Back to Article

  • jjj - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Wish you had the HDD versions too,to see how the perf and battery life are impacted.
    As for the tablet ,too bad the screen is TN.
    Why no wifi tests? And ofc, as always, wish you had better battery life tests and some storage perf testing.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I'm curious how the HDD would perform with an OS like Android. It seems tablet OSs are well optimized for NAND and predictable read/write speeds unlike what you get with hard drives. Reply
  • Souka - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link


    fast cpu = good
    poor display and battery life = bad

    too many other options out there for a tablet that misses out on 2 of 3 important factors in a tablet design.

    My $.02
  • dkfx77 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Well, in fact the OS doesnt use the HDD. They got a 4GB flash mem for the system. Then the HDD is only used for your files, not for Android.
    So I guess, as far as u dont play a video or listen to mp3 files, it wont affect the battery that much...
  • dkfx77 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    It also saves the HDD life expectancy cause you know, not read every 10sec... Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I worry about our WiFi tests, for a few reasons. First, the objectiveness of our reception tests are marred by the fact that our data is different for each of our testers. We test in our homes, and since we don't all live together in a massive AnandVille campus in North Carolina, that means that each of us would want to test WiFi reception we would each have our own test routine and our own test data. Seeing as how I would be comparing it to just the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, my data wouldn't be all that interesting. I did take the tablets on a walk along side that Galaxy Tab, to see when they'd drop out, and they all dropped out at the same time. Those outdoor shots are actually on my deck, as far from my router as you can get and still be on the property, and all devices acted the same.

    As far as our WiFi throughput tests, that's another of our tests that we're hit or miss on reporting. With an all plastic chassis there should be no issues like the Transformer Prime experienced. And in practice I had no issues using the device on WiFi, though I didn't do any large file downloads. Will remember your note next time, though.

    All that said, what's wrong with our battery life tests?!? They're consistent and getting better! We're working to tweak them so there's less opportunities for browsers to cache the files and bolster their Web Browsing scores. And as for the playback tests, I love watching Quantum of Solace over and over again. Don't you? :)
  • silverblue - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Trade for Casino Royale. ;) Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    The screen is MVA, Archos used to use TN and I would have rejected them then basically because of that detail. There might exist some good TN-panels but on a tablet I want something with good viewing angles and the Archos screen (don't have one) should do that. More worryingly a TN panel would have washed out in sunlight and not be viewable in strong sunlight outside though. That said I still liked following them because of their long heritage in the PMP/Tablet field. Acer was also someone I did not count when they used TN screens.

    Other tablets that use MVA screens is for example the Motorola Xoom. PVA is used on some of Acer's later models too. You should really do it justice by evaluating the actual use of the display, describing it and give a small representation of how it is to look at subjectively, that it has a weak backlight (or backlight setting) doesn't really say if it is worse then a HTC Flyer screen which is a TN-screen with low (-er) viewing angles and prone to wash out so it would be trouble to use outside in the sun. At least you mentioned it would be pressed and hardly readable or barely in sunlight in the HTC Flyer review.
  • Penti - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Also you can get the Archos G9's (both 101 and 80) with 16GB internal storage at least in Europe. Cheaper to get a MicroSD card though. Don't know if they increase the internal app storage with the larger model.

    Also I guess it's good enough that you review the screens and gave a more in depth representation at the display page/section. Calling it TN might have stretch it and gave the wrong impression though. Good to point out that the quality and uniformity seems to be worse on the 80 though. Others have described the screen on the 80 G9 as good or good enough definitively not the worse there is or worse in class and at least have not been bothered (much) by shifting colors with normal viewing angles (say up to 45). The 101 might still be noticeable better though. Nobody expects Archos to have the best screens but adequate is enough.

    As long as their customers is happy with it. Might not have much to put up against newer ICS tablets as far as the 101 is concerned though, but at least it's not running Tegra 2. Then again it's only a speed bump on an older model. It is not price competitive any more.
  • Penti - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Sony Mobile is still based in Lund (Sweden, they moved their London head office back to where most of their engineers are) with a few thousand employees there. Their new Japanese CEO will be based in Lund and Tokyo. Good to see it being taken over by the Japanese that might give them better management culture though. The Tablets was a venture from Sony in Japan though, don't not if they will fold it into Sony Mobile. They were really late to get some good or at least decent Android devices out but lately recovered some and has a good mind share in Sweden. Don't know how the other guys in Lund fairs presumably ST-Ericsson (former EMP guys) took a huge hit when Nokia decided they wouldn't release any (more) Symbian or MeeGo products on their chips despite being signed on as an supplier, they even had a MeeGo BSP more or less ready. At least they seem to have entered the Android game now with some customers in China (with their built in TD-SCDMA baseband) plus now on new Sony Mobile phones. It's basically up the Japanese to not force all the mobile professionals (not working on base stations) to go to the Chinese companies which already has a presence here. Some plurality is good and some continuance is good rather then closing shop and reorganizing in other companies which means some stuff would just fall out of history. Reply
  • hans007 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    the screen isnt TN. Its MVA. has much better viewing angles than the TN screen tablets like the acer ones. Reply
  • Rick83 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    there is a full size USB-port which works as such (once enabled by the "enable 3G port" button), besides allowing the use of the 3G sticks on (some?) GSM networks.
    You can plug external hard drives, USB hubs, USB HID devices and even some DACs into that port, and they will work as expected.
    That port is, next to the media playback and the high end CPU one of the key features of the device, and shouldn't be put aside erroneously.

    On the other hand, the test lacks the current problems of the device: WPA was broken for quite a while, GPS can be flaky and HDMI was also having issues in the last firmwares.

    Also, Archos positions itself as a "feature device" in my opinion. It doers a lot, but it doesn't do many things very well, and testing isn't as exhaustive as elsewhere.
  • Impulses - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Most tablets without full sized USB ports still allow the same functionality thru a $15 adapter, at least Samsung and ASUS do. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I tried to connect a device to the rear full-sized USB on each of the devices, and wasn't pleased with the fit. These ports are designed for one use and trying to squeeze a simple USB cable in was awkward at best. We try to return review devices unmarred, so I wasn't interested in testing that port much. I am confident that it and the microUSB port would be good for external storage.

    I didn't test earlier versions of the device and had no trouble with my WPA2 set-up. As for GPS, I dont consider it an integral part of the tablet experience and made no effort to use it. If readers want us to test GPS on every device I will give it a try. And I didn't encounter any issues with the HDMI testing, though it was limited to ensuring it worked on my TV.

    I have to disagree that Archos "doesn't do many things very well" because of two key things they are doing well. These tablets are the only ones I would even bother considering doing our Media Test Suite on; that's a big plus. Further, they're willing to push updates and respond to issues quickly. During testing we received two updates which primarily dealt with bugs and tweaking features. HDMI is one of the most difficult connectors to work with because HDCP handshake issues can be borked with the smallest changes. If there were issues in the most recent firmwares, I'm confident Archos will address them. If all this bug chasing is a result of inexhaustive testing, well, at least they're fixing problems as they come up.

    Thanks for the comments, keep them coming.
  • Rick83 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Some other features, that are not common to all tablets and probably missing in the review are out of the box NTFS and CIFS support.
    Also the USB-DAC support is unique to the Archos tablets.

    I also explicitely added the "many" to that quote, because they do some things much better than others, but those are their defining features. On the wider front, their development is understandably rushed and falls short on testing (like the "bubble" issue on the first wave of hardware, where the back was not sufficiently tough to prevent stresses from holding the device to create screen artifacts. Also, it's great to have that awesome video codec support (also thanks to the OMAP 4460 and it's great decoding engine), but the HDMI issues (which are being fixed for the most part) are lessening the impact of being able to play 1080p30.

    I've followed the reception of the device for a while, (waiting for another 5 inch device to make it to market) and while the regular updates are helpful, oftentimes they have to fix grave issues introduced by the previous one.

    Owning an Archos is always a mixed bag, but it's probably the closest you can get to owning a PC in the tablet space, as the amount of features and the lack of custom "enhancements" to the UI give you a clean basic system, with a lot of freedom to tinker, and great support for ROM developers.

    This is refreshing, because all the other tablet vendors just strive to be the next Apple, dumbing the UIs down (eg. "simplifying") and going for maximum lock-in. On the other hand, testing is usually quite good, so that things work out of the box, and not a year after release and at 85%.

    Anyway, it's great to finally see a review of the "ultimate G9", even if it's a bit light no the "history" these devices have.
  • g00ey - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    I've been wondering for a while how you can safely use you're home computer as a media server for your portable device with which you roam around freely around the country and cross-country while listening to music or watching a movie that is on your home-drive.

    I'm not sure if CIFS is such a good idea to share things over the internet. In a closed network? yes, in a more open network over the internet? Presumably no.

    If I were to share over the net I would prefer a secure connection which rules out the http and ftp protocols. I've tried to mount sftp and ssh volumes over the Internet but the performance is really bad.
  • Penti - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - link

    You probably already use it on your internal network on your NAS for your media though. Just load it over to your device for when not home or use like WebDAV or something. Or just use some DLNA-solution. You'd be fine as long as you connect to a VPN. If it's fast enough is another matter, but a DLNA-server can encode and stream it. Not supporting it (SMB/CIFS) is a pain when your home and want to access your media. Reply
  • michael2k - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    A better screen would have made this an ideal in car entertainment center!

    Without the extra brightness and viewing angles, however, it just can't be used for such. Oh well.
  • npaladin2000 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I bought one of these. Nice media device, good for gaming. The 8 inch one is a nice size for eReading too, with the nook and Kindle apps. That's my primary use for it, that and some Tapatalk. it's unfortunate that some games don't take full advantage of the 4:3 screen, but the 16:9 stuff works well enough. And it's nice to be able to buy a STOCK ICS device.

    I do get wierded out by the viewing angles at times, but only when I'm holding it in my hands. The kickstand does a good job of keeping it at a viewable angle. And I can usually easily adjust my grip to get a viewable angle as well.
  • frozentundra123456 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I bought an Acer 7" Iconia tablet with no 3G option because I thought it would not matter. However, I have found it to be a major shortcoming and I would not purchase another tablet without some sort of 3G or 4G connectivity. The major advantage of a tablet is portability, but without some sort of data plan, when you are on a trip, travelling around, the tablet is worthless, when the portability should make it the ideal choice. (I dont really play games on it or watch videos, mainly use for e-mail, web browsing, GPS)

    I guess you would not necessarily expect 3G at these prices, but it is a critical function to me after living without it.

    And I know you can purchase a hot spot device, but who wants to carry around another device just to get connectivity.
  • Rick83 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    The 3G stick might work in GSM mode even in US GSM networks - if you can get a SIM, the correct frequencies are available. The UMTS/3G bands of the US are not supported though, so it will be painfully slow.

    I wouldn't discount the possibility of Archos eventually broadening their 3G market. Currently the US market is probably too small/risky for them to commit more ressources, in addition to the many technologies being deployed in parallel. Easier to put the focus on the European market, and go for maximum throughput there.
  • PyroHoltz - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    "For connectivity, microHDMI and microUSB are available..."

    I do believe that's miniHDMI not micro. Doesn't make much difference since you still need an adapter to go to full sized HDMI but I thought I might as well point it out.
  • Denithor - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    First sentence between the first two charts on page 3:

    Our hands-on time with the Motorolay Xyboard gave us a hint at what to expect.
  • Origin32 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    " The front of each model is mostly featureless, with a black metal bezel around the screen and a 720p front-facing camera centered along the left edge."

    Quick, Apple! Sue! Sue!
  • Penti - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - link

    You do realize they made internet-enabled PMP's since both before the iPad and the 2004 design patent? :) Reply
  • NeUr0mAns3r - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    All the GPU results were obtained using 304 MHz clocked GPU. Archos just released ( a test version of their latest firmware (4.0.6 TEST4) that raised the clock to 384 MHz, and potentially fixed some remaining WiFi problems. A forum post reports approx. 25% increase in GPU benchmark results in Nenamark, just in line with the clock increase. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Looking into it. Thanks for the tip. Reply
  • NeUr0mAns3r - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    I found the blog post I was referring to: Reply
  • medi01 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Including Asus, not including Samsung Galaxy Tab, oh joy. Reply
  • versesuvius - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Enough said.

    The review could have finished with, "At this point you still get what you pay for."
  • tayb - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Until I saw the picture on page 2. I just assumed they were comparing the iPad 1 with the Archos tablet. This might be the first time I've seen the Tab from the front. Damn. I get that there are only so many ways to make a tablet but wow those look similar. Reply
  • aliasfox - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    And you wonder why Apple thought there might be a problem. Unless you're able to compare aspect ratios (hard to do unless they're side by side), a Tab is eerily similar to an iPad from the front. Reply
  • Dex1701 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Wait, did they mention that they played Shadowrun on this thing? That's not coming out until next year, is it? Reply
  • hans007 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    i have a g9 80 . the 1GB of ram is all the difference for android tablets.

    my g9 80 is a dual core 1.2 with 512mb ram and 8gb on board.

    and i have a galaxy nexus phone. the phone is smoother in a lot of areas because of not having the need to swap memory in and out.

    1GB of ram vs 512mb of ram, isnt just twice as much. its really 3 times as much for user apps since the OS already takes 200mb or so + the video memory.

    archos should have put 1GB on these from the start, at least they finally are now.
  • shomizu9 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    lol, I don't know why but the Domino's icon made me chuckle. Pizza-eating nerd! (me too) Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    I actually hate their pizza. But I love watching their app do its thing. Ashley has your order. Mike is preparing your dough. Tom is applying your toppings. Heart. Reply
  • lymang - Friday, May 25, 2012 - link

    " what we’re hear to discuss today" should be "what we're here to discuss today." Reply
  • g00ey - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    I could easily fit 128GB of audio content into such a device. Not all audio is mp3 and I prefer the lossless flac format so it's about time that one will be able to keep flacs in the media player. Please remind me that this is 2012 and not 2002!!!

    A fair quality HiDef movie takes on average 5GB of storage space. I don't consider keeping about 20 such movies in the device excessive. Sure a standard def movie would do well on a small 8" or 10" screen but who is to say that I don't intend to hook it up to a big screen?

    Android games are getting bigger and bigger. The popular title Modern Combat 3 requires about 1.5GB of storage space. The performance of the chips have surpassed the XBOX and PS2 and we will see a performance comparable to PS3/XBOX360 within the next few generations if we're not there already with the Tegra3. So at the very least we will see DVD sized games on portable devices quite soon and they are likely to grow beyond 15GB within the next 5 years or so.

    So putting it all together, I want to have a good collection of music because I like music. Say I want to travel for a while so a good set of decent movies when I'm bored would be nice. Top that with a bunch of nice games. How much space would I have left for photos and HiDef video clips that I have shot from time to time? And don't say "cloud", that is so over the hill by now and relying on some questionable mobile data connection just doesn't cut it!
  • TimeHunter - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    I had the previous version tablet (until a theft), the 7.0 Internet, with the 250GB HDD in it. I used it primarily for travelling and it lasted quite well, even on longer plane flights. It wouldn't make a transoceanic flight without a booster, but it handled all the transcontinental flights just fine for battery life. Archos did pretty well for patching the version of the OS it released on, but there was no apparent interest, and no communication, on getting it past Gingerbread.

    But, sometimes the latest OS isn't what is needed (gasp!). It actually ran quite well, and was a pleasure in the media department as I could carry my entire large music collection and a good handful of my movie files. The codec support was the best of any device out there, even to date.

    The HDD did make for some lag in the OS and app experience, but that was not unexpected, so it was not disappointing. Once they added support for the EXT3 storage format to support files larger than 4GB, it was really quite awesome.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now