Archos 101 G9 Turbo Review
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This is the Turbo version of the Archos 101 G9 and it is a tablet running on Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich. Its predecessor is powered by a 1.0 GHz processor while the latest iteration of the model comes with a significantly beefier dual core 1.50 GHz CPU. When you hold it in landscape model, the device measures 10.86 x 6.59 x 0.61 inches and weighs 1.73 pounds which is more than the model it replaces due to the reason that it has a bigger memory capacity in comparison to the predecessor.
Looking at the left side of the tablet we notice the miniHDMI port, a charging port, a microUSB port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and the usual power/sleep button. We should mention that the tablet’s power cord is going to fit quite snugly and firmly in the headphone jack. One of the design flaws that we have observed is related to the fact that the charging port sits very close to the headphone port so there is a risk of plugging the charger in the headphone port, or the other way around.
The right spine of the Archos 101 G9 Turbo is home for the volume rocker which is flush with the tablet’s casing so some people might find it a little bit difficult to access. Some reviewers have mentioned that this volume rocker has been poorly designed and you might hit it without wanting to.
The tablet has been manufactured from a dark gray plastic, while the rear is made from the same material. This back features four small rubber pegs located on each of the corners in order to prevent slipping. On the left of the backing you’ll find a cool kickstand but the bad news is that this feels a bit flimsy and fragile. You can pull this out anytime you want for playing a game or watching a movie. The output speaker has been installed in the middle of the back cover where there are several small holes. Sitting next is the port for the 3G-compatible network stick.
It has been equipped with a 10.1-inch touchscreen display that boasts a resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels and the tablet can handle playing 1080p full HD content. The images on this screen appear bright and crisp, while the colors are not only rich but vibrant as well. We also appreciate that this screen has great viewing angles, while the responsiveness of the screen is excellent. You won’t notice any sort of lag while typing or performing gestures like pinch-zooming. There’s also a camera installed to the left of the display which is capable of recording 720p videos. The bad news is that you won’t find a camera at the back of the tablet but we’ve always considered that recording clips with a tablet feels awkward.
Since we are dealing with a tablet that runs on Google’s operating system, you will find the usual array of services, such as Gmail, Google Books, Search, Plus, Latitude, Messenger, Maps with Navigation, Play Store, YouTube, Talk, Music and Shopper. Aside from these goodies you will also find several handy task management features like a calendar, calculator, clock, sound recorder, address book, along with a native music & video player. You also get three demos of Angry Birds, Spider-Man HD and Asphalt 6 HD. The list doesn’t end here as the Archos 101 G9 Turbo comes bundled with Evernote, the Barnes and Noble Nook application, Movie Studio, Brief Me (social media reader), a photo frame application, a news app named News Republic, along with a trial version of Picsel Smart Office.
That 720p camera we’ve mentioned comes with a suite of settings such as autofocus, GPS tracking, digital zoom and a panorama mode. The user has the possibility of selecting between two picture sizes, six color effects, three antibanding options, five white balance options and a range of exposure settings. For video recording you get just about the same color effects and white balance options, along with a time-lapse feature which gives you the chance of recording every 1 to 10 seconds. There are also two quality modes to choose from: 480p or 720p. You also have the possibility of using the silly faces mode that can distort the image while you are recording a clip.
Under the hood of the Archos 101 G9 Turbo is a dual core OMAP 4 ARM Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.50 GHz, unlike previous versions of the G9 which had a 1.20 GHz CPU. Even though it wears the “Turbo” name and has a snappy touchscreen, the internal performance of the tablet is quite slow as you notice some lag while switching between applications or when you go back and forth from the home screen. In addition, the tablet lags when you switch from landscape mode to portrait mode or the either way around.
The processor is not powerful enough to handle demanding applications and in some of the CPU-intensive apps you will notice that the sound freezes. What’s worse is that the shutter speed is disappointing which means that if you want to take a photo without any blurriness you’ll have to hold the tablet steady for several seconds. The videos recorded with that front-facing camera are not that great due to the reason that the audio and the visual are not synchronized as one lags a few seconds behind the other.
As for the audio quality, this is a bit tinny and sharp, while the maximum volume level is loud enough for most tasks. The quality is significantly better if you plug in a pair of headphones. Regarding the photo quality, this is quite poor but it’s understandable taking into consideration the specifications of the front-facing camera. Most of the images are on the grainy side while the colors are not reproduced very well.
According to the manufacturer, the Archos 101 G9 Turbo’s battery should be able to resist for up to 10 hours of surfing the Internet, 7 hours of video playback or 36 hours of music playback. Many reviewers have mentioned that the performance of the battery is on the average side, and we have to agree with them.