Video recording has the same white balance and color effects options. There is also a time-lapse feature where you can record every 1 to 10 seconds, and two video quality options (either 720 or 480p). One interesting feature is the "silly faces" mode, which will distort your image while the video records. It can squeeze your face together, shrink your mouth, or make your eyes huge and cartoony. Needless to say, I got a kick out of it.
Powering all this is an OMAP 4 dual-core Arm Cortex a9 processor. Although a 1.2GHz processor was previously available for G9 units, Archos will only ship its models with a 1.5GHz processor inside from now on.
Despite the extra element of "Turbo" and a responsive touch screen, the Archos 101 G9's internal performance was pretty slow. Lag time was noticeable when I had to go back and forth from the home screen, swap between apps, and change my positioning from portrait to landscape mode.
When I ran graphics-heavy games like Asphalt 6 HD, the processor could barely handle it at times. Sometimes, the audio played but the images would freeze, and other times the game would quit altogether.
While trying to hang out with people on Google Messenger, the app became glacial as well. Despite a strong Wi-Fi connection, audio cut in and out and if too many people joined a room, I'd get kicked off the network. During the few times I was able to communicate with my friends, I'd hear an extraneous bubbly noise on the feedback.
The shutter speed on the camera is also extremely sluggish. I'd have to hold the tablet for several seconds for it to take a decent picture without motion blur. When I tested the video recorder, the audio and visual were out of sync, one lagging several seconds behind the other.
Audio quality, although a little tinny and sharp, was for the most part pleasant. The maximum volume level is loud and listening to music on the speaker was clear. When I put headphones on, the music sounded perfectly adequate as well.
As expected, photo quality was subpar. Its low specs make it just adequate enough to video chat and take vanity shots (if your arm doesn't tire out first). When I did manage to take a decent picture, colors were not as rich as they appeared in real life, and images were grainy. However, vanity shots taken indoors showed up a little clearer.
Archos reports that the device's battery will last for 36 hours of music playback time, 7 hours of video playback, and up to 10 hours surfing the Internet. Anecdotally the battery life was average. I went for a handful of hours surfing the Web, watching videos, and playing games, and the battery lost about half its charge. I did, however, need a charge to get me through the rest of the day. Here are our official CNET Labs-tested battery drain test results. More tablet testing results can be found here.
|Video battery life (in hours)|
|Archos 101 G9||5.5|
Although the Archos 101 G9 now has a marginally upgraded processor and the newest Android OS, the tablet still doesn't have enough going for it. The kickstand may be its design's saving grace, but its button placement is still awkward and it has a humdrum and heavy build. Its internal speeds feel perpetually bogged down and the subpar camera just doesn't make this device a worthy buy.