Archos 80 Titanium, Impressive build and slick performance

Archos has a reputation for affordability, so it’s no surprise its 80 Titanium comes in at an incredible £125. But this isn’ t some plasticky 7in knock-off; it boasts an 8in display that’s bright and colourful, and a solid chassis that feels made to last.

The only outward sign of budgettr imming is the 768 x 1,024 display. Its an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, but it’s grainy and its maximum brightness is nowhere near dearer tablets. Colours and contrast are okay, though, and images look livelier than you’d expect.

The 80 Titanium’sspecification is middling inmost respects, but works perfectly well in practice. That £125 gets you a dual-core 1.6GHz ARM A9 processor and 1GB of RAM, and it performed well. Rayman Jungle Run ran smoothly, and Dead Trigger and Reckless Racing 2 barely slowed down.

In everyday use, the OS felt justas slick. Archos has left Android 4.1.1 largely untouched, with only a couple of proprietary apps coming preinstalled.

On to build, the metal rear panel feels robust and lookssmart, and its white bezel stands out from all the black on the shelves. It’s a touch heavy at 440g, and a little thick, too, at 10mm, but this leaves room for a bevy of connections.

It has micro-USB, a mini-HDMI output and a microSD slot to add to the meagre 8GB of built-in storage. We have only one design complaintr the home button is oddly placed on the top-left edge, just above the volume rocker.

Elsewhere, there are bigger problems. The battery lasted a woeful 5hrs 10mins – three hoursshort of the Acer Iconia A1. There’s no light sensor for automatic screen brightness, and no Bluetooth. The rear camera isso terriblewe’d rather Archos hadn’t bothered.

It’s no all-rounder, then, but it does at least get the basics right. If you’re on a shoestring budget that may be enough.