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

Posted by Charbax on July 13th, 2011

I got lucky enough to be able to play around with the new Archos G9 tablets for a few minutes, 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
- 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)

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.

  • Oren Friedman

    As the old saying goes “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

    As an owner of an A70 I’ve come to realize that it’s not about hardware specs and “faster” this or that.  There will always be something faster in two weeks.  And low price is a poor predictor of quality.

    The A70 (and Gen8 generally) were (are) plagued by poor build quality, mediocre screen quality, bugs galore, unreliable SW/HW, a crappy camera, etc.  Yes, it’s my favourite media player when flying, but otherwise it sits in the drawer quietly letting its battery die overnight (which it does ever so often).

    So I think I’ll give Gen9 a break and go with something that actually works well and delivers a solid user experience beyond “speed”.  Along with Archos I’m also disenchanted with the whole Android experience (way too much tweaking, too little usefulness).  My next tablet is likely to be an iOS device.

  • Fab

    I have to say I am a bit disappointed with Gen8 but I am hoping it will get more stable and also games become more available (Gameloft for instance). Also I was very disappointed with the fact they only designed Gen8 with 256M of RAM. This may be a reason why the device isn’t stable… Apart from that I think the screen quality is more than decent and external ports (USB as well as HDMI) are great. The fact it is based on Linux also allows advanced functions such as remote access over SSH, etc…
    Now Gen9, it is all good to have a fast processor but if they are the only one to use it then are we going to have stable apps and games available for it… Still no definate indication on how much RAM…
    iOS device is a no go for me. Just the fact it is all over controlled, no USB, no HDMI… never until Apple change their views on this.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    I don’t agree. I use my Gen8 every day since they got released and they work pretty much perfectly. As upgrade I wanted dual-core, 1080p (and full high profile), 3G as option, newer better screens (especially on 10.1″), and we seem to have gotten all that. Gen8 was released in a time Honeycomb did not exist, it was not officially supported by Google to design and release tablets on the market. Now I expect software to be a whole class superior.

    As for Honeycomb vs iOS, there is no question, Honeycomb is 200% better, first time an OS is actually designed for tablets and not a smartphone OS scaled up.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    I don’t agree. I use my Gen8 every day since they got released and they work pretty much perfectly. As upgrade I wanted dual-core, 1080p (and full high profile), 3G as option, newer better screens (especially on 10.1″), and we seem to have gotten all that. Gen8 was released in a time Honeycomb did not exist, it was not officially supported by Google to design and release tablets on the market. Now I expect software to be a whole class superior.

    As for Honeycomb vs iOS, there is no question, Honeycomb is 200% better, first time an OS is actually designed for tablets and not a smartphone OS scaled up.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    Texas Instruments is a big company, they are for sure working closely with Archos and Google to get the Honeycomb optimizations implemented correctly.

  • Jacob McDonald

    Charbax, I have a full 1080p high-profile 45 Mbps stream from my Canon 550D HD SLR camera I can provide you for testing. I can place it on Dropbox late Thursday for you. Please e-mail me and I’ll reply with the link for you. nospam2@jacobmcdonald.net

  • Mark Arrasmith

    Even though I’m shipping my Gen8 101 back to get fixed ( the battery will not charge bug ). I still recommended the Gen9 to my brother. Do you know if Honeycomb allows Google Talk and Voice to not be synced onto the tablet? I use Google Voice for all my texts and it would be nice to have the option to never have them show up the tablet. That is what my phone is for.

  • Beruli

    I see they brought back that blasted kick stand, another useless idea that adds to the bottom line.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    What? Kick-stands are very useful, every tablet should have it.

  • Beruli

    No offense to Archos but a few people i know have had here tablets kickstand break and then have to return the bloody thing. There is a reason not to have them, its saves on cost, plus how difficult is it to hold a tablet, its not like its a heavy piece of machinery.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    I’ve had kickstands on all my Archos for five years, I always need and use
    the kickstands, I’ve never seen a broken kickstand.

  • Anonymous

    200% better, lol, charbax you lose credibility every time you open your mouth.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    Let Android tablet users compare their effeciency with iPad users, that’s a way to compare which is better. Android Honeycomb users, due to better web browser, better multi-tasking, better apps, better hardware options, will do tasks faster and better than the iPad user.

  • tiredofarchos

    I will be glad to compare to an Ipad if Archos can ever put out a stable FW. Then I can load the three or four applications that I can load before running out of memory and we can compare. This is a useless product. It is a movie/mp3 player and nothing more. I had high hopes for Archos but the product is bad and the support is worse. No reason to believe that the next generation will be any better.

  • Fab

    Do Gen9 have hardened glass to protect LCD screen?

  • http://twitter.com/helioalves helioalves

    Hi Charbax,One of the things I was quite disappointed was the screen, compared with the iPad, the Archos screen was quite poor. Do you know if G9 tablets have a better screen?Thanks for the video, I’m thinking on selling my Archos 101 and get the G9.

  • Alex

    I can see that is not confirmed yet, but you are saying that for the 250 gb models we will pay 100 $ more wich will be 100 € with tax in europe.
    but on archos website it is written:

    “32 GB flash or a 250 GB hard drive, it costs us manufacturers the same
    price, so why should you have to pay a premium for the extra space?” At
    least that’s what we think at ARCHOS.”

    I hope it will not be more than 50 € :)

  • http://twitter.com/HateManBaby HateMan

    50% faster than ipad 2?  Are you joking man?

  • http://twitter.com/HateManBaby HateMan

    You think that you can type faster on a honeycomb tablet than a Ipad2?  Honeycomb is notoriously bad for that………Also, no netflix or hulu on Archos…. And dont pretend like its getting it anytime soon either

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    Archos G9 is above 1.5Ghz with dual speed memory bandwidth, iPad2 is below 1Ghz with half memory bandwidth.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    typing faster? Are you joking? Android has tons of keyboards and Android has perfect speech to text that is 100x better than on iPad2. Archos G9 can support 1080p Netflix http://armdevices.net/2011/05/31/full-netflix-support-on-texas-instruments-omap4430/ for sure there is Hulu on Android or else Hulu is corrupt.

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