Archos 101 G9 Turbo ICS review
It’s an impressive performance, but that may not be enough to mask the built-to-a-budget chassis. The rounded plastic body feels cheap, and the grey speckled finish hardly sets the pulse racing. It’s a smidgen under 13mm thick and weighs 649g, so there’s no real excitement here either. Build quality feels somewhat iffy, too: gripping it by the ends, the whole thing bends too easily, and it takes only a little pressure on the rear to show through on the display on the front.
Squeezing in such powerful hardware has resulted in other compromises, too. Archos has done away with a rear-facing camera completely, and the front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera is mediocre. Shots are grainy and lacking in detail, and the autofocus is slow. The built-in speaker is also disappointing, with both music and movie soundtracks sounding muffled and lifeless. Then there’s the battery life: the Archos struggled to only 5hrs 43mins in our looping video test.
The most notable weakness, however, is the 10.1in display. The 1,280 x 800 resolution is fine for everything from HD movies to surfing the web, but the overall image quality disappoints. The diamond grid pattern of the touchscreen’s capacitive layer is annoyingly visible at certain angles, giving the effect of a criss-crossed screen. Worse, our test images were subdued and lacking in vibrancy, and darker scenes in movies appeared washed out and lacking in detail.
Further testing with a calibrator backed up our subjective opinions: we measured the maximum brightness at a relatively low 244cd/m2, with a modest contrast ratio of 406:1. The Archos’ panel quite literally pales in comparison to pricier models, and looks weak even next to cheaper devices such as the ViewSonic ViewPad 10e.
Ultimately, the Archos 101 G9 Turbo ICS is powerful for the money, but there’s no getting away from the fact that its £280 price is only marginally cheaper than two other excellent tablets: the 16GB iPad 2 can now be had for £329, and the Sony Tablet S has fallen as low as £299. With both offering far superior design and displays, the Archos’ only real trump card is power. If you want a powerful tablet with the flexibility of Android you may be won over, but with Ice Cream Sandwich arriving on the Tablet S at the end of April, we know where we’d put our money.
|Warranty||ERROR: Script can't be evaluated|
|Dimensions||276 x 167 x 13mm (WDH)|
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,280|
|Resolution screen vertical||800|
|Display type||LED TFT|
|CPU frequency, MHz||1,500MHz|
|Camera megapixel rating||1.3mp|
|Built-in flash type||N/A|
|Upstream USB ports||0|
|Mobile operating system||Android 4|
Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.