Hands On: Archos 5 Android-Based Internet Tablet

Well, now that T-Mobile's G1 has had plenty of time to rest on its Android laurels, it's apparently coming out season for the rest of the pack. The just-unveiled Archos 5 Internet Tablet mixes one part Archos with one part Android and seasons with some great GPS features to create a multi-function power-player.

I got a chance to take a hands-on tour of the Archos 5 last week, and the performance of its 32GB flash model made my iPod touch feel a little uneasy. The first thing I noticed was its five inches of touchscreen real estate. After that, was the speed: Its processor streamed 720p video to an HDTV (with the help of a docking accessory) without a blip and rendered four Web pages simultaneously.

Then on to the features: Archos devices have always had great media players, so rather than simply running a device solely on Android (whose media player ain't exactly the cat's pajamas) they've offered a hybrid. The 5's home screen keeps Archos' media playing menu (video, music, photos) on the bottom of the screen, and groups all your Android apps up top.

The device comes pre-loaded with 10 of Archos' AppsLib store's more handy tools, like the Twitroid client or Thinksfree MS Office app. What's really cool, though, is how the Archos 5 can morph into a fully functional 5-inch GPS device. Powered by TeleAtlas maps with 3D landmarks and a cool 3D "photorealistic" in-city view with multiple angles. I watched the device depict a route on the streets of Paris (North American cities aren't supported quite yet, but are expected in early 2010).

The Archos 5 will be available in the next two weeks in both flash- and hard-drive-based models running from %250 to $440 for 500GB.

Archos 5 Home Screen

The Home Screen keeps Archos' own media players and icons on the bottom, and drops Android app icons above.

Archos 5 Web Browser

The Archos 5 Web browser renders full HTML pages with flash, and can keep four separate browser windows open at once, much like tabs in Firefox or Internet Explorer.

Archos 5 3D Maps

The pre-loaded GPS app runs on TeleAtlas maps and adds 3D photo renderings for cities. This is a view of Paris.

Archos 5 Content Library

The Archos 5 can view and edit MS office files, PDFs, and more thanks to pre-loaded apps like Thinksfree.

Archos 5 Music Player

Archos 5 Video Player

The video player can stream high-def video (at 720p) to a connected HDTV when placed in Archos' Cinema PlugIn or other docking accessory.