ARCHOS 101 G9

ARCHOS has officially thrown its hat into the Honeycomb ring with its upcoming G9 line of tablets, and we got another sneak peek this week in New York's Times Square. The G9 line, according to ARCHOS Senior VP and General Manager Frédéric Balaÿ, is the fruit of the company's ongoing commitment to Android and Google, which started with the Android 1.5 Cupcake-flavored ARCHOS 7 Home Tablet back in early 2010. Balaÿ says that it is this history with Android, coupled with ARCHOS' over ten years experience in the tablet market, that gives the manufacturer a unique insight into how best to optimize both hardware and software to meet the users' needs. Hit the break for a closer look.

The G9 will come in two sizes, each with a number of options. The 80 G9, the company's 8-inch version, is available for presale starting today through ARCHOS.com and will arrive in retailers on September 30, starting at $299. The 101 G9, a 10.1-inch device, will be available in October starting at $399. Both models will sport Android 3.2 Honeycomb and will be powered by an OMAP 4 CORTEX A9 processor, which Balaÿ says can offer higher performance at a lower price point than competitors like Tegra 2. The 101 G9 is clocked at 1.5 GHz, while the 80 G9 is clocked at 1 GHz, with a "supercharged" 1.5 GHz model landing in late October.

ARCHOS will be offering options for either flash or HDD memory for each model. The 80 G9 will both 8 GB and 16 GB flash options, and the 101 G9 will arrive with 16 GB flash storage. Should you choose the HDD option for either device, you'll have a whopping 250 GB of storage to play with, though it'll cost you some additional weight and girth. And about that HDD option: it'll be a Seagate Momentus Thin hard drive with 4 GB cached specifically for the Honeycomb OS, which Balaÿ says will translate into less spinning and longer battery life.

You'll notice a slot for a 3G USB stick on each model, which ARCHOS advertises as an option for network connectivity. Don't get your hopes up: unfortunately, U.S. carriers don't support this type of 3G connectivity, and require tablets to have internal 3G radios. Our friends across the pond, however, will be able to enjoy this feature.

Initially, you'll notice that the G9 line feels significantly less "sturdy" than some of the competition. The body is made of noticable plastic and certainly lacks the high end feel of devices like the line of Galaxy Tabs and even the Xoom. ARCHOS has included a kickstand on both devices, which seems like an absolute no brainer. It's certainly a unique (and extremely useful) spin on what's currently being offered. Software wise, Honeycomb is running as smooth as butter, and in our initial walk through, I noticed no slow down or lags of any kind.

It's refreshing to see a manufacturer committed to high-end guts at a low cost to consumers. Sure, there are some trade offs. You might miss the camera, and the G9 line isn't the sexiest, sturdiest tablet out there. But with storage of up to 250 GB and options that max out at $469, the G9 line  offers something different that what we've come to expect.

Below you'll find full specs for each device, along with some hands on photos and a video walk through of the 101 model. ARCHOS provided us with an 80 G9 model which we'll put through the paces and review in the coming weeks.

Specs

Display characteristics   

  • 8.: 1024 x 768
  • 10.1.: 1280 x 800

Processor 

  • ARM dual-core CORTEX A9 OMAP4 1.5 GHz
  • 3D OpenGL (ES 2.0)

Capacity 

  • Flash Memory: 16 GB + microSD Slot (SDHC compatible)
  • HDD memory: 250 GB


Video Playback

  • MPEG-4 HD (up to 1080p)
  • MPEG-42 (ASP@L5 AVI, up to DVD resolution)
  • H.264 HD (HP@L3.1 up to 1080p)
  • WMV9/VC1 (AP up to 1080p)
  • Cinema: MPEG2 (up to DVD resolution MP/D1) (with optional plug-in)
  • With the above codecs, the device can play video files with the following extensions: AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, MPG, PS, TS, VOB, MKV, FLV, RM, RMVB, ASF, WMV

Audio Playback 

  • MP3
  • WMA, WMA-Pro 5.1
  • WAV (PCM/ADPCM)
  • AAC3, AAC+ 5.13
  • OGG Vorbis
  • FLAC
  • With optional software plug-in:
  • AC3 5.1

Photo viewer 

  • JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF

Webcam 

  • 720p front camera with 720p encoding

Interfaces 

  • USB slave: Mobile Transfer Protocol (MTP)
  • USB host: Mass Storage Class (MSC) (Micro USB/USB Host cable sold separately)
  • microSD (SDHC compatible)
  • HDMI output6 (Mini HDMI / HDMI cable sold separately)

Communication protocols 

  • WiFi (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR

Miscellaneous 

  • Built-in GPS
  • Built-in speakers
  • G-sensor
  • Vibrator
  • Compass
  • Built-in kick stand
  • Built-in Microphone

Power source 

  • Internal: Lithium Polymer battery
  • External: Power adapter/charger

Dimensions & weight 

  • ARCHOS 80 G9 Flash series: 226 mm x 155.3 mm x 11.7 mm (8.90 x 6.11 x 0.46 inch) - 465g (17 oz)
  • ARCHOS 80 G9 Hard Drive series: 226 mm x 155.3 mm x 14.7 mm (8.90 x 6.11 x 0.58 inch) - 599g (21.9 oz)
  • ARCHOS 101 G9 Flash series: 276 mm x 167.3 mm x 12.6 mm (10.86 x 6.59 x 0.50 inch) - 649g (23.8 oz)
  • ARCHOS 101 G9 Hard Drive series: 276 mm x 167.3 mm x 15.6 mm (10.86 x 6.59 x 0.61 inch) - 755g (27.7 oz)

Battery life 

  • Music playback time: up to 36 hrs
  • Video playback time: up to 7 hrs
  • Internet navigation time: up to 10 hrs

80 G9 (flash memory)

ARCHOS 80 G9 ARCHOS 80 G9

ARCHOS 80 G9
 

101 G9 (flash memory)

ARCHOS 101 G9 ARCHOS 101 G9

ARCHOS 101 G9ARCHOS 101 G9ARCHOS 101 G9

 

 
There are 19 comments

xemtra says:

thats definetly the right price to take on Apple. BUT. Who is going to buy an "archos" ? heres hoping...

jsmuli2 says:

This is my #1 choice as of now. The TI processors of the mobile world are quite the big deal.

patfactorx says:

Kal El is coming in 4 weeks. Just a heads up =op

meccariello says:

Now they are starting to price sanely....

DWR_31 says:

My Asus Transformer only cost me $378 after taxes and its not plastic-y.

Impulses says:

Mine cost $321 w/tax, one of the reasons I jumped on tablets this early. Otherwise I'd probably be looking at these Archos.

GrillMouster says:

Either you got a different Transformer or your definition of "plastic-y" is different. Not saying that it's a bad device, but it's not aluminum-y.

You took the words right out of my mouth....Then again maybe it's the Xoom that I use constantly that makes it feel so "plastic-y"

Incitatus says:

I was fully set on the transformer until I saw it in real life. Copper bezel turned me off.

Another mirage from Archos...looks good but then after several use you realize its garbage.Do not be fooled by the price, the build quality is so poor you will be hearing all sort of noises from the plastic.Also Ask anyone who owns the Archos 101 and theu will tell you that Archos 101 till now has not been well optimize for Froyo.How much more can they optimize honeycomb?

Daedalus says:

I own a 7.0IT and personally i still love it some 9 months after getting it. Yes the XOOM does feel better build wise but I have to say I have seen more updates and patches to the OS (and mine shipped with eclair)then I have seen combined with all the Android Phones I have owned.

Personally the 101 G9 is on my list of items to play with and really topping my list of tablets to buy due to cost.

mcook1670 says:

I used to have the Archos 5IT until "broke". It was cool when I first got it, froyo just came out and it was running cupcake. After gingerbread came out it was still on cupcake. It could have been a great device, but the updates just weren't there. I don't think I would buy another Archos device. Well at least here in the states they seem to be more popular in Europe.

Did anybody see anything about a 3g option or a full USB port? Or did I miss something? I saw the micro USB. Also, he didn't "power" it on. He woke it from sleep. Would have been nice to see the full boot up.

cmunic8r99 says:

I don't see it mentioned here, but I saw on the Archos site that these will have access to the Android Market, too.

NickA says:

Why does the dude in the video keep flipping me off??!!

slickrikc21 says:

i was waiting for this device to come out because i originally owned the archos 70 250gb. i said to my self best thing ever!!! WRONG!! after 7months of use i did about 5 full restores to get out glitches but it just got worse. device was not stable became laggy and worst of all i had to wait about 10mins for the HDD to start up and read all my multimedia which was over 120gbs. instead i went for the acer a100. so far im liking fast but some apps do force close as others stated. im gona give it a couple more days of use before i might consider trying this out. who knows mayb they did it right this time.

NOW FOR THE REAL QUESTION WHATS BETTER TEGRA 2 OR OMAP 4???

Anyone else feel like this guy is giving you the finger on purpose?

brookman1 says:

Plastic vs Metal, who cares? I wish they had a 24hr battery while 3G is hooked up and going.

Honeycomb, ah honeycomb:
Want to see the orientation control back? The touch button that changes portrait to landscape orientation when gyro is disabled have not been on screen since Android 1.6 (it seems); there should, in fact, be a button/switch control on device hardware that can disable the gyro and put pad or phone in any orientation so you can read a PDF/eBook/DOC/HTML and keep tilting your touch pad without it changing document orientation and losing your place each time when shifting in and armchair (possibly at Starbucks). Laying down sideways on the couch, while reading on touch-pad, we don’t want the orientation to shift, anyone with me on this? Does the orientation control go to OS panel on Android 3x when gyro is disabled (from deep inside settings!!!)? Touch-pad on slanted table shouldn't have an orientation shift just because it has a gyro!

tidris says:

Somebody please find out how much RAM these tablets have and report it. Archos consistently omits that info from its product specs, I would never purchase a tablet computer without knowing how much RAM it has.