Rather than go down the Tegra 2 road, Archos has fitted the G9 with a 1GHz dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP4 chip with 512MB of RAM. It’s a combination that spits out a mediocre AnTuTu score of 4741 but in every day use feels just as quick as any Tegra 2 machine.
The OMAP CPU holds its own with older tablet tech
This cheapest version of the G9 101 comes with only 8GB of internal storage but a 16GB version with a 1.2GHz chip is also available. A 1.5GHz/250GB HDD version is due for release early next year along with an Ice Cream Sandwich update for existing machines.
Unlike many Honeycomb tablets, the G9 will munch through 1080p video regardless of codec or container type - MKV, QuickTime, DivX/Xvid, WMV, MP4, it plays the lot. My efforts to bamboozle it with peculiar subtitle formats were laughed off too. In short the G9 is a very powerful and competent video player.
Flash works, but only using version 11.0, not 11.1
The music player is equally agnostic when it comes to codecs and handles Flac, as well as the expected AAC, WMV, Ogg and MP3. Both the video and music players come with handy scroll widgets that let you launch files from the desktop.
The single rear speaker is a little raucous but has plenty of volume available. Plug in a decent pair of earphones and everything sounds very nice indeed and there’s no want of volume either. Like all Archos Android gadgets, you can control the G9 from your Android mobile phone as long as both devices share the same Wi-Fi network. Just download the app onto your mobile and you are good to go.
Archos boasts that the G9 can load web pages 50 per cent faster than Tegra 2 machines. I’m not sure I’d like to prove that in court but the G9 does render pages very quickly and browsing feels subjectively faster than on the Tegra 2 devices I’ve used. There is however a problem with the G9’s web performance.
Next page: Downgrade delights
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....
Are you effing kidding, Archos stuff is notoriously pricey and comes with lots of nickel and dime shit.
What use is that?
"I'd rather have a 2nd hand iPad 1st gen."
Except no iPad will play virtually any video format thrown at it. They may deign to play video formats in the exact container and codec profile that Apple approves but that's it. You don't even get VLC these days for the rest.
"The 3G option is quite clever but would have been better if they left a gap big enough to fit most of the USB dongles rather than making you pay extra. If you have to pay extra you may as well get it built in to your iPad / other tablet."
3G dongles appear in lots of shapes and (usually bulbous) sizes. I assume you could just insert a USB extension cable to accommodate some random 3G key. The tablet recognizing it is another matter. Because Android runs over a Linux kernel, means there is a sporting chance that a driver could be compiled to support popular 3G models but it would be a QA nightmare for Archos to test them, and why bother when they sell their own key for considerably less than most tablets demand for 3G enabled models.