Hands-on with the 13.3-inch tablet Archos Pad family

I first laid eyes on the pavement of the family Archos at CES. And I need two eyes to take in this behemoth of a tablet, which features a huge 13.3-inch screen.

At this size, you do not really travel with him - if you could, no differently than you would with a 13.3-inch laptop (without the keyboard, natch). No, the pavement of the family is best suited to the family room, so it's not the kitchen, living room, bedroom, or any place semi-permanently. This is not a tablet you walk with, it is a tablet you sit with.

I liked the idea right away: a spacious screen for serious surf the web, watch revenue (without squinting), playing games, watching movies, etc.. Just one problem: What would it cost me? 10-inch Nexus 10 starts at $ 399, the 9.7-inch iPad at $ 499. Surely a 13.3-inch Archos would, what, $ 699? $ 799?

No: $ 299.99. This is the price of a 13.3-inch tablet running Android Jelly Bean (aka Android 4.1). Color me impressed.

Now for the bad news?

But also skeptical Archos had to cut some corners to get the price low. And most spec-hounds immediately focus on the screen resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels. This is quite low compared to today's standards, but think of it this way: most laptops 13.3-inch run a 1366 x 768 pixels very similar, and nobody complains that subject.

And in my real world test, I thought the screen pad family IPS looked pretty good: tasks tablety bright, colorful, and strong enough to play Jetpack Joyride, reading CNET, the video streaming Hulu Plus and others. In addition, it is a multitouch screen 10 points, which in theory should allow more than two people to put their hands on action multiplayer game. ("Gather 'round the tablet, kids!")

Most other specifications belie the low price: a 1.6GHz dual-core CPU, a quad-core Mali 400 MP GPU, 1GB of RAM, two cameras, two speakers, and a boatload of opportunities for expansion. The carpet in the family are a bit short in the department store, with only 8 GB onboard, but you can easily expand it with microSD cards, as on most Android tablets.

I did find it a little slow at multitasking, like trying to play a game while other applications have been installed. And two small speakers who reside in one of the narrow ends of the shelf are not nearly strong enough. Also, my demo unit did not come with a stand, but a little is normally included. This thing desperately needs a stand, especially if you plan to interact with it on a desk or coffee.

What size is too big?

Indeed, maintaining Pad family for long periods, even if it's just sitting on your lap can feel uncomfortable. This big baby weighs about 2.9 pounds - less than most laptops, but because you are constantly holding it, it feels heavier. In addition, you can not use it with one hand, which limits its versatility.

I'm also not crazy Archos charger exclusive ", which has a male connector style, not the most common micro-USB. (The carpet in the family itself should Micro-USB ports, though - two of them.) So, yes, another adapter to keep track. Of course, because the tablet will probably not travel much, maybe it's not a big deal. I have not had the unit long enough to talk about the battery life (a representative of Archos has promised two weeks of standby, which seems optimistic), but I would say that it is unusually slow to load.

So the pad perfect family? No. Does it deliver a hell of a lot of bang for the buck? Certainly. Sometimes I can not help but wonder if this is impracticable great - maybe a 10-inch tablet is enough for around the house - but every time I look at the thing (or play a game pinball on it), I can t help bursting into a goofy smile.

The carpet in the family will be on sale at the end of February. Archos has not yet produced a page on its website, I'll update this post when it is turned on.
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