If there is one thing you can trust to get from Archos, it is good value for money. We have been trying out their Android devices for a while now, and while they have delved in Windows every now and then, their latest efforts are rather good. And under a £100 too. So, is this under £100 tablet good enough to be used as your portable tablet, and work occasionally as a PC? We try and find out in our review!
Quick look at the Specs:
- 8.9 inch HD IPS display, 1280 x 800, IPS
- Runs Windows 10
- Excel Mobile, Word Mobile & PowerPoint Mobile included
CPU: Intel® Atom™ Processor Z3735F / Quad-Core @ 1.8 GHz, GPU: Intel HD Graphic(Gen7) / Dual-Core
- 2 MP back camera & VGA front camera
- 2 GB RAM, 32 GB Internal Storage, SD Card up to 128GB
- 152mm x 231mm x 9mm
- WiFi, Bluetooth
- 5000mAh battery, charged via micro USB port
- Ports: Full sized USB 2, micro USB, micro HDMI, 3.5mm Jack, Built in speakers
In the box
- Archos 90 Cesium
- USB Charger
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Booklet
Look and Feel
The looks offered by the Cesium 90 tablet are a tale of two halves. From the front, with its reasonable screen and front camera, and the black bezel around the screen, it looks quite cool. Peep under it, and you will find gold pads to attach a keyboard, and magnets which will attract other things such as nearby pins and metallic boxes too.
The back though, features the Archos logo and information, and has bit of a cheap plastic finish. You were never going to get premium at under a £100, but the text and the Archos logo on the back almost highlights that it is made out of cheap plastic. A smaller amount of text or blank backs would help. However, you need to put your ratings and approvals, and the text at the back does tell you what each port does, i.e. power, volume, micro SD, USB, etc. The back also features the camera.
The tablet boots by default in portrait mode, but will shift to landscape mode if rotated as such. It gives you power and volume keys on the side edge, while the top features the Windows button, as well as all the ports.
When you booth this up, it behaves exactly like a normal Windows 10 device, and you set it up just like it as well. Having a Windows/Live ID is useful, but not really needed. After that, it just boots up as per normal.
Performance and usability
I am a bit divided on the whole Windows Tablet idea, and while there are extremely powerful and amazing specifications found in a lot of (expensive) Windows tablets, they are still designed to be tablets. In doing so, they offer you a complete Windows 10 experience, but at certain costs. For example, if you don’t plug a keyboard into one, you lose around half the screen for a keyboard. This, however, is not a deal breaker. What I did find more difficult though, was the fact that it was harder for me to use my fingers to click on anything other than the bigger Windows tiles. So while opening the browser, and going to websites is easy, actually clicking on things using my fingers just didn’t work very well. I felt a bit butter fingered over and over again. However, I can’t put this down to just the tablet, and I guess Windows plays a bigger part than the screen itself.
As far as general performance goes, this offers a decent processor and a decent bit of RAM. Do not expect lightning blaze performance, but it is rather decent. Okay as a portable device, but not quite as your every day daily driver.
It comes with mobile versions of Office, which lets you do a bit, but once again, is a bit limited when compared to the full version. However, Office mobile is finger friendly compared to the full version.
Plug a mouse and keyboard in, and you’ve suddenly got a lot more computer. One that is definitely easier to use!
More information on the Archos 90 Cesium can be found on the Archos website.
It retails under a £100, and can be found at various online retailers.
So, is it worth getting a Windows tablet for under a £100? If you need a portable device that runs the OS you are familiar with, then yes. If you need a portable device you hope to get a lot of work done on, then no.