Customer reviews: Archos 9 PC Windows 7 Starter Tablet (Black)

What it is:
The Archos 9 is a highly portable Netbook, without a Keyboard making it smaller and lighter weight. It has the touch screen functions of a Tablet/Slate Computer. :)

What it isn't:
It isn't a Notebook or Desktop PC. (Though if all you use your Desktop for is to play Free Cell, surf the web and check your E-Mail, then this will do the job in place of a full computer, but it isn't one, nor is it designed to be one. It also isn't a phone with delusions of grandeur. (Android Tablets and iPads.)

The Good:
It is light weight, small and portable, what you would expect from a Netbook or a Slate computer.
More power than an iPad or Android tablet at a cheaper cost than the iPad.
1. It does run Windows 7, with all that implies, to include:
a. Multi-tasking,
b. Full web browser
c. Full Flash support
d. Quicktime/iTunes
e. Real Productivity software like Open Office or MS Office, so not only can you show your Powerpoint presentation but you can edit it if you need to.
2. It has a USB Port and can add a couple more.
a. This means you can run USB drives, USB DVD drives, keyboards and mice as well as other USB uses.
3. It has a 60GB Harddrive, which is large for this class of product.
4. It uses an Atom 1.2 ghz (Multi-threaded) processor, which is typical for Netbooks of its age. Windows Experience Index is 1.7 when running Windows 7 Home Premium which is on par with other Netbooks.
5. It is available now at a great price.
a. Unlike other Windows Slate computers, which aren't available and keep getting pushed back and Android Tablets, which the OS isn't quite up to running a computer, yet, you can have this now.
b. It is significantly cheaper than the iPad, which isn't even in this class.
c. The only tablet in this class and price range that is currently available are the ASUS and Lenovo touch screen Netbooks and they are a bit larger with similar performance. (We also have a 9" ASUS.)
6. The Trackpad/Mouse buttons. While these strictly aren't needed, I find them very useful to have available. One thing I don't like about the ASUS is the need to open it to get to the touchpad/mouse buttons.
7. Built in camera for VOIP video chat.
8. A touch Screen that accepts stylus entry, and, with Windows 7 Home Premium+, very nice hand writing recognition software.
9. The Beta version of the Touch Screen tools at Archos: The calibration tools are really well done. Significantly better than those that came with the ASUS.

The Bad:
1. No SD Card slot. One would think having one of these would be a no brainer. (Oops.)
2. When they upgraded the processor they didn't upgrade the cooling. It gets a little warm on the left side which could have been avoided by simply venting the case.
3. It doesn't appear to accept Multi-touch even with Windows 7 Home Premium installed. This seems to be a lack of forethought on the part of Archos since Windows 7 handles Multi-touch very nicely.
4. The built in on screen keyboard. I hate it, YMMV but the Windows 7 Home Premium pop-up keyboard is smaller and on a 9" screen that is important.
5. No button to easily rotate the screen. With the buttons attached, one would think that would be one of them. they include a button for their keyboard and one for turning off the Wifi/bluetooth, at least they could have included one for rotating the screen, or allowed those buttons to be programmed to do it.
6. Windows Starter: While that is considered to be the standard OS for a Netbook, at least to get you started and to lower the cost, Windows 7 Home Premium is the cheapest version where the Touch Screen goodness is included. (Factor that upgrade into your cost.)

The Ugly:
Archos Customer Support pushed me off onto Microsoft when my Windows 7 Anytime upgrade wouldn't run. ("We don't support that upgrade.") Microsoft pushed it back on Archos. If either had read their own forums the answers are there. (Found them afterwards.)

So you don't run into the same issue here are the steps.
1. Plug your Archos in, it will take longer than the battery will last.
2. Adjust your power settings to not go to sleep, and not shut down.
3. Uninstall your virus checking software. (Simply turning it off may not do the job.)
4. Install the Drivers and Bios Updates from Archos' site.
5. Install all of the Windows updates for Windows 7 Starter.
6. Run Windows Anytime upgrade.
6a. Let it sit. Don't believe it has hung up just because it seems to be hanging. (Look at the HD light.)
6b. Don't try to do anything else while it is running.
7. Once you are rebooted into Windows 7 Home Premium reinstall your Virus Checker software.
8. Back up your hard drive. (Use that USB port and back it up to an external drive, in fact I recommend that anyway because 60GB is too small for what you may want to carry with you, and your most likely cause of needing a backup is because you dropped it and damaged the HD. :))
9. Ditch the software you don't need, empty the trash and defrag.
10. Calibrate your screen.

Additional recommendations:
1. Add: Open Office: Free, runs well and reads/writes most MS Office files.
2. Use Google Chrome for your browser. At this time less bloat than Explorer and Firefox which means it runs faster and cleaner on here. (No issues streaming Hulu or Netflix here.)
3. Get an External USB HD and either the port expander or a good USB2 hub.
4. Get an inexpensive keyboard or one of the roll up ones, if you want to take it with you, if you plan on doing a bit of typing.
5. Don't set your Power Plan to higher than you need it. (SO your batteries last longer between charges. (I do get between 4 and 5 hours out of these batteries.)
6. For long trips, or other periods of extended Battery use get an additional battery. (One of the only Netbooks or slates with the option of replacing the Battery.)


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