Archos has just officially released a new line of tablet called Archos G9, with two models: the Archos 80 Go and the Archos 101 G9. This time the French company is pursuing an pure “power play” by featuring a fast 1.5Ghz Texas Instruments dual-core system on a chip, or SoC (the same chip than the Playbook probably) and 250GB of user storage – about 4 to 15 times the amount commonly found in modern tablets. The storage is a Seagate hard drive. Archos claims that The extra frequency allows its tablet to be 50% faster than competitors equipped with NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 such as the Motorola Xoom or the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The G9 series is powered by Android 3.1 (aka Honeycomb) will come in 8″ and 10″. The 8″ version jas a 1024×768 resolution, which is similar to the iPad. The 10″ one gets 1280×800, which is on par with other Android 3.x tablets. Screen quality aside, the G9 is definitely in the race, when it comes to the number of pixels.
It comes with WIFI, but Archo’s option for 3G is definitely… unorthodox: it’s a 3G Modem in the form of a USB stick. Yes, you heard that right. It might be big and ugly, but the good side is that it’s cheap: Archos can retail its tablets for $279 (8″ Archos G9) and $349 (10″ Archos G9), which is a far cry from the $499 that most WiFi-only competitors propose.
With a regular HDD and an over-clocked processor, Archos is clearly differentiating itself. The main question that remains is: what’s the battery life? A regular hard disk consumes much more power than Flash memory, and an 1.5Ghz chip can consume much more than a 1Ghz chip… Depending on the battery life, this could make the Archos a “home” tablet, instead of a “mobile” tablet. In any case, Archos has created a powerful tablet.
We’ll just have to test it for ourselves! In the meantime, here are the technical specifications, directly from Archos:
|Display characteristics||• 8”: 1024 x 768|
• 10.1”: 1280 x 800
|Application Framework||• Android|
|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 Playback1||• 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)
With optional plug-in:
• Cinema: MPEG2 (up to DVD resolution MP/D1)
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 Playback1||• MP3|
• WMA, WMA-Pro 5.1
• WAV (PCM/ADPCM)
• AAC3, AAC+ 5.13
• OGG Vorbis
With optional software plug-in:
• AC3 5.1
|Photo viewer4||• JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF|
|Subtitles||• .srt, .ssa, .smi, .sub formats supported|
|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
• 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 time7: up to 36 hrs|
• Video playback time7: up to 7 hrs
• Internet navigation time 7: up to 10 hrs
|Scalability7||• Device automatically downloads latest firmware updates when the WiFi connection is activated|
• Updates can also be downloaded at www.archos.com
|Minimum system requirements||• Microsoft® Windows® 7, Vista, XP or higher|
• Mac OS. X with Android Transfer Files application (not included)
• Linux with android MTP tool (not included)
• USB 2.0 interface
* 1GB = 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity is less.
1/ Certain bitrates, resolutions, and/or file variations may not be compatible.
2/ MPEG-4 ASP@L6 (MPEG-4: ISO standard by Moving Picture Experts Group) without GMC.
3/ Does not read AAC protected files.
4/ Certain resolutions and file sizes may not be compatible.
5/ Not all Google applications are available in all countries
6/ External video output disabled for Macrovision®-protected contents.
7/ Rechargeable batteries have a limited number of charge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced. Battery life and number of charge cycles vary by use and settings. Test run with low backlight.