Archos used to do their own hardware design and write the software that ran on it, but they don't anymore. Do you know the Archos 7" Home tablet? It was designed by Rockchip. In fact, I was told at CES that all of Archos' tablets were RockChip designs. RockChip did a lot of the programming, too.
You might think that this doesn't really matter; it's still decent hardware. Well, no. Mike Cane had his hands on the Archos 101, and he was disgusted by the screen quality.
Apparently Archos is using a typical netbook screen here. And it might be sourced from more than one manufacturer, which would account for some people experiencing problems and others not.
The unit I was looking at I would describe as defective, period.
I held it and the viewing angle fell off a cliff. I had to turn it upside-down to get the proper viewing angle. This might not seem like a big deal, except look...
And then there are the other gadgets Archos have announced lately. Take the 70c, for example. Not only is not an Archos design, it's also a rather ordinary tablet that another company already got on the market - months ago. Update: It's actually worse than that. It turns out that Archos have 2 crappy ereaders, not one. They've also announced the 70b in Europe, and it has a completely different set of hardware.
And then there is the Archos Arnova. When I first saw it I assumed that it had to be a knockoff; Archos don't release crap. But apparently I was wrong. You can find it on the warranty registration page on Archos' website.
So at this point Archos aren't doing their own design work, they aren't using good components, and they aren't even using good designs.
Good-bye, Archos; it was fun while it lasted.