PROS / The Archos 9 contains Windows 7 to run all your basic software.
CONS / This tablet has a short battery life comparatively and has a less responsive touchscreen.
VERDICT / This tablet is ideal for patient people who prefer the benefits of a full OS.
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“Entertainment your way” is the current slogan of the increasingly popular multimedia device manufacture ARCHOS. They have a long list of media devices that they have produced over the years, and are always pursuing the next. One of their current tablets is the ARCHOS 9. It is more commonly referred to as a tablet PC but we figured it was more comparable to regular tablets since it has no physical keyboard. Additionally tablet PCs run much faster processors.
The ARCHOS 9 runs a full operating system. Windows 7 is that OS and is the latest one out by Microsoft. Windows 7 was engineered to have touchscreen abilities, but for full effect you’ll actually need to throw in an extra fee to upgrade. This tablet comes with the starter edition which doesn’t quite have the touch capabilities you want, like the step up to Home Premium.
The ARCHOS tablet comes with a USB port, which is a huge plus over the Apple iPad 2. Having USB allows for so much extra flexibility. You can connect a keyboard (which is pretty much a necessity if you’re going to do any kind of productivity work on it), a mouse, storage and any other peripherals that connect via USB. The other big advantage is the simple file transferring that you can do with a regular USB flash drive. Bluetooth and online transfers are serviceable, but they have inherent problems like device proximity and file size issues. Flash drives are quick and easy.
A USB port also opens up a great opportunity for expandable storage. It is getting more and more inexpensive to buy external hard drives. This is a problem for tablets because the idea is to be portable and lightweight. So what do tablet manufactures do? They charge hundreds more for relatively low amounts of extra space, like 16GB and 48GB more. You can get an external hard drive as big as 1 Terabyte for the same price and in some cases, much cheaper.
Another benefit that we want to point out is the software that comes with the ARCHOS 9. The ARCHOS 9 has a webcam, and comes preinstalled with Skype, so you are ready to chat with your friends from afar or even jump into a web conference. Windows Live Mail also comes with this ARCHOS so you can set up your online email accounts and be ready to check them whenever you like, right from your desktop. Windows Live Mail Is quick and simple like Microsoft Outlook. It also has a built-in calendar to post notes and reminders.
Also, this tablet comes with Lotus Symphony. For those that aren’t familiar with this application, it’s comparable to Microsoft Office or iWork. Lotus Symphony includes word processing, presentation and spreadsheet apps to cover all your basic productivity applications. These are simple and easy-to-use applications. IBM designed the package to also run nice and smooth -- always great in our fast-paced world. We mentioned previously though that because of the slow, unresponsive screen, you will probably want a USB or Bluetooth keyboard while doing any productivity work.
The ARCHOS 9 has an attractive look and solid feel to it but like most things in life, it is what’s on the inside that counts. That is precisely the problem with this product. The ARCHOS 9 is simply not powerful enough to run Windows 7 well. That makes everything slow and laggy, which can be quite irritating. ARCHOS can do better, and will have to if they want to compete with the iPad and future tablet releases by other companies.