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Archos 97b Titanium review - Android tablet looks like an iPad, works... not so much

£209 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Archos

Our Rating: We rate this 2.5 out of 5

If you can't afford the iPad 4 then Archos is always on-hand with a cheaper alternative. Find out if this Archos Android tablet is a bargain in our Archos 97b Titanium review.

Archos 97 titanium

Archos 97b Titanium: Design and build

You might notice that the Archos 97b Titanium looks like the most popular tablet on the market, Apple's iPad. It's has the same screen size, almost the same dimensions (width and height) and identical bezels around the edge.

At a significantly lower price point than its fruit themed rival, it's not a surprise that the 97b Titanium is almost entirely made of plastic. It doesn't feel nice in the hand but build quality is good enough that the device doesn't feel like it's going to fall apart like a lot of cheap tablets.

As much as Archos would like to think it, 650g is not light for a tablet of this size. It's bulky and feels much weightier than most rival tablets – budget or not. Visit The top 10 best tablets: What's the best tablet you can buy in 2013?

Archos 97b Titanium: Performance

The Archos 97b Titanium is powered by a 1.6GHz Cortex-A9 dual-core processor, 1GB RAM and a quad-core Mali 400 GPU. Unfortunately performance is not great in terms of benchmark results or from a user perspective.

We reorded a score of 947 in GeekBench 2, a framerate of 18fps in GLBenchmark 2.7 and and time of 1970ms in SunSpider 1.0.

These don't make for great reading and from a user perspective the 97b Titanium doesn't have “power to spare” as Archos claims. Opening apps often takes a few seconds and even typing is laggy which leads to frustration and mistakes.

Although performance isn't silky smooth, the screen on the 97b Titanium is decent. It's 9.7in and IPS display just like the iPad 4, but with a resolution of 1600x1200 meaning a pixel density 206ppi – not Retina quality but a good effort for a budget tablet.

Storage is limited to 8GB but there is a microSDXC card slot which will accept up to 64GB memory cards.  

Both the front and rear cameras are 2Mp and are are placed quite awkwardly on the device. They each take shockingly, unusable bad photos and video footage.

Archos 97b Titanium: Software

Archos 97 titaniumArchos uses a predominantly a vanilla Android experience. The 97b Titanium runs on version 4.1.1 Jelly Bean so isn't quite up to date but isn't far off either.

The homescreens are empty apart from a few app shortcuts so you can customise away although there are only a couple of additional Arhcos widgets on top of the usual selection. More can be downloaded from the Play Store.

As well as the Google apps and services you'd expect to find on an Android tablet, Archos pre-loads  a few of its own apps. We like the visually pleasing Archos Music and Archos Video while Media Server allows to you share files with other devices on your home network.

We also found System Monitor useful to keep track of open apps. Less useful is the Archos Remote Control app which you install on another Android device, if you own one, to control the app over your network.

Archos 97b Titanium: Battery life

Another poor area for the Archos 97b Titanium is battery life. The tablet lasts well on standby but when in use the juice drains away quicker than than water from an emptying bath.

We tried to watch a downloaded TV show on the 4OD app and the 97b Titanium dropped 10 percent in battery just 10 minutes in. Furthermore, the device complete shut-down despite the fact there was still 14 percent remaining.

It's one of the worst performances we've seen from any tablet we've tested. See also: best cheap tablet.

Archos 97b Titanium Expert Verdict »

Archos 97 Titanium Scores 6.2 out of 10 based on 13 reviews
Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean
9.7in IPS screen (1600x1200, 206ppi)
1.6GHz Cortex-A9 dual-core processor
Mali 400 quad-core GPU
1GB RAM
8GB internal storage
microSDXC card slot (up to 64GB)
2Mp rear camera
2Mp front camera
Wi-Fi
microUSB
189x242x10.5mm
650g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 6 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 5 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 4 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 5 of 10 overall

The Archos 97b Titanium has a high quality screen, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and a microSD card slot. However, everything else in its repertoire goes against this iPad alternative. Poor performance and battery life make it all but unusable.

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