Archos 101 G9 review

Archos waves its magic media wand yet again, this time producing a full Honeycomb tablet

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Archos 101 g9

The built-in camera is probably the weakest element of the Archos 101 G9. Even in good light levels the quality of the images taken are woeful, and when used in the standard low-lighting of most houses, it's barely usable. In theory you could get by using it for video conferencing, but realistically you'd be better off simply not bothering.

There's no rear-facing camera either, so you can pretty much forget using it to capture memorable moments if you do manage to take it out of the house. Trying to guess what is in the frame without seeing the screen isn't really what we've come to expect from modern technology.

If you're looking for a tablet that can put in a decent turn as a source for your social networking, then there are plenty of better options available - even the iPad 2's camera, which is universally derided for its lighting capturing capabilities, is better than this. And frustrations aside, the quality of photos captured by the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 beats this hands down.

Build quality

Archos 101 g9

There are plenty of plus points with the Archos 101 G9, and the odd negative, but to a certain degree these are all eclipsed by the tablet's chassis. It feels cheap, plasticy and generally not that impressive at all.

While the likes of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer has a solid chassis that feels like it can survive many knocks, this doesn't feel like it'd survive an unprotected trip in a handbag. The back of the unit flexes with even light pressure, while the stand that enables you to watch movies comfortably hands-free, bends worryingly easily.

Archos 101 g9

The power and volume buttons don't have any positive feedback, and both of these are located exactly where you'd naturally want to hold the machine, which means they're prone to accidental pushing.

There aren't a lot of positives to mention for the physical implementation of the 3G dongle, either. The actual unit itself seems badly designed (requiring a side of the dongle to be removed so that it can slide into place). Once installed, this dongle needs to be eased out slightly from the main unit to improve reception as well. Given its location, this is less than ideal, too.

Archos 101 g9

Possibly the most frustrating design choice, though, is that the screen sits behind a slight bezel. This means your finger will keep catching the edge of the screen surround when you're using it. It also looks far shoddier that it should do because of this design choice.

Why Archos felt the need to do it this way round, as opposed to having the glass screen in front of the machine's facia (like nearly every other tablet worth considering), is hard to fathom.

Regardless of what you've paid for your tablet, you don't actually want to it feel cheap. You want it to feel special, but you're not going to be showing off the Archos 101 G9 to anyone - which is a shame, because it is capable.

Tags

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity8 GB
Processor ManufacturerTexas Instruments
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
GPSYes
HDMIYes
Product Family101 G9
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating SystemAndroid 3.2 Honeycomb
Brand NameArchos
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeOMAP 4
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Weight (Approximate)649 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height12.6 mm
Width276 mm
Depth167.3 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
ManufacturerArchos Technology
Product Model501889
Product Name101 G9 501889 Tablet Computer
Product Line101 G9
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part Number501889
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.archos.com
Marketing Information

A POWERFUL MULTI-CORE PROCESSOR

Your ARCHOS 101 G9 tablet includes the powerful Texas Instruments OMAP 4 smart multi-core processor with different models available up to 1.5 GHz. All this power means that you'll be able to surf the web and multitask faster as well as play the super-common H.264 High Profile codec for full HD 1080p videos at over 30fps.

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: Flash storage or 250GB Hard Drive Storage

To give you more space for your media and apps ARCHOS 101 G9 tablets are available in flash storage and 250GB hard drive storage versions. Using an intelligent caching system on the hard drive versions, your 250GB ARCHOS 101 G9 will feel as fast and responsive as a flash device but gives you storage space to spare.

Limited Warranty1 Year