Archos 80 G9 Tablet Review

My relationship with the Archos 80 series has been of growing interest with a few disappointments. Overall, I would say that it is a nice tablet worthy of your consideration depending on your needs.

I have to say I was not too impressed with the first Archos 80 I tried. The first problem with the 3.5 mm charger port, which only worked on occasion. I never could get the USB port to work, and it lacked an SD expansion slot.

As if by magic, somehow the developers received my concerns and addressed the issues in the next release. Suddenly the charging port was the more universal micro USB port, which meant fewer cables and chargers to have to lug around. The USB port worked (most of the time, but more on that later). And, to my amazement, there was a micro SD slot that increased the memory capacity to 32 GB. I was elated and the machine took on a whole new attraction for me.

However, it wasn't all peaches and cream. The USB slot is of very low power and will not work with just anything you plug into it depending on drivers and power requirements. I was elated when I plugged in my 19 inch AOC USB monitor. It worked! But the Archos is not designed to allowing it's native screen and the auxiliary screen to become an extension so that you can drag items back and forth. What a shame.

It's not Archos' fault, but the micro SD memory card is all but useless. In their infinite wisdom, the ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) developers have disabled the ability to install items on a memory card or to drag already installed items to a storage card. What were they thinking? This feature is simply gone from the system menu. I wish the card slot had a cover. It is entirely too easy to push on the card accidentally. It can fly out without your knowing and be gone. This design needs improvement.

Another disappointment, and again, this is not Archos' fault, is the lack of applications that work with the new ICS system. Many of my old favorites are simply not available yet. I hope they will be soon, but be prepared for some work around solutions, which in a way may be a good thing as you discover new products.

There's a lot of bang for your buck when you purchase an Archos G9 with its 8", 1024 x 768 screen. There's also a 10.1" (1280 x 800) model. Both are built on the latest Android operating system (ICS 4.0+).

There is a standard version and a turbo version. The standard offers OMAP 4 smart multi-core ARM Cortex A9 with a 1 GHZ processor. The turbo version uses an OMAP 4 smart multi-core AMR Cortex A9 with a 1.5 GHZ processor.
Onboard flash memory comes in either 8 or 16 GB.

Video playback features MPEG 4 with H.264 HD up to 1080p @ 30 fps and 10801/720P @60 fps. With optional plug-in the device can play AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, MPG, PS, TS, VOB, MKV, FLV, RM, RMBV, and ASF.

Audio playback formats include MP3, WAV (PCM/ADP-CM) AAC, AAC +5.13, OGG Vorbis, and FLAC.

It has a forward facing webcam rated at 720p, but alas, no rear facing camera. Photo viewing is allowed in JPEG, BMP, PNG, and GIF with .srt, .ssa., smi., subtitle formats.

Interfaces include USB, micro SD card, HDMI output (cable sold separately) with WiFI 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1.
The unit also features built-in GPS, stereo speakers, G-sensor, compass, kick stand, and microphone.

The 8 inch unit that I am reviewing measures 10.86 x 6.59 x .46 inches and weighs 17 ounces.

Naturally the lithium battery playback time varies with function and load. It may play music up to 36 hours, video up to 7 hours, and navigation up to 10 hours.

Another nice feature is that the system automatically downloads the latest firmware updates when connected by WiFi.
Prices range from 189 to $322 depending on configuration. Click here to see the options: http://amzn.to/MSNTfL

Even with the minor issues I mentioned above, I am pleased to recommend the Archos 80 G0 as an attractive and serviceable tablet that I am happy to have working for me.

I would also like to complement Archos' tech support and customer service. I found it to be efficient and effective, which is an important consideration when purchasing a product.

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