We saw a preview build at ICS and now it's here. Archos announced today a worldwide rollout of its Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update for the G9 line of tablets. We've been waiting expectantly for the Archos G9 Turbo editions, with their TI OMAP4460 SoC's tuned to 1.5GHz, since the line was first announced last fall. We still haven't seen one so tuned, but the current edition uses TI's OMAP4430 clocked at 1.2GHz, so performance should match the Galaxy Nexus, which also uses TI's OMAP44x0. Archos promises their build will leverage the GPU for excellent video output of their usual panoply of codecs and containers, and all at 1080p, with HDMI output. 

Much has been made about the slow roll-out of Ice Cream Sandwich to devices, and user's frustration is palpable. The developer community has worked tirelessly to squeeze Android 4.0 on to every manner of device, and yet only a few updates have been rolled out by big OEMs; and a seemingly shrinking list of updates is planned over the coming months. Archos, either through luck or foreknowledge, based their product on the development platform for ICS, giving them a slim advantage over competitors with tablets based on alternate SoCs. Possibly more crucial is that Archos applies all its development know-how to adding media functionality, versus designing and executing on a thorough UI reskin and layers of widgets and services. 

Compared to their competitors products, though, Archos doesn't have the prettiest chassis's, nor the highest quality screens. But with storage options up to 250GB and a history of providing excellent media playback their products become ever more compelling. Our biggest concern, though, is their ability to execute on hardware; it's been 8 months since the line was announced, and the 1.5GHz variants are still scarce. We'll try to get some phone time with Archos representatives to see if we can get more details, and maybe some hints at what's next. In the meanwhile, anyone looking for a speedy Android slate, running the most current software revision should seriously consider the G9 line, starting at just $269, it could be a real steal. 

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  • codedivine - Thursday, March 8, 2012 - link

    While the OMAP 4430 is nice, I hear that these only have 512MB of RAM, and that is causing problems for some people. For example, applications sometimes get closed automatically and browser is not totally stable. Is this true? Any owners that can verify/debunk this?
  • jamielawther - Thursday, March 8, 2012 - link

    It does lag the occasional time, But its mainly smooth :) ICS is amazing on it, and works extremely well!
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, March 9, 2012 - link

    That is the last thing I want to deal with. On my crApple device, apps just close by themselves even when only one is running. Not even so much as a thank you for helping enrich the richest scam company in the world.
  • gazza 68 - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    I have an archos G9 80 that I upgraded to ICS this week. ICS is very smooth and looks good when it works. I am constantly having to re-boot the system as it freezes and apps and internet close down for no reason. in addition when I re-boot it will take 10-12 reboots before it finally opens up. I regret upgrading to iCS as my tablet is now basically un-usable. Hope Archos gets it sorted soon.
  • JKflipflop98 - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    I've heard you need to format then apply the upgrade.
  • djc208 - Thursday, March 8, 2012 - link

    I've been running CM9 Alpah on my TP, and it's much nicer than the Sense version of Gingerbread on my phone or CM7 on a tablet.

    But I guess it's proving to be a little harder to convert as even the CM guys are moving slower than they thought they would, though I will say the new Alpha 2 is pretty good. Biggest problem I have is it keeps dropping connection to my Google Calender.

    I do like Archos though, expecially since they went away from the all propriatary and extra model. Hated being nickled and dimed over things it should have been able to do from the start.
  • Impulses - Thursday, March 8, 2012 - link

    They certainly seem like a good deal, I've been envious of some of the recent tablet announcements but the tech lust is short lived as soon as I remember I paid just $300 for my ASUS Transformer more than six months ago (during the $100 off tablets Office Depot promo)... I honestly expected to see a lot more models at that price point by now (and thus, to regret my decision).

    Also, did I miss it or did Anandtech not make any kind of post on Pipeline when the original Transformer received ICS last week? ASUS has been very much on top of things when it comes to updates, they deserve some praise, tho having only two tablets to worry about certainly helps their cause... We'll see how they do with Jelly Bean and all the different variants they're launching this year.
  • aryonoco - Thursday, March 8, 2012 - link

    I think there is a mistake here:

    "so performance should match the Galaxy Nexus, which also uses TI's OMAP4430"

    IIRC the Galaxy Nexus uses the OMAP 4460. You probably meant to say that performance matches the RAZR as that uses a 4430 clocked at 1.2 Ghz?
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, March 8, 2012 - link

    Spot on, fixing. Thanks.

  • MrMilli - Friday, March 9, 2012 - link

    True but the 4460 in the Nexus is clocked down on all fronts to around 4430 levels.

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