I hate to be the Negative Nancy or the Debbie Downer here. Mostly because I hate those disgustingly cute terms for "pessimistic". However, the ARCHOS 97 Carbon tablet arrives at a particularly rough time. Today, ARCHOS' newest tablet is available via the company's web store. ARCHOS has a history of being the leader in inexpensive tablets. Unfortunately, with the advent of the Nexus 7, the competition just got a lot stiffer.

carbon1 carbon2 carbon3

Take a look at the spec list for the 97 Carbon:


  • 1GHz single-core ARM Cortex A8 processor
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 21.8 ounces
  • 0.45" thick
  • 9.7" IPS display
  • 16GB of internal flash memory
  • microSD card slot
  • Google app access, including the Play Store
  • Android 4.0

Yes, you read that right. In this $250 tablet, it's a single core processor running the ICS-themed show. No word yet on if ARCHOS will be updating the slate to Jelly Bean. Now, in this tablet's defense, it does have a few things the Nexus 7 doesn't: a larger display, a micro-SD card slot, and a full USB port. That being said, the specs more closely match the phones from two years ago than the tablets of today. When I last looked at an ARCHOS tablet, I felt that it was decent for the price, though largely because it didn't try to add on to the stock Google experience. Now, you can get a tablet with the same amount of built-in storage and four (or five) times the processing cores, not to mention the assurance of speedy updates directly from Google for the exact same price (or $50 less if you want the 8GB version). Suddenly ARCHOS tablets are looking a lot more expensive for what you get from them.

So, what do you guys think? Is it worth trading a Tegra 3 processor for a single-core to get a micro-SD card slot and a full USB port?

Source: ARCHOS

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Alpha_Axl

    1GHz single core processor.

    • Ash Hanna

      Makes My Eye TwitcH Just Thinking About.it

  • glitchsys

    Forgot to add bigger display. It's not really the same as a Nexus 7 then because of the display size. I mean compare it to other 9.7/10 inch tablets. The display is one of the most expensive components in the system. I do agree they should have at least gone Dual Core. I think I'd rather spend $200-$250 on a used HP Touchpad, 10" display and dual core. But not MicroSD or USB port.

  • Bogdan Sladaru

    No way :)

  • Ash Hanna

    Why Even Ask ThatQuestion At The End? Kind Of Rhetorical Isnt It? Lol

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      You'd be surprised. Heh.

  • Craig

    Don't forget the HDMI out. :)

  • Howard Z

    I don't care how low the price is, if there is no hdmi output or no ad card, the it is a useless worthless tablet for me. thus to me the nexus 7 simply does not exist - I will never consider it. However, this new single core tablet I can consider buying.

    • shonangreg

      Just wait for the acer iconia tab A110. It is basically the Nexus 7 with a lower resolution screen and no NFC, but with hdmi out, a micro-SD card slot, and presumably mass storage on USB-OTG.

      There will be other $200-250 full-featured Kai-based 7" tablets coming out this summer and fall. By including video-out and mass storage access, they can make stand-alone PVPs. You can easily connect them to any big screen with hdmi, and they can be used as a DLNA renderer. Everything you need.

      The Nexus 7 is nice as an eBook reader and for games, but the removal of full video capabilities was done for a reason. It is a crippled, subsidized device. Other makers need some part of the 7" android tablet market to serve.

      The Nexus 7 is great -- as long as you never intend to use it for video.

      Oh, and I think the Nexus 7 and the other Kai-based tablets have pulled the pricing rug out from under even the 10" tablets. The crossover appeal is just too great for 10" tablets to be anything less than their 7" competitors just with a $100 or so premium for the bigger screen.

      • Howard Z

        I looked at archos web site, and they seem to have some very nice $300 tablets with 10 inch screens, optional 250 gb hard drive, micro sdhc card, hdmi output, blue tooth. Also seems developers figured out how to put aosp ROMs on them. Before thus android police article I did not know this tablet manufacturer existed.

    • umk


  • BrianBreniser

    cheap for the price. but nah, $250 for a nexus 7 16g or $200 for 8g is more worth it as it will be much faster. As well as "buttery smooth".

    wait for the nexus 10" whatever-it-will-be-called-exactly, then 10" android tablets will mean something real again.

  • BrianBreniser

    cheap for the price. but nah, $250 for a nexus 7 16g or $200 for 8g is more worth it as it will be much faster. As well as "buttery smooth".

    wait for the nexus 10" whatever-it-will-be-called-exactly, then 10" android tablets will mean something real again.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    I expect Archos to release an Archos 97 Carbon (or some other element, perhaps Nickel, Nitrogen or some other element) within 1-2 months with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 the Rockchip RK3066. Everything else pretty much the same and street pricing can be $199. Now, you have to conside that means Archos 97 Carbon can have SAME hardware as iPad2 (same screen, same dual-core performance) but for half the price. Actually more hardware since it comes with HDMI output, Micro-SD, USB host and more.

    It's been the same for Arhos over the past couple of years, they put the hardware out there even as a new processor is ready just after. It's just that there is no reason to wait. There are consumers who don't mind about the single-core and so they should be able to get it now and not have to wait 2 months for dual-core.

    Other thing, I prefer 7", 7" is the best size for me cause I can bring it with me every day every where when I goo outside because 7" tablets fit in the jacket pocket. But, 9.7" IPS same-as-ipad screen tablets are MORE expensive to make thus you can't just expect the around 10" tablets to be the same price as a 7" one. Archos has an awesome ICS capacitive tablet called Arnova 7b G3 on the market for $99 today, same single-core processor. So you see, 7" is cheaper than 9.7" IPS tablet hardware. Also, this year Archos has said their 7" starts as low as $49, which is insane.

  • Reuben Helder

    Does it have a back facing camera. I could see that being a real win over the nexus 7.

  • umk

    not sure but i think this would still be more useful than a fast tablet with 8gb of storage. storage is that important.
    i wouldn't buy either anyways.

  • CeluGeek

    The price is fine. This is not a Nexus toy without expandable storage. You can turn this Archos tablet into a 48 GB tablet by adding a 32 GB micro SD card and when you are ready, you can turn it into a 80 GB tablet without having to purchase a whole new tablet. Plus, you get a decent screen size and a UI made for tablets.

    • jbo1018

      Are you implying the Nexus 7 UI is NOT made for tablets?

      • CeluGeek

        It isn't. It's a phone UI shoehorned into a tablet. Apple took a lot of flak from non-Apple fanboys, including Android fanboys, for the oversized iPhone UI on the iPad. Now Google does the same and it's the right thing to do? NO! it's as stupid as it ever was! I don't hold a tablet the same way I hold a phone so the UI needs to reflect those usage defferences.

        • jbo1018

          Sorry Charlie but from Android 3.0 Honeycomb and on the OS has the ability to be set into phone or tablet mode depending on the device it operates on. In tablet mode the UI has been adjuste to work better on, well, tablets. Gingerbread was the last version of android that had to be shoehorned onto tablets.

  • leoingle

    Archos is a joke. I bought one of their 10in one, the one that was supposed to already have ICS by now. It was horrible. Turn around and sold it and got tht TF101. Huge upgrade in performance for 50 bucks at that time.

  • butlerpcnet

    I can't imagine anyone with knowledge of the Nexus 7 buying this.

  • Steve Freeman

    Hell to the no

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Archos just emailed us a coupon code MAC45Z for $20 off this tablet.

  • Jeremy K

    A single core tablet this late in 2012 really isn’t
    appropriate on any level. I understand
    the cost of components but as everyone else in these comments have mentioned:
    Why not save some cash and get the Nexus 7?
    Doing so would mean a better (newer) OS, support from Google, and likely
    better build quality. I am struggling to
    think of a well made Archos product which stood up to more than a year’s
    abuse. I use my Galaxy S III everyday on
    my commute to work at Dish, and looking at it, I doubt the Archos would survive
    any drop. I use my S
    III to stream content from Dish Online while I’m out running
    errands. I can watch a ton of free TV
    shows and movies, I would love a larger screen for that like the 97 Carbon, but
    I don’t think Archos is up to that job.

  • kaalus

    21.8 ounces? Man, use normal weight units, not something from middle ages! How many grams is it?