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  • Chaitanya - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    Like my previous comments about Lite-On and Plextor, Archos also seems to be exploring new technologies in order to sustain business. I am sure many of the previous archos users surely will miss the old video players when portable players meant either buying an iPod or other MP3 players which only played music and had tiny storage with grey scale displays. Reply
  • PubFiction - Friday, August 24, 2012 - link

    You forgot to mention that Archos and Rio pretty much invented the MP3 player that apple would copy. Thats kind how it works though, sadly they never had the advertising budget to both show off what they had before anyone else or to secure the supplies to put together the best hardware. Big companies like apple, MS and google just nab up the ideas of the real innovators and then get all the credit. Reply
  • tbutler - Friday, August 24, 2012 - link

    Nope, sorry. I had a Rio 500, a Nomad Jukebox, an Archos Jukebox, and a first-gen iPod, and this is dead wrong.

    The Rio was cute, and the interface wasn't a handicap given the capacity, but the capacity was simply anemic - with the largest-capacity SmartMedia card, you could store maybe 2-3 albums' worth of music on it, and you had to explicitly switch between internal and card storage.. a real pain. So not terribly useful.

    The Nomad Jukebox, which came out before the Archos and iPod, fixed the capacity issue... but the browsing interface was utterly atrocious, and the only way I found it usable was to build playlists on the computer and just run them from the Jukebox. It was also huge even at the time, larger and heavier than contemporary portable CD players, with a tiny and hard-to-read screen in the center.

    The Archos Jukebox was at least browsable on the device, but all music had to be user-managed through a user-created folder structure; no way to use ID3 tags to browse, no shuffle play across folders, and playlists limited to .M3U files stored in the folder hierarchy. The hardware was better than the Nomad, but still chunky, heavy, difficult to pocket (the plastic endcaps were a problem, see the pic accompanying my review at the time - and trying to swap the batteries was a nightmare.

    The iPod couldn't browse a user folder hierarchy, but in all other ways was immeasurably superior - easy and quick to ID3 browse with the scroll wheel, good display for the time, easily pocketable. No surprise why it ate everyone else's lunch.
  • tbutler - Friday, August 24, 2012 - link

    Sigh, looks like the URL got messed up; try without the end parenthesis. Reply
  • Zak - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    Wasn't Creative Nomad before Archos and Rio? I had a small Nomad that used Smart Media memory cards. It was the coolest thing ever. And I'm pretty sure Archos and Rio came after. Reply
  • vishwa108 - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    It is sad that fanboys like these are allowed to roam amok within the hallowed halls of Anandatech. Archos is not only a pretender to the throne of The Emperor of The New Clothes, it is The One who has, in recent memory, left a trail of unrequiteness and whose genetics has morphed into this state of hypnotism. Witness and learn what a minor chosen one could do as it scales the Peak of Choseness with nary a conscience other than mutterings of the variable tongue to its hapless and mesmerised victims. Reply
  • StormyParis - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    Say what ? Reply
  • Namey - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    I agree Reply
  • mattmc61 - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    I didn't think LSD was still around. Reply
  • N4g4rok - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    I post like that raising the issue of over-embellishing. Interesting. Reply
  • Squidward - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    It's not polite to channel the spirit of Steve Jobs. Reply
  • rarson - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    "Unrequiteness?" Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    I'm not a fanboy. I'm an enthusiast. And not an Archos enthusiast (I've never owned one of their products), I'm a technology enthusiast. All of your bloviations aside, the Archos team has done an excellent job with resources that are, most likely, an order of magnitude smaller than Samsung or ASUS.
    This isn't the best tablet, and it isn't the worst. And that refrain is spoken about nearly every tablet that crosses our bench. Why aren't we awash with tablet reviews, despite nearly every CE OEM having a full stable of them? Because they mostly fall in the same category: middling. Archos merits more attention precisely because they've done as much, if not more, than their larger competitors.
  • swaaye - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    The Archos G9 tablet user reviews consist of stories of defects and misrepresentations. It's scary.

    This new tablet is $400, just like the Samsungs and ASUSs. Hopefully the performance and quality is there for that.
  • jjj - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    Cherrypicking 2 non-GPU benchmarks where it gets stelar results?
    You guys are just losing credibility and that's all you got to lose.
  • geddarkstorm - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    Say what? I see Egypt HD, Egypt Classic, Taiji and Hover benchmarks there; all testing the GPU. Egypt HD is especially hard on GPUs. I'm not sure what you're complaining about. Reply
  • kyuu - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    I think he's referring to the Sunspider and Browsermark benchmarks, which for some reason he confusingly called "non-GPU benchmarks".

    However, I'm not sure what other "non-GPU benchmarks" he's expecting to get covered, or what evidence he has that it scores poorly in other benchmarks.
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    Benchmarking is one of the most challenging aspects of working in the mobile space right now. We value those benchmarks that provide useful data, not just another number. Other sites have a strong affinity for benchmarks whose numbers fluctuate wildly and whose value is often limited by tests that have hit a theoretical cap (particularly Vsync caps). Some benchmarks provide a useful data point in the event that performance deviates from our expectations, but otherwise fall perfectly within our expectations.
    The point is, if I had included all of the performance data that I collected, you would still be no more informed than you are now. Thanks for reading. Cheers.

  • americorloliveira - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    I think it's time to review the scores of the Asus Transformer Infinity because of my constantly give me around 1300 ms on SunSpider and gives over 160,000 in Browsermark, I dont know if it was a firmware update but the values ​​are very different from those in your table. Maybe when you do a review of the Galaxy Note 10.1 also can review the Infinity.
  • Spunjji - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    Did you read the article?


    Thought not.
  • rwei - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    ...wait, what? But iOS didn't exist yet, how could there be rumors of it being used on a tablet? Or do you just mean an Apple tablet in general? Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    Fair enough, though, most likely, iOS did exist; we just didn't know about it yet. Reply
  • wsjudd - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    Pedantic mode on:

    The weights in the first table have varying units and spacing (or, for the first one, no units at all).

    Weight 600 635g 580.6g 340 g
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    Fixed. Thanks.

  • vthl - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    it feels a little biased and intentional sometimes ..... certain devices always left out of the charts for no reason...... earlier it was macbook pro retina from the samsung Samsung Series 7 notebook in display comparison now nexus 7 etc has been from few comparison lists (but not all).... if you people haven't tested those products in any of the benchmark you are comparing with .... care to put a note in the chart itself (not tested) . Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    So, a lot of this has to do with the fact that, though we have standard ways of running tests, we don't necessarily have a standard series of tests we perform on all devices. Some of that has to do with time or other resources, some of that has to do with value. Some tests are only pertinent if the value deviates in anyway from expectations. Take, for instance, Anand's recent analysis of IO performance in tablets. Previously, we wouldn't have though to check. As it became an issue, with SoC performance and software putting a higher load on IO, Anand took to analyzing the issue. Given the value focus of the Archos lines, I expect that IO performance won't be groundbreaking. And that might matter. So, I'll look into it, but that involves coordinating with Anand to ensure my testing methodology matches his.
    And yes, we don't test every device. I'm going to reveal a secret to you all. We're not a large team, all sitting together in a technology playroom, testing devices from sun up till . . . well, sun up. For only a few of us is this our full-time job, and for the rest, we do our best to ensure that the most interesting things make it to the site. And sometimes, we never get chance to find out.
    Feel free to let us know when you want to take a closer look at a particular comparison and we'll try and put it together for you. Thanks for reading.

  • Wwhat - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    Is it me or does this several page article omit to name its sensors? A small spec list with such things might be appropriate with reviews (even if they are advertisement ones)

    And while I'm posting: I also was surprised to see how light the nexus is compared to the other tablets, that makes a huge difference I think.
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    Lightness is a big plus for one-handed operation of a tablet, and I think it's a component in the growing popularity of smaller tablets. A 1.3 lbs device is fine sitting on my couch, but if I'm standing in a subway car, or playing a game, my arm's can get a little weary. I'd much prefer a lighter device then.

    As to your other comments, we take all our reader comments into account (even if they are unnecessarily snarky), so I'll try to do better. In this case, the only thing omitted from the usual set of radios is the light sensor.
  • xaueious - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    I wouldn't be so quick to give Archos any credit for optimizing the browser performance. TI OMAP4 always had an edge in the Sunspider benchmarks, and the performance here is inline with those results. It was TI that did any of the work, not Archos. To be precise, the TI OMAP4 reference was optimized targeting the Galaxy Nexus to begin with, so there's nothing to see here.

    The ASUS Transformer TF300 with Android 4.1.1 scores 1343.5 ms in the stock browser. Jellybean really changes the landscape of the browser benchmarks. I don't think ICS utilizes Tegra 3 fully.
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    This is actually a story we've been trying to tell for sometime. While OEMs take the credit, silicon vendors are often doing the heavy lifting with software performance. As often as not, though, the optimizations that a TI or Qualcomm build into the Android versions shipped to OEMs are left out, in favor of aesthetically or function tweaked browsers, widgets and app drawers. So, while I agree TI merits a lot of the praise here, we like to encourage OEMs to follow Archos lead, so we'll give them some love, too. That said, Archos didn't just take a build and run it. The OEM sets the governor, and finalizes clock speeds, and also decides whether or not to use a particular silicon feature, and in which way. In this case, Archos made changes to the way that instructions are guided towards the low-power cores, GPU and CGPU; their goal being a boost to performance compared to a more conservative stock build.
    And then there's Jelly Bean. As always, we test as quickly and as much as possible. The TF300 just got its Jelly Bean build this week, and the delta between its JB Sunspider score and the ICS one is massive. So, who's to say that the Archos JB build won't also break new ground? In which case, the TF300 with 4.1.1 serves mainly to demonstrate what's to come. But doesn't negate the performance of the OMAP 4470.

    Thanks for the comments. Keep them coming.

  • aryonoco - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    Hi Jason,

    Fine article, but there were a few grammatical errors in your piece that shouldn't have gone beyond your editor:

    "the kind of codec support that many of todays popular tablets" should be "today's popular tablets".

    "Archos has worked to tweak there Android" should be "their Android"

    "does not extend to the stock player, only Archos own player" should either be "Archos' own player" or "Archos's own player" (depending on which style guide you follow).

  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    Missed a few others, yourself. I'll try and catch the rest before you do. Cheers.

  • rarson - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    in the AnandTech comments section. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    If any of you guys are professional commenters let me know. :) Reply
  • Charbax - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    Archos 101 XS with keyboard: $399
    Asus Transformer Pad TF300 with keyboard: $529 (+33%)
    Acer Iconia Tab A700 with keyboard: $599 (+50%)
    Asus Transformer Prime with keyboard: $649 (+63%)
    iPad3 with keyboard: $599 (+50%)
    Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with keyboard: $599 (+50%)
    Microsoft Surface with keyboard: $599 (likely) (+50%)

    I think Archos likely will release a firmware to fix the power consumption for video and games. Also consider video games need to be fully optimized for SGX544 before they can perform as well as for example on Tegra3. This is likely happening faster than some would think, I think OMAP4470 is going to win Q4 2012 just as OMAP4430/4460 won Q4 2011 (Galaxy Nexus, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, Motorola Razr/Atrix2 etc..) I expect OMAP4470 is the platform in upcoming Galaxy Nexus Superior, Kindle Fire 2, likely also the next range of Motorola, LG and some other Samsung devices among other. The more devices means the better software optimizations Archos can automatically get for Android features also. OMAP4 pretty much is the reference design for ICS and JB, this is likely to continue even as Google "opens up" to all other SoCs and manufacturers with the PDK.
  • voss,seal - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    I followed your "advice" on the previous Archos model. So I bought it, I'm in the process of returning my third Archos 101 - in a period of four months - because of touchscreen failures. I'd rather pay more for a functioning tablet. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    I'm truly sorry you had a bad experience with the G9s. There's one thing that's much harder for us to report on than simply discussing our experiences with a given device: longterm durability. Build quality is a hurdle that Archos has to address, along with improving the turn around time for repairs or replacements.
    I think one issue is that very few of these devices end up our daily drivers, even if the review samples stay with us for a while so that we can follow up on software updates. Part of that, is that many of us don't have a reason to have a daily driver tablet. Readers that have followed our iPad coverage probably recall that almost every review features a section bemoaning the extent to which the prior generation has remained in a drawer, unused. The tablet isn't yet an essential device. It's nice to have, and I enjoy using whatever I have on hand to watch videos and play the occasional game. But it's not part of my daily life.
    In the meanwhile, I do apologize you've had as much trouble with failures. In the future, whether we recommended it to you or not, please let us know when a product you've bought has hit 'lemon' status. We appreciate the feed back.

  • Charbax - Friday, August 24, 2012 - link

    I don't know what kind of problem voss thinks he has had. I've been using Tablets nearly every single day since February 2005. Initially the 3.5" Archos PMA400 with Qtopia Linux apps and WiFi tethering then already. Then other and only Archos devices with few Chinese cheap tablets to test. Since September 2010, every day I use the Archos 70 Internet Tablet when I go outside, it fits my jacket pocket. I upgraded it to Archos 70b Internet Tablet in January and I've been testing a few ICS soon Jelly Bean $50 tablets from Shenzhen since April, of course all those are 7" or smaller so that I can bring them with me every time I go outside, use them every time I'm in a bus or train or airplane, the 7" Tablet is just so much better than a phone size as it fits 2x to 3x more screen surface area, better for web browsing, better for apps, games, video playback (catching up all recorded/downloaded TV to not have to watch TV only at home) etc. This Archos 101 XS I think may allow me to use 10.1" for the first time as a laptop replacement. I could have spent $830 on a Transformer Prime with keyboard and Fry's Taxes in Las Vegas 8 months ago, but I did not want to pay that much, I thought it totally ridiculous to pay that much for an ARM Powered Laptop, those aren't supposed to cost nearly as much as an Ultrabook. I even think $400 for Archos 101 XS is still expensive, but when you compare with the competition, it's 33% to 63% cheaper. Sure enough, at $299 with keyboard I think the Archos 101 XS should be a huge fenomenon and everyone considering a 10" tablet or netbook/ultrabook should then consider it. Especially if/when Android gets optimized for Laptop/Desktop use, with some new "Desktop Mode" in Android, perhaps Google should just release such a Home Replacement that re-arranges things a bit optimized for Laptop Productivity, re-optimizing Chrome on Android just a bit so it's exactly like Chrome on any Laptop/Desktop, and also an app like Ubuntu on Android would be awesome for productivity. I'm waiting to see if Archos and TI can fix the governors to make sure battery life on its 6000mAh battery really is above 10 hours. And I'm looking forward to see if I can use Archos 101 XS to replace my $1000 Toshiba z830 ultrabook for most of my on-the-move Laptop productivity usage. Reply
  • tbutler - Friday, August 24, 2012 - link

    I'm also concerned about build quality; the one other review I've seen on the 101 XS so far (the Verge one) cited significant issues there, especially with the screen. From the description, it sounded like they didn't use enough protection for the LCD panel, so you get typical LCD-pressure distortions when you put pressure on the screen from the front *or* back. Doesn't sound too encouraging to me. Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    If OMAP4 is the reference for JB, why was the first JB device based on Tegra 3?

    The likelihood of a Q4 "win" for it looks unlikely given the probable arrival of at least one A15-based device by then, alongside proper SnapDragon S4 quad-core devices.
  • scavio - Friday, August 24, 2012 - link

    Both the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 got Jellybean at essentially the same time, the Nexus 7 just happened to launch with it. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    The question isn't whether it undercuts the price of having a keyboard, it's the value of that total package. I think many would argue that the TF300 with keyboard is a better value because the TF300 is an overall better package, AND the keyboard has massive supplemental battery. The other comparisons creep a little too close to what one could be paying for a fair Ultrabook. Those then become a choice between sacrificing performance for portability or paying more for a better notebook-style device. So, yes, we should have perhaps spent more time discussing the value add that a bundled keyboard brings, we're just not sure how much the keyboard will add to the experience. If you read the other reviews out there, opinions on the keyboard are pretty scattered. Some hated it. Others loved it. I didn't mind it.

    As for the prospects of a big Q4 for OMAP 4470? We don't like to speculate on what SoC will find a home in rumored devices, but let's consider that TI's place in the release cycle is last. NVIDIA has set a very fast tempo, though they've had two generations of A9 SoCs. Qualcomm is equally fast, and have already premiered their A15-class SoC, and working towards releasing their second iteration. Samsung is preparing Exynos 5 for an early '13 release, and have rolled out Exynos 4 Quad to sate us until then. And TI will have OMAP 5 in early '13, but has OMAP 4470, an SoC we reported on a year ago, to fill the gap.

    There's nothing wrong with OMAP 4470, indeed it should give us a good picture of what OMAP 5 should look like. The inclusion of the CGPU and the focus on 'smart multicore' versus simply squeezing more A9 cores into the device is something that might win it more design wins in the mid-range space. Though SoCs only add a small amount to bill of materials, there's likely a premium, based on availability, in putting a quad-core SoC in your device versus a dual-core SoC. We do know that OMAP 4470 will see a lot of play in the Windows RT space. And in talking with TI they seem excited about this Fall, so perhaps you're right; perhaps we will see some TI-driven Nexus devices, and a myriad of other brands. I just don't think they'll be in the highest end devices.
  • yyrkoon - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    TI is great to work with in the embedded field. Their hardware is not bad, and they do a lot of the development grunt-work for would be designers. Offer great, and sometimes free software tools . . . Plus they contribute a lot in some areas to the OSS community. For their products of course.

    So yeah I have to think TI based parts are going to be seeing a lot of play in future embedded applications. This makes me excited too. Since I really enjoy working with TI hardware.
  • Malphas - Saturday, August 25, 2012 - link

    Or are they just jumping on the bandwagon? I owned a G8 tablet and it was completely solid, as well as dirt cheap and running a stock ROM with no bloatware refreshingly. It would be more enlightening to hear what percentage of G9 users - and Archos users in general - are satisfied/unsatisfied with their devices rather than just people badmouthing them on forums based on reviews but no actual experience with the product. Reply

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