Category: Reviews

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Linutop OS 4.0, custom Ubuntu for web-kiosks

Posted by Charbax – October 28, 2010

Linutop sells small, silent and low power PCs based on AMD Geode and VIA C7 processors to use in business and industrial environments. Now they are launching Linutop OS 4.0 that anyone can download at http://www.linutop.com/software/download.en.html to boot from a USB stick or CD/DVD on any x86 computer. They are also considering providing this solution for ARM Powered desktop systems as soon as several popular low-cost designs are released. This video features Linutop founder and CEO Frederic Baille talking about Linutop and a screencast to show the principal features of this OS.

Review: Archos 70 Internet Tablet (part 2)

Posted by Charbax – October 19, 2010

Testing some cool features, Dolphin Browser HD multi-tabs, video-chatting, RDP, video-games, I just did a 37 minute VOIP call using SIP on Fring and using my $8/month 1GB/month SIM card in my Huawei Mifi and it works pretty much perfectly. For some reason audio in Skype and in Fring video-chat is still buggy, but I am sure Archos will fix this in a firmware update imminently. Also see Part 1 of my video review of this product.

Review: Sony Reader PRS-650 Touch Edition

Posted by Charbax – October 18, 2010

It has a nice screen, I show it, and I give you my opinions on this e-reader. Sony is bringing a really nice E-ink Pearl based e-reader with a fantastic very sensitive infrared based touch screen. Though I wish it had WiFi and Android software for Chrome-to-Ereader functionality and Sharing and Synchronizing of Annotations and Reading to make Annotations and Reading more useful. It's cool that Sony promote the "get unlimited ebooks for free from your digital library" concept. With WiFi, though, the integration with unlimited amounts of ebook repositories would be more seamless and probably more user friendly. If all you are looking for is an offline e-reader, with the latest e-ink screen technology, with touch-screen for page turns, dictionary/translator and for annotations and UIs, then this could be a great choice for you.

Also see my Grandmother reviewing this device in my video released last week and my 11-minute video interview with a Sony specialist unveiling it and discussing technical details about it at IFA.

Archos 70 Internet Tablet Review

Posted by Charbax – October 16, 2010

First unboxing and review of the Archos 70 Internet Tablet, a $275 alternative to the $499 iPad and the $599 Samsung Galaxy Tab. I was amazed by how thin and light it is when I first took it out of the box, at 300 grams, it nearly feels like it's an empty case without any electronics inside.

Archos 70 Internet Tablet

The capacitive touch screen on an Archos tablet is cool, I need to get used to that. Hopefully I will learn to type on it as fast as I do with my finger-tips/nails on my resistive screens. My plan this winter is to carry this 7" Archos Android tablet with me everywhere in the inside of my jacket pocket. In this video, I try to show you multi-touch, web browsing speed, email, facebook, Google Maps Street View, Live wallpapers, video playback, HDMI output and more.

This review model is still running Android 2.1, while Archos is putting finishing touches to their faster and more optimized Android 2.2 firmware, hopefully to be ready in like days or so for when this device and its 101 big-brother actually ships worldwide. As I showed you in my previous video, Google Marketplace works on these Archos Android tablets using the gApps4Archos.apk one-click installation file. All codecs up to H264 high profile high bitrate 720p MKV works even on HDMI output (still to be tested and optimized in firmware). It's only 300 grams (vs 380 grams Galaxy Tab and 680 grams iPad).

Pictures available at Picasa:
Archos 70 Internet Tablet Archos 70 Internet Tablet vs Archos 43 Internet Tablet Archos 70 Internet Tablet vs Archos 43 Internet Tablet Archos 70 Internet Tablet vs Archos 43 Internet Tablet Archos 70 Internet Tablet vs Sony PRS-650

You can discuss this video in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=38513

Google Marketplace now works on Archos Gen8 Internet Tablets

Posted by Charbax – October 9, 2010

The full Google Marketplace with Gmail, Google Maps now works on Archos new range of Android Internet Tablets, it has been made available as a one-click installation file with the name "gApps4Archos.apk" in the ArchosFans forum by a forum user. In this video of the Archos 43 Internet Tablet, I also feature demonstrations of Skype (these Android tablets can be a perfect as cheap VOIP devices!), Bluetooth speakers, 720p MKV high bitrate video playback with DTS audio and a couple of action packed 3D games on the HDMI output.

Here's a reminder of the new Archos Android Tablets that this Google Marketplace gApps4Archos.apk installation file works with:

Archos 28 Internet Tablet, 4GB, 2.8" resistive screen: $99 (2.29x cheaper than iPod Touch!) (available next week)
Archos 32 Internet Tablet, 8GB, 3.2" resistive screen, VGA camcorder, composite tv-out: $149 (available since a couple of weeks at certain online resellers like Amazon.com)
Archos 43 Internet Tablet, 16GB, 4.3" resistive screen, HD camcorder, HDMI output: $199 (3x cheaper than Droid X!) (available next week)
Archos 70 Internet Tablet, 16GB, 7" capacitive screen, front-facing webcam for video-chat, HDMI output: $275 (2.5x cheaper than Samsung Galaxy Tab!) 250GB version for $349 (available next week)
Archos 101 Internet Tablet, 8GB, 10.1" capacitive screen, front-facing webcam for video-chat, HDMI output: $299 ($200 cheaper than iPad!) 16GB version for $349 (available next week)

Exclusive: Sony PRS-650 Grandmother Review

Posted by Charbax – October 8, 2010

Watch my grandmother use this new touch screen Sony e-reader. It's a product that is suitable for people like her, who like to read lots, who may enjoy having access to all the worlds books electronically on this thin and light device. In this review, after having barely used the device before, she tries to navigate through the menus, open some PDF files, make fonts larger (to not need glasses) and she even does a drawing.

Also see my 11-minute video interview with a Sony specialist unveiling it and discussing technical details about it at IFA.

Sony's new infrared based touch screen technology is quite awesome, great for UI navigations and for making annotations, provides touch on e-ink without taking away any of the Pearl e-ink's screens visibility. Too bad though that this PRS-650 doesn't come with at least WiFi nor with a 3G option, would have made the touch screen more useful if it could interact with web apps and web contents. I want Chrome-to-phone like Chrome-to-eink functionality where a one click in the web browser on my Laptop or Android device, should beam that article over to my Connected e-reader's reading queue. And then I want annotations to become more useful and collaborative. 10 people working on the same text should be able to wirelessly share annotations in real-time. When I annotate a text, it should automatically be attached as comments to any site using Sidewiki or some other such web annotation standards to interoperate with websites existing commenting systems (post scribbled annotations as comments!). A bluetooth or USB keyboard and a built-in kickstand should provide a setup for full speed text entry.

Archos $99-$149 MiniTablet platform videoed

Posted by Charbax – October 1, 2010

In this video, I try to show you the quality and to demonstrate the value of the Archos 32 Internet Tablet with Android. It's the 3.2" $149 8GB big brother of Archos 28 Internet Tablet which is to be sold below $99 with 4GB of storage and a slightly smaller 2.8" screen, of about the same size as the HTC Tatoo, Sony Ericsson X10 Mini, Acer beTouch 110/120/130. This video shows how the experience is on such WQVGA resolution small screen Android device.

What do you think about this Archos Android WiFi-connected PMP, at 2.3x cheaper than the iPod Touch? Don't you think it will be a no brainer for mass market consumers, if given the choice in stores, that they will choose this type of Android alternative to the iPod Touch?

Archos 43 Internet Tablet compared to Archos 5 Internet Tablet

Posted by Charbax – October 1, 2010

An overview of the difference in screen size, touch screen quality, web browsing speed. More on video playback support including a test on streaming video over Samba file sharing.

Archos 43 Internet Tablet Reviewed

Posted by Charbax – September 28, 2010

It packs everything you can think of into 130 grams, with 4.3″ highly responsive touch screen, $199 price point for 16GB, no monthly subscription fees required (makes it much cheaper but similar in performance to Droid X), it can access 3G on Mifi or using Bluetooth tethering. In this video I demonstrate awesome HDMI output to browse the Internet on your HDTV, to play amazing 3D video games using the accelerometer or perhaps using bluetooth gamepad controllers too, and of course, to playback HD quality videos.

My unboxing of Archos 43 and 32 Internet Tablets

Posted by Charbax – September 27, 2010

This is my unboxing video of the Generation 8 Archos Android tablets:

Archos 43 Internet Tablet (16GB) for sale soon for $199 in the USA and 199€ in Europe. (yes A43 is confirmed to be $199/199€ for 16GB Capacity). The Archos 43 Internet Tablet basically offers the same Android experience on a large yet very pocketable 4.3" touch screen as on a Droid X using the same Texas Instruments OMAP3630 ARM Cortex A8 45nm 1ghz processor but for $199 all inclusive (no $599 unlocked pricing or $2000 with 2-year contracts), no monthly subscriptions required, though for 3G access and VOIP you need to use a Mifi or Bluetooth tethering. It comes with HDMI output and full video and audio codecs support up to MKV 720p high profile and high bitrate support (which I will test in my upcoming next videos).

Archos 32 Internet Tablet (8GB) for sale now on Amazon.com for $144 in the USA and 158€ on Amazon.de in Europe. This MiniTablet range by Archos offers basically a similar experience to the iPod Touch but for an amazing price starting at $99 for the Archos 28 to $149 for the Archos 32 which thus has slightly larger screen, a VGA camera and Composite tv-out.

In this video, I unbox them and boot them up for the first time:

Consider European prices include ~20% VAT taxes which is why the EU price of any consumer electronics devices is always higher than US prices which don't include taxes.

You can discuss this video in my other forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=37752