After testing the Archos Flip (which doesn’t look like a Lenovo Yoga BTW!) I’m disappointed that Archos are only planning to release this in France. Obviously if it sells well it will move to other European countries but I doubt it will happen this year. Here’s a rundown of my hands-on experience with it.
With the Archos G9 series starting at Â£200 in the UK you have to give this a little look. Ice Cream Sandwich is being promised for early 2012 but @Charbax has seen a preview.
“Archos is showing a preview of Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich running on the OMAP4 based Archos G9 tablets to be finalized during Q1 of 2012. They still have to finish the hardware acceleration for video support, Samba/Upnp, 3G stick support and all of the other specific features that Archos provides on top of Android. ”
We’re really looking forward to Archos’ new G9 tablets, their inexpensive price and unique features are going make them a welcomed addition to the world of Honeycomb tablets.
As Charbax of ARMdevices.net shows us, the TI OMAP 4460 found in the G9 tablets will run at different speeds depending upon the capacity (and the price) of the tablet that you purchase.
When Archos first announced the Archos 80 G9 and the 101 G9, they were said to eventually be available in 8/16/250GB capacities, while other specs would remain the same. However, at IDF they are now showing that the 8GB variant of both models will run at 1GHz instead of 1.5GHz.
The lower capacity makes sense to bring down the price even further and offer additional choice to customers. What I don’t quite understand is the lower clock speed. As far as I can tell, the 8GB model of the 80 and 101 is still running the same CPU as the 16/250GB models. Feel free to correct me on this, but I can’t think of any additional fee that would be incurred to use a different clock speed on the CPU, so I have to wonder why they are lowering the speed on the 8GB variants.
My best theory is that Archos wants the more expensive models to be the most appealing, and give an additional incentive for going with one of the higher capacity units. If that’s the case, I can’t help but feel like they’re artificially giving users of the 8GB variants the shaft, though I’m hoping there is something less dubious behind it.
Archos confirmed US pricing for the 16GB variants of the 80 and 101 back when they were first announced; $270 and $349 respectively, and we should see the other models officially priced soon. Charbax has the official EU prices for all models here. The G9 80 and 101 will become available at the end of September, according to Archos.
Chippy is on the IDF show floor and we’ll see if he can get this question about the CPU speed answered for us.
I love Android. Actually, on any given day of the week, I am probably in love with various mobileÂ Operating Systems. Every once in a while, I even do a desperate Google-Bing deep-dive in an attempt to find a viable WindowsCE device. On those different days, I am likely to be most in love with the mobile OS that is aggravating me the least. Due to this dynamic, it gets a little unfair for the most popular OS in my current kits, because it gets more chances to irritate me due to the increased exposure.
Android comes with a decent set of cons for every pro that it carries. I love the suppleness of the software design, which allows developers to bend it to their will and deploy many different flavors of operability. The Android Market features many different riffs on common themes for apps, which allows you to find one that is tailored to your particular tastes. I think this effect is less prevalent in the Apple App Store, where I feel like once one developer figures out the hook that gets everyone on-board with their app, then we just see derivations of that common design. As a consequence, I run significantly fewer apps on my iOS devices than I do on my Android devices.
However, Android could be perceived as suffering from more instability due to the very openness that makes it so powerful and attractive. Instability in core apps that any Android user would be dependent upon has occurred. Add the multiple sources of apps that so many of us access, vice the one-stop source that the vast majority of iOS, Windows Phone 7, and Blackberry OS users go to, and the risk of instability increases. Users and the media go on-and-on about how Flash gives Android an advantage over iOS, yet it is one of the first things I disable on any desktop OS or mobile device. Besides the security vulnerabilities, I absolutely despise the performance hit that occurs whenever I go to a site that automatically Â runs a heavy flash video that I have zero interest in seeing.
But then… maybe I am not the best Android user, because I am arguably a horrible system administrator. If things start to go bad, I do not have a lot of time to troubleshoot. My regular job, writing for the various tech sites, the dog, grad school…when something does not work, I am likely to just punt.
I have had to reset my Motorola Xoom to its factory defaults and start over for the first time this week, after about 3 months of use. Unfortunately, this is not the first Android device I have felt compelled to take this approach with. I have been using Android extensively for about 15 months. I have gone through about 7 devices so far. With each, there always seems to come the point where I install the one app too many. Or some setting that I configure injects a level of instability that just never recovers to an acceptable state, despite power cycling and soft resets. This happened numerous times on my Motorola Droid. I have felt compelled to wipe my Dell Streak 7 twice. I will admit that the original Archos 7 Home Tablet was a questionable product and perhaps I should not count its instability in my Android reset totals. Still, I had to perform a do-over several times in the brief time that I ran that device.
You may have been following my series on using the Acer Iconia A500 for business purposes. One thing that I am doing vastly different in that use-case is that I have installed a very specific set of apps, and I do not intend to add anymore. I also do not run any widgets on my homescreens, other than the Calendar Widget. It is vitaly important that I retain a robust level of stability on that device. When my business device goes down, I amÂ severelyÂ hamstrung. That need for stability is in fact one of the reasons I went with a new Android device for this go-round, rather than try and use one that I was already running. Which brings me to why I cannot solely blame Android for my problems.
The truth is, I knowÂ what I need to do to stop some of this instability. I know that I need to stop deploying widgets across every homescreen as soon as I set up a device (see Ben’s article from last year on his feelings on widget-oriented OS’). I know that I need to establish a set of baseline apps, install them, run that configuration for a few weeks, and then add apps a few at a time. But I cannot help myself. On Android, I exhibit the same app junkie behavior that I chastise so many iOS users for. In that vein, I am a digital hypocrite. And for that reason, I sometimes wind up paying the price in running my little Android farm.
The good news is that a wipe and reset of an Android device is not has destructive as, say, doing the same on a Windows desktop system. In fact, in certain ways it is even fun. And backing up and syncing your apps to your Google ID makes restoring any Android device a snap. So, while self-administering devices that have a skosh less stability than some others incurs an additionalÂ burden, it is not yet at the level that I am considering reducing my Android entrenchment. Maybe one day; but not today.
How about everyone else out there? Do you find the need to do a total restore on your devices toÂ reinvigorateÂ them, or have you been happy from day one?
OpinionComments Off on Openness and Stability — the Self-Administered Mobile Ecosystem
We’ve just finished adding the recently announced Archos 80 G9 and the 101 G9 to our mobile product database where you can find official specifications, popularity charts, links, photos, and more. Have a look here:
Archos hasÂ unveiledÂ two â€œbang for bucksâ€ Android Honeycomb tablets: the 8-inch (1024×768, 4:3)Â ’80 G9′ and the 10.1-inch (1280×800, 1.6:1) ‘101 G9’.
The 80 and the 101 both use a dual-core TI OMAP 4460 processor running at 1.5GHz. With more grunt under the hood than most Tegra 2-powered Android tablets in the market these days, the tablet looks promising to deliver a silky smooth multitasking experience as well as high resolution video playback. Archos claims that the OMAP 4460 CPU is up to 50% faster than Nvidia’s Tegra 2 in certain situations.
As Archos is focused on creating multimedia devices for over a decade, it understands that full HD video content comes at a price and that’s storage space. This is where the Apple iPad 1/2 and most other Android tablets currently on the market are lacking in — sufficient local storage to hold oodles of HD video content.
To address this limitation, Archos offers the G9 tablets with the conventional Flash storage format or a huge 250G hard drive, although the latter introduces a slightly thicker (around 3mm more) form factor than its flash counterpart. But then, a small price to pay for those requiring lots of storage.Â I’ll be mighty interested to see if the HDD version will consume more battery life than its Flash counterpart.
Both tablets will be able to hook directly to a host computer and accessed as an external HDD for easy transfer ofÂ multimediaÂ content. You’ll also be able to play back such content through the mini HDMI-out port that both tablets are equipped with.
Focused on multimeadia, Archos has historically included kickstands to make hands-free media viewing easy, and they aren’t about to stop that trend. Both the 80 and the 101 come with built-in kickstands.
Both tablets will come with Android 3.1 Honeycomb as the operating system with Adobe Flash 10.3 support.Â Archos also promises the G9 tablets will provide a great multimedia experience to its users by replacing the standard Android multimedia applications with their own Archos multimedia app suite. Full HD 1080p videos will play with no issues and there will be massive support for codec, format and subtitles.
Then there’s the 3G module that no one else on the market is doing. For $49, you can buy a USB 3G stick that slips into a slot on the back of the 80 or 101 tablet and sits flush with the edge. If you want to use the USB stick with a laptop as well, go right ahead! This inexpensive 3G module adds flexibility for customers by allowing them to add 3G at a later time if they choose, and also not forcing them to choose to pay for a 3G connection that only works on one device!
Now for â€œbang for bucksâ€ bit: the 16GB 80 will start at $270 USD and the 16GB 101 will cost $349! The 250GB versions have not yet been priced, though Archos says 32GB flash costs nearly the same as 250GB HDD, so we’ll likely see aprox. $350 for the 250GB 80 and $429 for the 250GB 101.
One thing which I wished Archos had done was to create a model that is pocketable. Rather than the G9 80, I would have liked to see a 5â€ (eg size of a Dell Streak 5) or a 7â€ (eg, size of a Samsung Galaxy Tab), that would have been great!
Both tablets will be available to us all end September of this year and will appeal to buyers looking for a cheap but powerful tablet with unique options and full Android market access!
Ok, the truth is that you’re not buying the best of breed tablet â€“ this is a refurbished 7â€ (800×480 resolution) WiFi enabled tablet that comes with an old Android 1.6Â operating system . The screen is resistive meaning that the touch screen is not going to be responsive to finger action so you will end up pecking with your fingertips instead.
It also runs an old 600Mhz Rockchip processor which is very slow when compared with the current tablets running Tegra2 1Ghz but if using the Archos mostly for audio, video, Â eBook reading (ie, not a lot of finger to screen interaction), and basic web browsingÂ sans Adobe Flash, then this device will suit you.
Also note that also doesn’t give you the fancy accelerometer (meaning no auto-rotation of the screen), in-built GPS, Bluetooth connectivity or any video output capabilities that most of us take for granted on the most expensive Android tablets these days.
The Archos 7 does comes with some good features though â€“ it has a mini USB2.0 interface which allows the tablet to be presented as a mass storage device to the PC for convenient file transfer and also has a kickstand which allows it to be propped up for easy screen viewing. Video playback is around 7 hours.
It comes with 8GB storage and give you the option of expanding more memory via the micro SDHC slot.
I reckon this is a great economical entry tablet for those of you that are looking to dip your feet into the Android tablet waters or looking for a good mobile multimedia entertainment companion.
As usual, remember that Woot.com is a deal a day, so if you’re interested, best to hurry down to their website today before the deal is gone, or before they sell out of stock!
NewsComments Off on Today Only: Archos 7 Home Tablet (refurbished) for $79.99
It’s getting somewhat difficult to sort out the wheat from the chaff when it comes to low cost tablets now. For me, someone that has good devices knocking around, it’s even more difficult to find something that stands out.
One device that has piqued my interest over the last few weeks though has been the Archos 101. Personally I’m not too interested in it but it’s not me I’m thinking about. I’m thinking about the family coffee table, parents and grandparents, maybe even the car. As I mentioned in my Sept 3rd hands-on, it’s a good value product that could work well as a gift. The iPad would look better on the coffee table of course but at a starting price of 499 Euros, it’s out of the ‘gift’ price range for many.
What are you going to use this coffee-table gadget for? Ignore email, Twitter, Facebook and anything else that needs an account because when you share a single-user Android device with the family, you’re at risk. What the family needs (possibly) is a flexible on/offline video player, image viewing, web browsing and gaming, a bus/train/flight timetable, holiday booking, Wikipedia and other casual activities. Pure entertainment. You won’t be worried about mobile use (although portability is important) so the low-cost 10â€ screen devices seem to be a perfect fit. Video codec support is will be needed for supporting all the different types of videos thrown at it and TV-Out support goes hand-in-hand with that. SD card or USB on-the-go is also useful. A stand, critical. A full applications market would be great but I think that many can live with a set-up phase that includes a bit of sideloading if it’s going to save them the money.
The Archos 101, at just 299 Euros, looks like the ideal device. It’s Archos which means you’ve got their history to take into account and late delivery of products, quality and upgrades is something that I got hit with on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet. As Froyo has already been released for the 101, at least the major upgrade has been delivered. The community is strong with this one too and hacks, tips and tricks will be freely available.
The Archos 101 is a device that a lot of people are looking at this holiday period. I’m getting a lot of queries about it and even after reading a review of the Advent Vega yesterday, I still see the 101 as being the most interesting of the low-cost 10â€ devices. Yes, the Toshiba Folio 100 has a content store for audio and video but its quite a bit more expensive.
The price of the Galaxy Tab is gradually coming down but it’s clear that it will never reach the 250 Euro price of the Archos 70. It looks the same, comes with 8GB of storage, a similar processor, similar operating system and plays back video just like the Tab. So what’s the difference?
There may be others differences and in terms of software, some of the issues on the Archos 70 can be fixed through hacks but the summary is that on the Galaxy Tab, you’re paying 450 Euros for voice,3G, hi-res screen, auto-focus cam, 8GB storage, GPS and the Samsung Google software. That’s a lot of money for features that you probably don’t need when you’re lazing around at home and if the Archos 70 is as good as people are saying (I’m getting good feedback from owners so far) and if Archos push that V2.2 firmware out ASAP then the Archos 70 is definitely a better value product for sofa-surfing. When it comes to mobility though, the Tab has the edge although with the Viewpad 7 coming in at 399 Euros in the next few weeks, there’s quite a head-to-head building up on this 7â€ space. (Actually there’s at least 16 devices in our database, more to come soon!)