Archos 80 G9 Review

The Archos 80 G9 Tablet is manufactured by the Igny, France based Archos. The company is one of the fastest growing technology companies in the world with an impressive 105% growth in annual revenues between 2010 and 2011.

Features

Featuring a MMulti-CoreTI OMAP 4 smart processor with speeds up to 1.5 GHz (Turbo HDD model), the 8 inch Archos 80 G9 Tablet runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb OS and has a display resolution of 1024×768. The tablet comes in 2 storage options – 250 GB hard drive version and a Flash drive (with 8 / 16 GB and a MicroSD slot) version. The USB 3G stick enables 3G connectivity on the tablet and is cleverly concealed in the back casing. The device comes with built in microphone, speakers, a kickstand, compass, G Sensor, GPS and a 720P front-facing camera. The hard drive version weighs 599 g while the flash drive version weighs 465 g.

Usability

Two of the features that will strike you most are the positioning of the camera and the speakers. The front facing webcam is primarily intended for video calling and will not be of much use if you are looking for a tablet to record videos and take pictures of your surroundings. The speakers at the back will be just sufficient for basic audio quality, but this can be overcome if you use headphones that can be plugged into the 3.5mm socket available on the side of the tablet.

The position of the power switch on the left-hand side may take some time getting used to so you do not accidentally turn off the tablet. Other ports on the left side include the mini HDMI connector that lets you watch HD videos on your television and the mini USB. The volume rocker is on the right-hand side of the tablet. The device has a ‘plasticky’ feel to it, and that is to be expected since the pricing is really aggressive.

Running the Ice Cream Sandwich Android operating system that is specially optimized for tablets such as the Archos 80 G9, you have full access to powerful multimedia applications on the Android market and flash based websites.

What Customers Say

The tablet has impressive features considering its price. For most customers, the tablet is a great size (not too small as a 7 inch and not too big as a 10 inch) and fits into a Jacket pocket easily. Due to its plastic casing, pressure on the back of the tablet while holding can cause ripples on the screen. According to some customers, finding accessories is not very easy for this tablet. Few customers had complained of the tablet locking up, but the latest firmware update seems to have addressed the issue. Do not expect customer service standards of Apple or RIM; Archos is still a relatively small organization.

Most users found the Archos media player app pretty slick to keep media files easily organized. The touch sensitive capacitive screen may not be as responsive as some of the high-end models from competition, but then for a low-cost tablet, there has to be some trade off somewhere.

Conclusion

If you are on a budget, do not mind a low-quality build or willing to compromise on some features such as front facing speakers or back facing camera, then the Archos 80 G9 has plenty to offer.