Archos G9 101 8GB Android tablet
The cheapest 10in Honeycomb fondleslab?
Over the years, Archos has pitched much of its kit at the impecunious rather than the technically demanding. However, some of its Android devices like the 43 media player have appealed to both camps. Now it’s trying to repeat the trick with the G9 series of Android 3.2 Honeycomb tablets.
Archos G9 Android tablet
For the G9’s £250 asking price you are not going to get something that looks or feels like a £400 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The body is made entirely from grey plastic and the shut lines are rather obvious to the eye. That said there’s little in the way of body flex and the hard plastic screen feels glass-like enough to the touch.
Despite all the plastic, the G9 is still no featherweight. At 649g it’s lighter than the original Motorola Xoom and Asus Transformer but heaver than the likes of the Sony Tablet S let alone the Galaxy. The 12.6mm thickness is par for the course but nothing more.
Materials aside, the design does suffer from a couple of flaws. Firstly, the micro SD slot is too shallow and enough of the card stands proud to be easily nudged so it springs out. On the opposite side, the volume rocker is too exposed and located too low down – just where your hand rests when holding the G9 – making it all too easy to inadvertently change the sound level.
The 10.1in 1280 x 800 LCD screen needs few excuses made for it. It’s crisp, bright, suffers no backlight bleed and its effective viewing angles are wide. If you really give the chassis a twist you will get a groovy light show as the panel flexes, but you have to be deliberately brutal.
A stand out selling point?
The support leg at the back is, again, plastic and not the most robust thing I’ve seen. Still, it does the job and is much better than nothing, and when it comes to prop stands, nothing is precisely what you get with every other tablet on the market.
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Sorry to feed the trolls, but this won't sell to those who would otherwise buy iPads (and vice versa).
This is a £250 tablet, with a £50 upgrade to 3g if you want it. The equivalent iPad is £499 (plus the cost of adding things like adaptors for reading SD cards).
I got the Archos 80 G9 (saving another £50 compared with the 10" model). I compared it with a friends iPad2 last week, and I could certainly do more of what I want to do with the Archos than I would be able to do with the iPad, unless I was prepare to shell out more money for software and pay for (and carry around) a bag of wires and adaptors.
So for me, I spent £280 all in against what I estimate would have been around £600 for an iPad2 and the required bits. Out in the real world, that difference will feed my family for 2-3 weeks.
We don't choose between an Apple product and another one. The Apple product is not something that we consider, in the same way that I wouldn't bother to test drive a BMW M5 if I want to replace my Ford Galaxy.
This isn't flame bait - if you are wealthy, have limited commitments and can live with the restrictions, you go ahead and buy the Apple device. But when I read a review of a £200-300 tablet, I don't care how it compares with an iPad at twice the price - it is irrelevant - I just need to know how it compares to other similarly priced tablets.
To answer an earlier comment, I personally wouldn't choose a secondhand iPad, given the number of friends who have had to throw 1-2 year old iThings away following battery problems. If you have had better luck, then I hope it continues.
I won't be recommending Archos again
I've got an Archos 70 Internet Tablet, and for 6 months, I thought it was the dog's danglies.
Then, all of a sudden, it's decided it needs a new licence to play the videos I've been playing since I got it. So to carry on doing what I bought it for, I have to shell out more money.
It's only $10, but I *really* dislike bait-and-switch tactics. So, for the sake of a few quid, Archos have bought themselves some very bad press.
You forget that those dongles usually install software onto your laptop or whatever that is written by the manufactorer to make it owrk.
Archos would have to write a special script to modify Android to allw the hardware to work plus the dongle makers would have to breate all new firmware and software as well.
This way you get a dongle that will take a SIM card in it that is not locked to any mobile network without the need to pay to unlock it as well.....
Wish people would think first before they assume anything that works on windows will work with anything else as well....