Archos 43 Internet Tablet review

An aggressive price and impressive spec, but undermined by middling performance Tested at £160

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

An aggressive price and impressive spec, but undermined by middling performance


  • +

    Lots of functionality

  • +

    bright, enjoyable video


  • -

    Sounds muddled and imprecise

  • -

    interface is graunchy

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Archos is calling the 43 an ‘internet tablet’. We can’t help thinking that’s a rather grandiose description of a smartphone-sized portable with a 4.3in screen.

Semantics aside, the 43 is an Android device with extensive functionality. It comes with 16GB of memory, an HD camera/camcorder (maximum resolution 1280 x 720), and features a suite of apps including web browser and email, music, video and photo applications and an HDMI output for connection to a big screen.

It’s also packing Samba and UPnP protocols, so you can stream music and video from a remote storage device.

Poor interface
We’re primarily concerned with picture and sound quality, but first a word about the Archos’s interface. That word is ‘poor’. Devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S have primed us for an experience as slick and smooth as the Apple system, but the 43’s implementation is coarse and imprecise.

Musically, the Archos doesn’t offend – but music files heard via the supplied headphones are, by the standards of its competitors, short on detail and rather vague. It slaps, rather than punches, and music is short of drive and focus as a result.

Video content fares a little better. Images are bright and reasonably sharp – and the screen is just about big enough to make watching a TV program more of a pleasure than a chore. Overall, though, the Archos 43 is too compromised to recommend.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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