405o and euph_22 like this.
  6. Hajile_Ibushi

    Hajile_Ibushi Well-Known Member

    Are you still talking about Archos?

    By design /sdcard originally isn't guaranteed to always be there, yet it's used to point to an internal storage.

    As has been shown on the archos, you can't pick where to put the files in. Normally /sdcard points to the card reader, but since the card reader is /sdcard/sdcard, the apps never expect to go past that. I'm hoping in honeycomb you can assign names to devices/locations like windows does. I want this app installed to \storage, it's almost full so i want this other app on the \sdcard, the partition size cannot be changed, files are designed to run on the main partition only and apps2sd is a stopgap that doesn't really work too well.

    On the archos \sdcard and \storage point to the same thing. The card reader is both \sdcard\sdcard and \storage\sdcard. As shown by apps2sd, the current one doesn't even point to the card reader because the \sdcard is pointing to the internal storage, at most you'll only be able to double what you can install (usually less) because most of the apps are hardcoded to work from the system partition.

    Looking at how things work, it's like the fundamental concept doesn't account for internal storage. It's only either the system partition or the sd card. Reminds me of the screen argument, sure android apps from phones automatically resize to fit the tablet, but there's a difference between being functional and actually being designed for it.

    As i've said, it's a mess. Altering anything requires that you hack the device. Android may have more potential if you hack it, but it shouldn't have to come to that. I'm hoping that the standard Honeycomb is a bit more customizable than this. I hear that the ASUS Transformer has two card readers, i wonder how that'll work out.

    "Root it!" or "Jailbreak it!" is NOT the answer i'm looking for. The reason i'm attracted to android rather than iOS is because i don't have to hack anything to make it functional. I'm a heavy user that'll probably count as nerd, but nowhere near the enthusiastic tinkering of a geek.

    That's why i'm looking forward to Honeycomb, where the least common denominator is *not* a 3 inch screen with only one storage point.

    @OP
    Ignore this post the two above it. It's geek territory and shouldn't matter to the typical user.
  7. colchiro

    colchiro Well-Known Member

    +1 :d
  8. striker59

    striker59 Active Member

    I got one the other day, used it for one day and I am returning it. The touch screen was driving me crazy, slow response, clicking on things I didnt want. I have a Cruz tablet that works better.
  9. 2ndaccord

    2ndaccord Well-Known Member

    I have the 101 and its great. You have to tweak a few things but afterwards its a great tablet for the money. I primary use it for web and watching movies and it foes that very well. Some games like angry birds works great but others like fruit ninja have a slight delay in the touch screen.
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