Best Tablet in the World: Archos 80 and 101 G9, my first hands-on

Posted by Charbax – July 13, 2011

I got lucky enough to be able to play around with the new Archos G9 tablets for a few minutes (as I am the admin on http://forum.archosfans.com), they are awesome. Here are some of the features that I think makes this probably one of the best tablets in the world when it comes out in September:
- 50% faster than iPad2/Xoom/Transformer/Tab101/etc, 1.5Ghz Dual-core OMAP4460 ARM Cortex-A9 vs 1Ghz for the others (Quad-cores such as Nvidia Tegra3 are rumored to come at 1.2Ghz so this dual-core may be 25% faster for some things that are not too parallel and perhaps about 20% slower on other more parallel processed things)
- Optional unlocked $49 3G Dongle slides in the back
- Built-in kick-stand
- HDMI-out (1080p All Codecs High Profile High Bitrates) with most powerful Video/Audio/Photo apps on any device with automatic meta-data and Upnp/Samba streaming support
- 2x USB Host (one is dedicated for 3G Dongle)
- Honeycomb 3.2 with official Google Marketplace pre-installed
- Most importantly, starts at $279 for 8", $349 for 10.1", there will be all kinds of options though, 16GB Flash or 250GB hard drive (the 250GB version is likely around $100 more than the 16GB flash version, to be confirmed) don't worry about hard drive speed/failures, all the Android OS and apps are on 4GB Flash based ROM cache so the OS feels 100% as fast as on a Flash based tablet, the HDD only spins up when loading big video files into memory while you probably are not likely to be running around with it anyway.

This is my first video showing how those tablets are. Look forward to many more videos that I will post about the Archos G9 if I can get some review samples at one point in the next few weeks until and after they are released in September worldwide.

I would have liked to see them do 5" and 7" G9 tablets as well to be more pocketable (pants 5" or jacket 7" pockets), but for now, Archos has nothing to announce regarding more sizes for the G9 series, it's open to speculation, my speculation is that it may be the reason for them to have to wait for Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich to come and support more screen sizes officially and also it may be a question of production capacity and limiting the amount of skews they release.

The OMAP4460 that comes in the Archos G9 series is quite amazing. It can do 1080p at 60 frames per second, for sure all codecs high profile high bitrates at 30 frames per second. It's got an awesome overclocked Imagination GPU for advanced 3D graphics making HDMI out 3D games smooth and totally making this a potential up to N64/PS/DC emulator console replacement on your HDTV. HD Netflix can be supported. You can easily do 720p video conferencing, even 1080p video conferencing can be supported if a 1080p USB Webcam can be made to work on this Android.

  • Will the 3G dongle work with At&t 850mhz 3G? thanks for a great video overview

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  • Peter Rundblom

    Hey! Thank you so much for your time rewieving the archos tab, since i’m really intressed in getting one myself. After some browsing around for the archos i’ve noticed that some other sites complains about the archos is way to laggy. Have you noticed it being laggy when surfing on the web or have put it up for extreme multitasking. Can you say anything about battery life? Thank you

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  • I’m pretty sure it will. AT&T is pretty much compatible with any other HSDPA dongle and phone isn’t it? The thing is, perhaps AT&T do not allow any device to connect.

    The more likely scenario in the US though is Archos might need specific deal with one or several of the carriers. I for example think MetroPCD, Virgin Mobile, Sprint, one of those could perhaps make Archos release a specific G9 dongle for one of their CDMA networks, and you hopefully could then get data on that at $25/month/3GB or so, perhaps also less money for less data or less time to use it.

    The thing is, I don’t know if you can just use any device on AT&T and T-Mobile in the USA, I don’t know if they even provide unlocked devices and unlocked SIM card support.

  • I don’t think it’s laggy at all, it’s probably feeling faster at web browsing than any Tegra2 device, especially on loading big websites with a lot of flash, a lot of HTML5 javascripts and such. I think battery will be as good as any other device. iPad2 for example may or may not have a bigger/heavier battery, may not have a brighter screen and runs a slower processor. So I think if they can do 6-7 hours for active video playback and heavy web browsing also with 3G then it’s pretty good.

  • Jeece

    Do you know if these are going to be released in Europe first or will they be in the US in September as well?

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  • Worldwide. Although some countries can more easily get to them in stores than others, you can always buy over the Internet.

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  • Jasper
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  • Greg

    Please, talk about the new MTK 6573 mobile phones.

  • Anonymous

    What I don’t like is they chinced out on the entry level devices….yet again….those devices with the majority of the features people want (expect) are once more priced outrageously….So either you SETTLE for an underequipped ( $299 for an 8″, 8Gb unit ? C’mon people. Really ?? )

    http://tablets-planet.com/2011/07/18/archos-just-bumped-up-the-prices-on-their-unreleased-gen-9-tablets/

    They haven’t even been released and the prices are bumped up ?  C’mon people…get real…..if Archos wants to jump into the first tier….it will have to do it on price-per-feature basis, and THEN build up better cred ( questionable other than the small minority of staunchly archosian fans ). 

    I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again…..

    $299 – 10.1 / 16Gb / 1Gb RAM unit with front/rear cameras, and expandability….capacitive, of course.  <– Get us a tablet in at THAT PRICE. (3G modem do-hicky….superfluous….it's knowing that over 98% of the market is for WiFi only usage…..concentrate on that….get THAT, right.) Then worry about anything else.

    The company who gets a mass produced, good build quality unit like that, into the hands of people….will leap-frog EVERYONE else. 

  • Anonymous

    Make sure the complaints aren’t for the 8th gen or earlier models.  No one has really tested the new 9th gen models yet. 

    Though it could be the firmware may not be optimized yet.  Archos can be a little slow with updates but should eventually clear up any issues that may be there at release.

    Watch the updates though as Archos seems to be against rooting and the update may block or make hard to perform some of the popular methods.

    The TI OMAP 4 is an excellent performer though and has gotten great reviews on other devices, so overall it should be an excellent tablet and quite a big update to the last gen offerings. 

    I just hope they provide more than just the 8″ and 10.1″ models as I liked the range offered by the 8th gen release and hope they continue offering that wide range of options.

  • Moonshine524

    Great

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  • Dgarkie

    I want to know what GPU it has and if it stands up to the tegra 250 8 core GPU I would like 1.2-1.5ghz over 1.0 but I wouldn’t give up that 8core GPU unless it had a GPU that was equally as powerful in core number to clock ratio, take the ipad2 it uses a samsung sourced amr cortex A9 (ARMv7 rev0) but it uses a GPU based on the origional ipad a dualcore with a similar clock rate and an improved instruction set

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  • Dhansel

    I have been waiting all year for the Archos 8″ and 10″ 1.5gig, 256gig tablets to come to the US.
    I wish they would put a 5mp or 8mp camera on the rear of the units. I don’t know if that is in the plans.
    I don’t know if they will be here before Christmas. I have waited this long and will wait longer.
    HURRY UP ARCHOS and deliver !
    Thanks…
    dhansel@juno:disqus.com
    USA
     

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  • I also want to have a gaming tablet. Just don’t know what to buy. Do you have any idea of what’s the best gaming tablet.  gaming tablet

  • Archos just released a 7″ Gaming tablet, the Archos Gamepad, it’s pretty awesome.