The Archos 9 is among the very few Windows 7 powered tablets I’ve tried and this unit reminds me of the Viliv line of tablets we tried before, only bigger and cheaper. See our full review of the Archos 9 after the jump.
The Archos 9 comes in a just appropriate size of 8.9 inches but feels a bit heavier for it size. That’s because the body is mostly made out of metal or aluminum (net weight of the Archos 9 is 800 grams while the bigger iPad WiFi is only 680 grams). At around 16mm thin, it’s evident Archos did a lot of work to make the build quality the best they can.
The screen on the Archos 9 is just the regular LCD so contract isn’t very good so even if you set it to the highest brightness settings, the display looks a little washed out. It doesn’t also have a very wide viewing angle. Good thing they had a kickstand at the back so you can freely sit it down while watching movies.
The screen resolution of 1024×600 is great for browsing websites but you will need the stylus that came with it to navigate since the Archos 9 uses a resistive screen. On the other hand, using resistive screens on a Windows 7 tablet makes a lot of sense considering the UI and the fact that Microsoft build their OS with a pointing device in mind.
The tablet also comes with a lot of physical buttons and ports. There’s a dedicated button for the virtual on-screen keyboard, buttons for volume control, brightness, WiFi and even an optical trackpad (just like the one you see on the BlackBerry) on the right side of the panel. There’s also a 1.3MP webcam on the upper left corner just in case you need it for video conferencing or chatting.
As with any Windows-based tablets, I could not resist to compare the device with similarly spec-ed netbooks, like Asus Eee PC T91 and the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t.
Archos 9 PC Tablet specs:
8.9â€³ LED backlight display @ 1024Ã—600 pixels
Intel Atom Z515 1.2GHz
1GB DDR2 RAM
WiFi 802.11 b/g
USB 2.0 port
3.5mm audio jack
2400mAh Li-Po battery
Windows 7 Starter
From that perspective, you’d see that the Archos 9 is almost as complete as most netbooks with a few shortcomings in capacity and ports. That justifiable though considering Archos is making the most out of a very small and thin form factor.
The processor used here is a low-power Intel Atom Z515 running at 1.2GHz. This is the first time I’ve seen this CPU since I used the Z530 1.33GHz on the Acer Aspire One 751 a year ago. So here’s what the Windows Experience Index looks like.
Not very impressive when you compare to regular netbooks but if you compare it with other tablets around, it’s already considered near top of the heap.
Obviously, the problem lies with the OS. Running Windows 7 on a 1.2GHz machine with 1GB RAM is barely enough for the OS alone. You will really notice the slow boot time and launch of applications (but hey, that’s Windows for you). I’d be more interested if they had Android running on this one.
Lastly, the battery life of the 2400 mAh battery didn’t quite reach our expectations. The best time I can get from it was just over 3 hours will all settings on power-saving mode. It’s nice that the battery is user-replaceable though.
The Archos 9 seemed like a nice tablet from the outside but the problem really is with the operating system that takes a toll on the hardware. For around Php29,000, it’s by far the most affordable Windows-based tablet we’re tried (compared to the Php50k on the Viliv) but still it’s not an easy sell.
Note: For inquiries or orders, contact the Archos Official Philippines Distributor (Vincent Uy @ 0917.3050828).