The tablet market has never been so hot. With the popular tablets like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, Sony Tablet S and iPad (not the first one, the new one. Super confusing, I know) clouding the scene, it’s hard to move toward a lesser-known tablet.
There are tons of terrible and cheap tablets out there, which is probably why most people don’t stray from the big name companies, but there also a number of quality products out there if you look hard enough. One of such companies is Archos. It’s a French company, and even though nobody has a clue what this company is, it still is able to produce a quality product.
Its latest tablet, the Archos 101 G9 Turbo, is its newest offering. Obviously, since this tablet was envisioned with the budget-minded crowd in mind, it will not be a masterpiece. But even so, you can’t help but wonder if you can save a couple of hundred bucks with a similar offering.
Yeah, not that good. It’s a pretty generic-looking design, one that screams “budget!” Again, you’re not expecting an aluminum housing to rival the likes of Asus and Apple, because then you’d have a tablet shoot back into the $500 price range. Archos obviously knows this, so it had to cut the costs in the least important area of the product. I say least important because I would imagine most people care more about the screen and internal components than the design. At least I do. The only downside to that is that the screen isn’t the best in the world. It’s nice at 1280 x 800 resolution for a 10.1-inch display, but it doesn’t get as bright as I would have hoped.
One of the cool additions to the tablet (albeit entirely useless in the United States) is the ability to house a 3G modem in the back via a sliding plastic door. If you lived anywhere else in the world where you’re not bound to a provider, this would be a perfectly awesome feature.
Other than that, you have your basic ports and buttons: volume rocker, on/off button, miniUSB, MicroSD, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB port and mini-HDMI port. You also get a neat kickstand for watching movies or when using a keyboard.
The 101 G9 Turbo has a 1.5GHz Ti OMAP 4460 dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. If you own a Galaxy Nexus, these specs should look very familiar, because, well, they’re pretty much the same except for a slightly faster clock speed for the processor. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because the device is still perfectly snappy.
In addition, you also get a 720p front-facing camera to video chat. What you don’t get is a rear-facing camera, and while some might feel like this is a subtraction, who seriously uses a rear-facing camera on a tablet anyway? A rear camera is completely unnecessary, and I welcome to lower cost as a result.
What sets this baby apart from the rest is the inclusion of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich straight from the factory. Not only that, it’s also vanilla Android without any manufacturer “skins” on top of it. Personally, I like it this way. Not only is vanilla Android the quickest of the Android bunch, it is also the cleanest and most up-to-date. While those with tablets running custom Android interfaces need to wait months for an update, once Google pushes out an update, the manufacturer can just slide that forward without much work.
To highlight this positive, Archos recently put out another update. Fancy that!
Here’s the worst part of the Archos 101 G9 Turbo: the price. For the 8GB version, you’ll have to lay down $329.99. Sure, it’s not so bad when you consider you’re getting great value for that price, but for just a little more, you can get a name brand tablet with more storage. What is pretty cool is that you can get 250GB of storage for an extra $50 on top of the $329.99.
That said, I’d have a hard time recommending this to people when you can get well-built tablet with an aluminum structure for just another $100 or so. If this Archos tablet was in the $250 range, it would have my full support. Unfortunately, it is overpriced.
About the author:
Joe Petchonka writes web content for Long Island Volkswagen dealerships on Long Island. In addition to that, he also is a professional writer and blog owner.