It’s not exactly a 9 inch screen that makes up the Archos 9 Tablet PC, though at 8.9 inches, it’s very much close to it. The Archos 9 runs the Windows 7 operating system, which means it is capable of running any of the thousands of Windows program that exists on line or in the market. The screen which uses resistive touch screen technology is sharp and bright in its display. But on the downside, it is slow and can be quite uncomfortable to use at times. The relatively small size of the screen does not help things either.
In addition to the touch screen interface, the device also comes with an optical track pad that allows the user to move a cursor on the screen as you would with a mouse. Unfortunately, it is quirky in operation and adds to the mêlée that is created with no less than three pop-up keyboards that appear at three different location of the screen. And again it’s a story of disaster here as not one of them is conducive to typing due to an inherent time lag making the job of typing on the device at a decent speed a bit more arduous than that on an iPad.
The advantages of running on the Windows 7 OS are all too obvious, though it’s just the most basic version of the OS that the Archos 9 comes loaded with. This instantly makes the device compatible with Windows compatible software of which there are plenty. For instance, it gives the user the flexibility to select the browser of choice which range from the Internet Explorer to the Firefox. However, this advantage too is overshadowed by the lag time involved in getting connected and in opening the home page. It can take anywhere between 10 and 15 seconds for the software to be ready for use and about another 10 seconds to load a website.
The Archos just does not have the processing power to give a fluid feel while working on any of the application software that it has the capability to run. Instead, it is slow and sluggish in its operations. It is this that happens to be the biggest drawback of the Archos 9, which given its flexibility, can otherwise run sophisticated email and productivity software like the Microsoft Word, which is far better than anything that the iPad or the Gemini has to offer.
The Archos 9 however is apt at managing multimedia content, which perhaps can be explained in Archos’ expertise in making compact media players and MP3 devices. The Archos 9 has been found to be quite at ease in playing HD quality videos. The device is also perfectly suited to play back tunes for which it has good in-built speakers as well as a headphone socket.
The other advantage of the Archos 9 is the small webcam that is built into the device. It has Ethernet and USB sockets that makes it possible for the Archos 9 to connect to external devices like external hard drive or digital cameras. However, this feel good factor is marred by its 800 g weight, which makes it a bit unsuitable as a tablet PC for lugging around. Another downside of the Archos 9 is its battery which only has enough juice to keep the device going for just four hours and severely restricts the mobility of the device.
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Sovan Mandal is the senior tablet and tech corespondent for goodereader.com. He brings a international approach to news that is not just applicable to the North American market, but also Asia, India, Europe and others. Sovy brings his own writing flavor to the website and is interested in Science Fiction, Technology and Writing. Any questions, send an email