Review: Archos 5 protective case

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Even though the makeshift case I’ve been using with my 250GB Archos 5 for the past month has kept the Internet Media Tablet in pristine condition, my penchant for gadget accessories made it impossible for me to resist the official protective case ($24.99).

Archos describes the rigid case as a handy and stylish way to protect and hold both the Internet Media Tablet and a pair of earphones. What the company doesn’t say, however, is that the case really should’ve been part of the accessory bundle included with the device. Read my full review below and you’ll understand what I mean.

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Design

The case is sometimes advertised by retailers (not Archos) as being leather, but it’s actually made of a lightly cushioned vinyl that has a rather offensive odor to it.

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Although it looks much better than it smells, there’s nothing particularly interesting or remarkable about it. It’s just a regular pouch. A regular pouch with a nasty deceptive streak, that is.

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Glance at the case quickly and you’d probably think it was pretty well made. Even if you looked at some of the details more carefully, you’d likely be reasonably pleased with its construction.

But take a moment to really look at the case and you’d change your mind immediately.

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The case is riddled with imperfections that suggest shoddy construction and poor quality control: cracks/tears, glue blobs, permanent creases/wrinkles, loose thread, and crooked stitching. While it’s certainly possible that I just got a defective unit, the number and types of flaws make that somewhat unlikely.

I don’t expect Noreve quality from a $25 vinyl case, but come on!

Size

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Fit

A large strip of Velcro keeps the case securely closed.

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It is the loudest piece of Velcro I’ve ever heard, but it’s also probably the strongest. There’s no reason to ever do this, of course, but you can slip something through the opening and hang the case (with the Archos 5 inside of it) from it with no chance of the Velcro ripping apart.

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The reason you can stick something through it is that 0.75-inch "hole" you see above. The space is created when the player is pushed down as far as it can go inside the case.

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And it’s supposedly there on purpose to hold your earphones. But unless you use the stock ones provided with the device, you’ll have to contend with the tips of your canalphones flopping around outside of the case. This is a matter of personal taste, but I would rather carry my earphones separately (I keep them in a little Fendi pouch) and have a case that actually fits the Archos 5 perfectly.

Conclusion

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The Archos 5 protective case should’ve been included free with the device.

‘Nuff said.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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