The Archos 9 has been with us for about 5 days now and we’re due to send it back to Mobilx in a few days so we thought we better get an early review out to you all. This isn’t an in-depth review but it’s everything we’ve learnt from the live session and time we’ve had with it since unboxing.
For full specifications, check out the Archos 9 information page in our database.
Archos launched the Archos 9 to the U.S. market in September with a rather bold marketing statement.
In our opinion, that statement is somewhat overblown. The Archos 9 is neither the next generation of netbooks or even the next generation of mobile entertainment. What we’ve got here is lightweight PC tablet that really fails to push boundaries in mobility, entertainment or productivity.
Around the device.
Build quality is excellent along with the buttons and overall styling. We really like the look of the Archos 9. The matt touchscreen (resistive) is reasonably bright and sharp although it doesn’t ‘pop’ like other screens we’ve seen. The 800gm device is used in either two-hands (with the thumb on the optical mouse pointer to drive the Windows 7 Starter Edition user interface), with one hand (for brief periods of using the touchscreen) or on a table as a viewer or ‘netbook’ screen with external keyboard and mouse. The 8.9”, 1024×600 screen is actually pretty good when used on its stand for such a scenario.
Two good quality stereo speakers, a 1.3mp webcam, built-in mic, headphone port (no mic input) and single USB2.0 output complete the line-up of standard ports. There’s a docking connector on the bottom which is used for an optional break-out port (VGA, LAN, USB, Mic-in, Line out)
On the back of the device you’ll find an extendable flip-out stand which hasn’t been very well designed. Moving the device to the right when on the stand results in the stand collapsing. That’s not good for devices with hard drives! The pivot also looks to be a potential weak point too.
Inside the device.
Archos have built the ‘9’ around the single-threaded Atom 1.1Ghz Z510 which we’ve seen in a few other devices before. A 60GB HDD, 1GB of RAM and some hardware video decoding from the chipset are also included. With Windows 7 Starter we have to say ‘disappointing.’
Wifi b/g and Bluetooth are included but there’s no 3G module included.
Driving Windows 7 with a touchscreen can be a fun experience. Almost all of the default UI is easily accessible and as Archos have framed the touchscreen with a very thin (height) frame, there’s no problem with accessing corners of the screen as we’ve seen on other devices.
Finger-nail touch is the easiest although there is a (thin and flimsy) stylus included in a slot of the rear.
If you’re holding the device in two hands though (as you most definitely will have to after a while – 800gms isn’t light enough for a long-term single handed experience) your right thumb will fall to the optical mouse. It’s quick and accurate and we like it a lot. Call us lazy but taking one hand off a device to touch the screen while sofa-surfing is not ideal.