The Archos 70c e-reader marks the beginning of the end of Archos

The Archos 70c ereader showed up on J&R website yesterday, and this gave me an opportunity to write a post that I've been saving.Archos aren't the company they used to be.I own an Archos 705, which was one of the last of Archos' original designs. This was a media device based on a 7" LCD screen and running Archos' proprietary software. It came out in 2007, and it was a pretty good PMP. It could even show PDFs and run Opera (if you paid extra).

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.

About Nate Hoffelder (11579 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

2 Comments on The Archos 70c e-reader marks the beginning of the end of Archos

  1. Heh. You should have looked more closely at the J&R page. They’re also selling the damn Arnovas.

    Archos could make some good money releasing their video playback software for other Android tablets. And doing a webOS version too. Of course, this would give people no reason to buy *their* hardware — but it seems a lot of the hardware does that for itself these days.

  2. I own the Archos 70 and I am quite satisfied with it, as are apparently the 94 people who gave the unit a four star rating at Amazon.com. While I have heard that the viewing angles are poor on the 101, they are satisfactory on the Archos 70.

    I expect them to be a serious player in the lower end Android tablet Market for years to come.

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