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back to article Archos punts 9-inch Windows 7 tablet PC

Archos, creator of what the company calls "pocket entertainment products," is taking a step beyond mere entertainment with the launch of its Windows-based Archos 9PCtablet. This 8.9-inch touch screen tablet PC features an on-screen keyboard, is powered by a 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z515, and will have Windows 7 Starter Edition …

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FAIL

Too late. Too expensive.

So it's $150 more expensive than the TouchBook (http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/home/ -make sure to check the videos, love the accent!), with less than half the battery life, no SD slot, and I bet you can't even stick it on your fridge.

And on top of that it runs Windows which means it'll be a dog.

Equip flail.

*assuming a $50 keyboard

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Pint

@ElReg!comments!Pierre

Maybe you didn't get the memo, Win7 rocks dude >:)

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FAIL

No portriat mode?

The main reason I would be interested in a cheap tablet style PC is to flip it 90 degrees and use it as a ebook reader.

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Anything but Apple!!

because the total lack of battery life, lock-in, increasingly buggy updates and overpriced, badly built, shiny tat that Apple now churn out means anything is better.

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FAIL

hmm tempting

I'm tempted to get one but as ElReg!comments!Pierre said its a little too expensive somewhere around $300 would have made it appealing but $500 is too much for what it has inside and with what it lacks ".A VGA port, two additional USB ports, and 10/100BASE-T Ethernet can be added with an optional module." This is a deal killer to me with its price tag if anything it should be included for free if they didn't want to cram it into the case, but like I said around $150 cheaper than it still would look enticing as a PMP.

Also as ZenCoder pointed out its not mentioned if it has portrait mode for using it as a ebook reader which is something I use my Samsung Q1 as a fair bit at times.

Well Archos nice try but my Samsung Q1 won't get its much deserved retirement just yet.

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@Too late. Too expensive

Too late compared to the TouchBook, which is currently on backorder with no known sight of when the product will actually ship, still running a beta OS? Compared to firm availability of the Archos 9 in a little under a month with a finished OS on it (before the anti windaz fanboyism, win7 *is* decent and *does* run very quickly).

The TouchBook's battery life also assumes the keyboard (aka supplimental battery pack) is connected, in which case you may as well just buy a normal netbook and be done with it - Without the keybattery, the Touchbook's battery life is nearer 4 hours, around the same as the Archos. Being as the purpose of the Archos tablet is to be a tablet that's small and light (at 28 ounces it's half the weight of the TouchBook) comparing battery lives without massive external battery packs attached is fair.

The archos may also not have an SD card, but having 60/120GB of internal storage instead of... uh.. none on the TouchBook makes up for that, imo.

A minor detail that el reg's prreview missed was that the Archos also includes a dvbt tuner and antennas, so that's freeview viewing and recording directly on the device.

Pretty much the only thing the TouchBook does have going for it really is the price, and when comparing the two devices fairly (as you havent) it's clear why it's so low.

The Archos does have it's minor drawbacks preventing it from being pretty damn perfect (no 3g being the biggy) but it's really looking like being the closest thing to a "real handheld computer" of a tablet that's come along in a very very long time.

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Was looking forward to this

But win7 starter (no aero, not important, or changing wallpaper - why?), the mass of online complaints about Archos after sales service, and a hand on guys review where he showed how long it took Firefox to load - dog slow, felt like about 7 seconds, make me less interested. Why bother making a computer (it's priced as such) that can't run anything other than the OS (notepad and media player)? A tablet perfect for graphics use that won't run Photoshop (tho maybe it'll run Gimp).

What I want from a Tablet: Hard disk, read my ebooks and egraphic novels of which I've got a tidy library, watch divx films, surf and email, play music, text recognition, decent art package and play mahjong.

What was a day one buy for me has become a wait and see, read reviews of real world usage and wait to see how the hardware holds up.

When El Reg does a review, how about sticking some software, Office, old photoshop etc to see how it copes. Cheers.

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@ElReg!comments!Pierr

£250 for that thing - I think it's fucking brilliant.

In all honesty, if I had £250 burning a hole in my pocket, I'd be snapping one of them up tonight.

Mmm. ARM Linux. Mmm.

Steven R

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this is 2009

Why on earth do we still have keyboards, soft or hard? For glod's sake, Kirk was talking to his computer in 1967. Surely with the increases in processor power down the years we can have a voice-op machine by now?

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comeback....

I had a Tablet back in the day and it was extremely handy but kind of chunky and had a poor battery life. So, here we are 8 years down the line with massive improvements in cpu speed and size with larger capacity and smaller sized batteries.

I'm looking forward to this new generation especially if wireless charging improves otherwise its just going to be tethered by the power cord and then what’s the point in owning one.

I keep reading comments on Reg by mactards winging that apples idea has been stolen. Grow up tablets have been around in varying forms for the better part of 10 years

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@Tony Paulazzo

everything except the photoshop it'll do. If you're wanting to do something with serious grunt (video playback doesn't count these days thanks to hardware decoding) you need a proper processor, not an atom. Which means you need a more expensive, less economical chip, which means you also need fans, which means you also need a bigger battery, and by the time you've added all that then it's:

- bigger

- heavier

- more expensive

at least 2 out of 3.

I have to say I'm not entirely sure how big the niche netbooks occupy is, but that archos occupies it brilliantly. Doing serious graphics work means needing a tablet PC that's probably ten times the cost.

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Coat

£250 for that thing

£250 for that thing - I think it's fucking brilliant.

As I am currently seeking some form of replacement for my Tapwave Zodiac, I'd be inclined to agree (despite being in Canada) if it actually gets released at that price back in Blighty I will get my son to bring one out with him on the next trip out here.

Heres's me trying to fit it into my coat pocket.

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Archos makes great stuff. Always has.

Archos has always made awesome products. They really don't get the attention they deserve from the mainstream IT press. It's nice to see them featured here.

No one on the Reg is going to be happy until there's some killer Linux tablet. The second I see Windows or Microsoft I already know where all the comments are heading. STFU already. We get it. Now go find something else to do besides bash Microsoft 24/7. I'm tired of reading your canned comments.

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FAIL

No 3G, No sale

Almost got it correct, but NO 3G???

The point of a tablet today is portability + always available network. Taking a chance on having an open WiFi is just not good enough.

Put in 3G, a SD card slot and portrait mode and they might have a sale.

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FAIL

OK but

no 3G, no multitouch - what's the point?

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Archos are obscessed with docks!

VGA, USB and ethernet as extra connections? So you pay $500 for a mediocre spec tablet and then, like all their other products, you have to pay extra to get the connectivity you need.

When will Archos learn that this dock idea of theirs gets them marked down every single time in reviews.

The days when $500 = £250 are long gone unfortunately.

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@Robert E A Harvey

Go on then mate, you design the AI.

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FAIL

I am a mandatory title.

Although this seems like some pretty decent hardware for the price, I can't help thinking it will fail. Time and time again, people have rejected the notion of a traditional desktop OS and UI on a tablet/slate device. I don't see this being any different.

Really we need a ground up approach to a tablet device, actually centred around how people might use them. Windows (even 6.1 with all its alleged touch based goodness) is not a one size fits all OS.

This is where Apple's rumoured tablet will hopefully succeed. Apple has the guts to ignore the spec-junkies and actually make their devices simple and useable for the average (in non-El Reg reading) person, wrapped up in an attractive package.

In summary, I don't think it's too late or too expensive. I just think it doesn't meet a need. Hence, fail.

PS. @Shaunm: I haven't noticed any Mactards (or anyone else) claiming that everyone is stealing Apple's idea for the tablet. And you're right, tablets have been around for over 10 years. Pretty much since the Newton, in fact!

PPS. Plus, Archos are French aren't they? I'll never buy anything made in France unless I can eat or drink it...

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Go

What's the point?

A touch screen keyboard - keep those screen wipes handy!!! No SD slot, poor battery life. It's a fail.

Having said that I picked up my Acer Aspire One for £160, and put the final eval of Windows 7 on it, and it runs like a dream.

Not sure what you lose with entry edition though, but full Windows 7 on am atom processor and 1.5GB Ram seem sgood, and I can even run Office 2008 on it, even though I hate the product!!!

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Joke

@Robert E A Harvey

I can see it now, or rather hear it. Railway carriages, cafes and offices, all full of wankers shouting at their PCs, even louder than they already do at mobile phones:

"No, I said 'science', not 'seance' you stupid bloody thing!" No -- don't write that! I said don't -- aaaaaaaargh!!"

Bang, crash, PC out the window. Maybe it is a good idea after all.

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I wouldn't mind but...

I wont ever be buying from Archos again due to their complete absence of any support. Also they just seem to want to grab as much money as they can by selling equipment with limited functionality for what initially looks like a decent price. Then you realise you have to buy an add on for this or a codec for that and the price then works out much more expensive than buying something with all the extras included. its a shame as i had high hopes for Archos as i liked the ideas behind their designs and i thought they would get better over time but .. no i wont ever buy from Archos again. They just want to take your money and run. Also there is no way it will be £250 over here. it will more likely be £350 or even £400.

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Coffee/keyboard

@Robert E A Harvey

"...Dear sir comma return, I would delete W-O-U-L-D like to delete T-O order bringbringbringbring Hello? Hi Jim, please can you submit that file in a different format? See? Return it to ARGH WHAT'S MY COMPUTER DOING?..."

Yeah, let's all go voice-recognition.

Oh, and yes, Kirk talked to the computer. But even on Star Trek, if you wanted something done fast and accurately, you used a keyboard. ST:TNG gave us touch-screen displays instead, but still everyone used keyboards.

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@Robert E A Harvey

Dead right. And while you're at it, where's my flying car?

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Happy

@Robert E A Harvey

Skip speech or touch interface. Neural is the way forward, preferably with a wireless connection (don't want a nasty plug and cable coming out of some where unholy).

Nice and quick, and potentially wouldn't need a screen.

I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of a BSOD though.....

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Grenade

No thanks

To all the Wndows 7 fanboys out there. Please go ahead and enjoy it. NOT on my pc's. Basta, and I don't care how many times you say how good, cool, quick it is. Why don't you have a Windows 7 launch party while you're at it. Wankers.

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portrait mode

nearly all graphics software don't have portrait mode. None of my nvidia or ATI graphics cards or alienware laptops have had decent rotation options.

theirs a freeware app that rotates the screen called irotate

google it.

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Coffee/keyboard

I want to...

"consume the internet".

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Stop

@Dimensio re. portrait mode

I tried irotate (and have tried others), they work in that they rotate the screen image through 90 degrees.

However, they don't rotate the trackpad action through 90 degrees so you can't use the trackpad unless you do some serious mental gymnastics. Even the EEE-PC with it's built in display driver portrait mode does not 'flip' the trackpad to match the sceen. So you are stuck with using a keyboard that is effectively twisted through 90 degrees. It hurts my eyes and brain.

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FAIL

Hell-llooo-ooow! It's a friggin' tablet!

Why would you want a 60 GB hard drive -let alone 120) on one of these? All it needs is enough Flash memory to hold the OS (ooops, Windows, sorry) and a SD slot for the movies, data and stuff. USB as a backup if you want to hook it up to a beefy external drive once a year. This is supposed to be mobile device, i.e. "on the go" use. This 60GB hard drive is resistant to shocks, right? It wont shatter if I drop the damn thing. Or will it?

Better focus on the core features for a tablet, such as, let's see, a friggin' portrait mode, maybe? Or good battery life? Or ruggedness? (no HDD, protected screen). Or the ability to add any communication protocol I darnfeel I need? (Right, not anything can be soldered on the MoBo. Dunno,protected dongle ports maybe?)

Also, just to be an annoying twat, I'll point out that Windows 7 will be the first serious attempt at touchscreen support from MS. What could possibly be wrong... lemme check Microsoft track records for first implementation of anything... oh right, I'm gonna wait for version 3, ta very much.

The only good thing about this thing against other, more tablet-focused products (like the TouchBook) is a known and trusted manufacturer. To this regard, I have a humble request: would it be possible to get a review of the TouchBook (http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/home/index.htm) to know what it's really worth? It sports several very good features in my opinion, such as keeping the price low by limited storage and communication protocols, but with a SD slot and internal USB ports for maximal modularity (think dongles). Portrait mode, too. And a switch between netbook and tablet modes when pluging or unpluging the keyboard (really touchscreen-oriented, no "we just softized the keyboard" nonsense as exposed here). The fact that the external keyboard doubles the battery life instead of sucking power is nice too. Not tho mention that in some cases I'd be very glad to have a clamshell design to protect the screen, instead of having a separated external keyboard with sharp angles randomly pressed against the touchscreen in my backpack. Appart from any technical consideration, the promo videos by "Gregoire, Fonderr of Ahlouayz Innovating" are pure comedy gold IMHO. Although I'm not sure was the initial purpose. ;-) Crazy French.

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Dead Vulture

@ Mark York 3 about UKP 250

I think what Steven Raith had in mind was the TouchBook from AlwaysInnovating, not the Archos featured in the article. The TouchBook is _supposed_ to ship to Canada at this price (well, USD 399) so no need to bother your son. Although to be honest it seems that there is a shortage in supply, so dog knows when you'd get one. Also, the software is supposed to be an advanced beta version (roughtly equivalent to MS "release" grade in my book, but still a concern). I'd still "pre"-order one instantly If I had a built-in "patience" module. Since I haven't, I'll just use my EEE900 until the waiting line shortens -or until I can read a review of the thing on a reliable tech-oriented website, hint hint hint).

Hurry up Reg hacks, these $400* in my pocket are getting uncomfortably hot! Anyone alive -and listening- at Reg Central? C'mon, a convertible ARM netbook-tablet at this price and no review? Is everyone dead in there? (cue icon)

*or $300 for the tablet alone -but who are you kidding?

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No to Archos, yes to Touchbook.

This Archos product/features, the price, I just don't get it and as such wouldn't buy one.

Since many have tried out the EEE-PC and such like, the TouchBook seems very much more of what people are looking for in a portable netbook in today's market. I also like the way the company keeps you informed as to what's happening, and very up front about how the product will develop. I predict good things for the TouchBook.

I've been keeping an eye on Always Innovating's TouchBook, its a far more interesting product. There are already TouchBook units out there, albeit limited in numbers at this early stage.

ElReg, seriously, contact Always Innovating and ask them to send a TouchBook to you for a review.

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Anonymous Coward

ok, but can you draw on it??? anyone??

I've been looking around for a tablet or something that uses a stylus (and this does) that you can draw with. I'm sure you can draw, and it sounds like you have to calibrate it, but once calibrated, would this be a good option? After all without multitouch it may be better.

And then from there, would there be some levels of pressure sensitivity? anyone know this? Any other tablet do this?

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