Kkki

Further information www.archos.

com/products/ta/archos_7

Of course, being an Android device, you should be able to take your pick of apps with which to customise your touchscreen tablet device. You can, but the older 1.5 version of Android that this tablet runs means supported apps are rather limited. The Android Market is closed to you, so you need to make your choices from third-party Android sites. This - and the almost certain lack of future upgradability - are the biggest drawbacks to what is an otherwise quality choice of tablet.

Thankfully, some of the most useful apps come preloaded. As well as the music, photo and video viewer, there's an e-book reader that can be used to import books from an SD Card. Again, file format support is extensive and, as on the Sony Reader range of e-book devices, the Aldiko Reader software can be used to borrow e-books from your local library.

Accessories available for the Archos 7 allow it to be used as a digital video recorder, scheduling TV content. You get a one-year subscription to the DVR program guide along with the $140 module.

Another good option, the $50 Battery Docking Adapter, lets you play content from the Archos on your TV. It also includes a USB 2.0 connection for your PC, and can allow the player to serve as a USB host for cameras and other mobile devices. This comes in handy for quickly transferring photos on to the player.

Though limited by its older Android OS, this intriguing tablet/portable media player successfully grafts Android on to an existing, proven, hardware design.

Dell Streak ith the Streak, Dell became the first of the mainstream PC companies to launch a smartphone/ tablet hybrid. It's a 3G device powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and weighs just 220g. The Streak ismuch lighter than an iPad with a Sin capacitive touchscreen and packs some powerful features into a shell just shy of 10mm thick.

The slim design is lovely. Overall, it is about the length of an adult hand but, at 79mm, is too wide to comfortably grasp in a fist. However, it will fit in a large pocket without falling out, and easily slips into a handbag. Unlike larger tablets, such as the 9.7in iPad, the Sin Streak can be used for voice calls as well as internet access; it's available on 02 from £35 per month.

We liked the bright and sharp 800x480-pixel display with its tough

Gorilla Glass front. This limits the likelihood of damage, but retains enough touch-sensitivity to allow you to type quickly and efficiently on the onscreen keyboard, a feature often criticised as impractical on smaller Android phones.

DIFFERENT STROKES

As with other Android devices, it takes around four seconds for the Streak to start up. If you don't like the background that appears, just swipe a finger across the screen horizontally to bring up alternative home screens. Holding and swiping allows you to change or delete them. A multiple-screen layout provides access to basic phone, email and web functions.

A drop-down menu indicator arrow at the top left of the screen is used to bring up a list of all currently installed apps, while dragging a program to the middle of the home screen allows you to quick-launch it. Messages and alerts -including the status of any downloads

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