Archos Carbon 97


If you thought there were not as many affordable tablets as expensive ones, you will change your opinion. Because Archos recently brought a new model to the public’s attention: the £219 Carbon 97. It is not quite a revelation, but it delivers a good performance. Below is what we thought of it during the time we tested it.

A new Android ICS tablet

If you want to know beforehand the kind of specs the Archos Carbon 97 has, we compiled a list for you. This tablet comes with a 9.7″ touchscreen which sports a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, the same old processor (meaning a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 single-core one), an Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, a memory of 1 GB, 16 GB of storage space, an aspect ratio of 4:3, a maximum brightness of 360 cd/m2, a 545:1 contrast and, of course, a battery.

This is a heavy gadget, even if the weight does not indicate that. This realization hit us when we held it. But on the whole, its design manages to be nice. Maybe because it looks almost similar to recently reviewed Apple’s iPad. We would have preferred Archos to be more attentive at the device’s finish. Because every time we used this tablet we heard it creaking. So we had to be extra careful not to drop it.Archos-Carbon-97

Disappointing sound quality

The features on this gadget include Wi-Fi b/g/n, a 2MP photo/video sensor on the back and a VGA web camera on its front. The number of connectivity options the consumer gets is diverse: there are a power supply, 1 3.5 mm audio, 1 USB 2.0 Host, 1 mini-HDMI and 1 micro-USB.

The biggest and most annoying con of the Carbon 97 is how bad sound sounds. It will help to use headphones, but not by much.

The touchscreen looks quite good. It can deliver a maximum brightness of 360 cd/m2, like we already mentioned in the beginning of this review. However, this tablet cannot adjust its backlighting, because it lacks a brightness sensor. Which is rather disappointing. But we could very easily read content on the Carbon 97 when we used it outside on a summer day. Another con is the absence of Bluetooth. Fortunately, viewing angles were very wide. We measured a great ghosting time of 25 ms. There was no motion interpolation.

Accurate colors provided

Colors looked very good on the tablet’s touchscreen in our tests. And we were very pleasantly surprised by this. We got a value of Delta E 6.8. Which means that you get a very accurate colors. And it showed especially when we looked at the following hues: cyans, grays, blacks, flesh and reds. Contrast, though, is another con for the Carbon 97. We have seen many very affordable tablets whose contrast was higher than the one on this model. On the whole, however, if we overlook the cons and keep in mind only the pros, we can conclude that this gadget’s screen delivers a good rendering.

The battery that you get with this device is said to last for an amount of 8 hours. But in real life we registered a total of 7 hours when we enjoyed some video playback. If, however, we used the Bluetooth possibility along with other features, the life of the battery was over after 6 hours.

The processor is fairly good. But we still saw a lot of lags when we did some of our favorite activities.

Review conclusion

The Archos Carbon 97 is not its manufacturer’s best effort yet. A lot of improvement could be done on it, even if its price is very attractive.