Archos 9 Review.

Posted on 24 December 2009 by



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.

"The next generation of Netbooks"

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)

IMG_0610 IMG_0587 Archos 9 (15)

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.

Usability.

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.

Full Archos 9 Specifications and further reading.

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Categorized | News

36 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    RT @umpcportal: New article: Archos 9 Review. http://bit.ly/5k5Gt6

  2. Alessandro Tucci says:

    RT @umpcportal: New article: Archos 9 Review. http://bit.ly/5k5Gt6

  3. Wolle says:

    “”Call us lazy but taking one hand off a device to touch the screen while sofa-surfing is not ideal.””

    Well, I would not call this lazy: Thats the only right way for stress free (effortless) sofa-surfing. My future tablet needs to have this additional “optical mouse” feature, otherwise its a deal breaker.

  4. THADON10 says:

    Well done Chippy. I Like the review. Its a shame the system that looks so good can only fall flat when it comes to simple things that its made for. I was considering the Archos 9 as a replacement for my Samsung Q1UP But after reading your review I must say “NO WAY!” (lol) Very good review.

  5. Michael Gartenberg says:

    "What we’ve got here is a PC tablet that fails to push boundaries in mobility, entertainment or productivity." http://bit.ly/4VB8NV

  6. Loren Heiny says:

    The Archos 9 "should serve as a wake-up call to everyone getting excited about consumer tablets." http://bit.ly/7rPKrk

  7. Jerry Fahrni says:

    Cool! RT @LorenHeiny: The Archos 9 "should serve as a wake-up call to everyone getting excited about consumer tablets." http://bit.ly/7rPKrk

  8. Rahul says:

    I am still not clear about whether GMA 500 has hardware video decode or not and if it does whether you need special video playing software to take advantage of it. From your review, it would appear hardware decode doesn’t work, at least not on the Archos 9.

  9. Josef says:

    For me the Archos 9 had could been a big hit in the Tablet Scene. But they made some mistakes.

    Thanks for the Review and the Videos and Live Show you made. Was fun and good information.

  10. Chad says:

    Phew, thank you for this review. I was really worried that I’d want to get rid of my x70 and get one of these. however, after seeing this it sounds like the X70 is a better device…

  11. TuxMeister says:

    Great review. Funny enough I’m waiting for a T91MT to land on my lap, guess Amazon gotta have a Christmas too hehe. Hope they hurry, can’t wait to see what I spent 500 bucks on. I got some cool stuff going on in my VS2010 for the tablet and can’t wait to test it.

    You guys have the Merriest Christmas, a Happy New Year and make sure you rest, ’cause I’m dieing to see your coverage of the CES. I’m sure you’ll make bang my head against the wall for not waiting a few more months. And I don’t expect less.

  12. ben says:

    How if the SSD version with W7? Will it be better performance or at least similar compare to viliv X70EX?

  13. Charbax says:

    This comment system sucks. I just lost some text to an automatic page refresh.

    chippy Reply:

    Dont use automatic page refresh then ;-)

  14. Charbax says:

    Funny how you blame Intel for bad performance and Microsoft for lacking software.

    Archos 9 is cheaper than Viliv X70, with a larger screen, newer software.

    Really funny you demand SSD, Windows 7 Ultimate, HSDPA and more RAM. Those things cost money, so if you want them, pay for them. Archos could release a high-end $799 version of the tablet. I much prefer this basic version that they can launch towards $400 at the cheapest resellers.

    Microsoft is proud to offer you a Windows 7 upgrade from Starter edition to Home Premium for $80. Give your money to Microsoft if that is what you want. Or wait for Microsoft to realize that Tablet features should be included in Starter edition tablets as well. I myself would not want to pay a $80 premium on the product for a Microsoft premium upgrade. I’d even enjoy it if Archos cut $50 on the device and provide it without any Microsoft software on it whatsoever. Chromium OS and Ubuntu dual-booting FTW. Though Intel would have to provide video acceleration for Linux.

    Archos 9 pctablet:
    Dimensions: 256 x 134 x 17 mm
    Weight: 800 grams

    Asus eeepc t91mt:
    Dimensions: 226 x 165 x 25 mm
    Weight: 953 grams

  15. Ben Lang says:

    RT @chippy: RT @umpcportal: New article: Archos 9 Review. http://bit.ly/5k5Gt6

  16. deriuqer says:

    The next generation of Netbooks…

    … now with FAIL !

    :D

  17. koven says:

    For h.264 hardware decoding with gma500 use http://nunnally.ahmygoddess.net/watching-h264-videos-using-dxva/

    the tablet futures are disabled not because of W7 Starter, but because the touchscreen works as a PS2 device not a HID -can be fixed by a proper driver (viliv x70) but propably won’t be (i.e. S5)

    my viliv x70 has a Z520 1,33 with HT so i presume Z510 will also have it despite lower clocks

  18. lintweaker says:

    First of all, happy Christmas everybody!

    You mentioned that hibernate seems to be absent from the Win7 start edition (as you did in the live session). Funny thing is that it’s working here on my Archos 9 just fine :). Maybe I enabled it through some power mgmt setting, I not sure.

  19. ben says:

    No matter what OS, all I care is will it be better if using the same SSD. You know although same hardware, it may comes up different performance due to different brand. All I knew is Viliv’s product got very good performance, but it’s too expensive. If Archos 9 has similar performance but with larger screen and cheaper price, I definitely go for Archos 9 (4 hours battery life is enough for me.)

  20. Mobile Ninja says:

    Archos 9 Review. http://bit.ly/6VGBkt
    #mobile

  21. Bugsy Bowe says:

    Archos 9 Review. http://bit.ly/6VGBkt

  22. Woumy says:

    I’ve got the eviGroup Pad for me and a Archos 9 for my wife and my opinion is :

    - Pad is better than Archos every time every where, but weight is more (990g) and battery life is less (about 2.5hrs).
    - Customers service for Archos9 does’nt exits and its very fast for eviGroup. I send a email, i know that i have an answer within 2hours ! Very very impressive.

    I send back the Archos 9 after 6 days of test and i purchase a second evi pad for January, really, the difference is real, we have a real tablet w/ evi, we have a gadget with archos.

    ramram Reply:

    I’m really interested in the EviPad, but the 2.5 hour battery life scares me a bit. What type of use have you been giving it. How is the screen brightness in full daylight?

    Is this a unit that non-French speakers can use without a problem, i.e. also customer support? How is the handling of the pad while standing, can you hold it in one hand and type in the other without risking dropping the unit?

    Mark Reply:

    Where did you get your evi Group Pad from

    I have been searching for a dealer

  23. Christof says:

    seems a total waste of money :( http://www.umpcportal.com/2009/12/archos-9-review/4/ #archos9 #fail

  24. Akos Gulyas says:

    Full Archos9 review on umpcportal.com http://bit.ly/8xqd9C

  25. Daniel says:

    I’ve had this for a couple of weeks now and I have to say that I ended up using it more than I thought I would… However it has two major flaws:
    -it really needs a multi-touch screen as scrolling through a large web page is almost impossible without trying to hit the top and bottom buttons of the scroll bar which is not an easy fit without using a stylus
    - the CPU is not powerful enough. For instance using skype for voice calls is a bit of a struggle…

  26. Mark says:

    Does anyone know if Samsung is going to continue making the Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium?

    What woudl be the best replacement for that device.

    Chippy Reply:

    Wow. To be honest there’s nothing in that category any more. A fujitsu P1630 is the nearest I can think of but only because it’s light and has a powerful CPU.

  27. Lestat says:

    J&R just canceled my pre-order of the Archos 9 because, according to them, it was discontinued by the manufacturer. Does anyone know what’s going on?

    Joe Reply:

    I just got off the phone with Archos… apparently the reason I’ve been waiting so long is my order was cancelled too. The rep had no idea why. I had to re-order.

    Nice review BTW, I think this product could still work for me. I’m a college student looking for something good for the classroom. My laptop is okay, but the battery life is not adequate, and plugs are scarce. I know I could get a netbook to fix the issue, but I’m also a fan of the Archos 9 form factor. This would be a lot better than a netbook in long car rides I would think, you could probably strap it to a headrest like the Archos 7.

    I feel like Ubuntu might help the performance on this thing if you could figure out how to get all the right drivers for the webcam, touchscreen, mic, buttons, etc… Definitely helped on my laptop.

    I’ve seen a spec sheet giving a product number for a version in White, and some sites even allow you to pre-order a white version… The Archos rep said “We will not be shipping a white version, there is only one color, black.”

  28. Taylor Bourne says:

    Archos 9 Review. http://bit.ly/6VGBkt

  29. Jesus says:

    Repent the end is near and 7 years will follow of me battleing the anti christ
    A.K.A Mathhew Brember

  30. Matthew Brember says:

    BRING IT ON JESUS

  31. Mexican Batman says:

    ‘olla mehicos
    seniorita tells me that boritoes are tasty

  32. The Archos Is Crap says:

    TIS RUBBISH
    SMELLS LIKE BACON TASTES LIKE IT TOO
    BUT ITS A BREAKFEAST CEREAL

  33. Brayden Smith says:

    Archos 9 Review. http://bit.ly/6VGBkt

  34. Austin Jones says:

    Archos 9 Review. http://bit.ly/6VGBkt

  35. Blake Woods says:

    Archos 9 Review. http://bit.ly/6VGBkt

  36. Cole Rodriguezu says:

    Archos 9 Review. http://bit.ly/6VGBkt