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Dec 082011

When ARCHOS released its newest Android tablets some time in September this year, the tablets came with Android 3.2 Honeycomb, which was already the coolest Android version optimized for tablets–until Google released Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which now takes the title as the coolest Android version for both Android tablets and Android smartphones.

But, ARCHOS is not about to let the ARCHOS 80 G9 and the ARCHOS 101 G9 go on without the coolest version of Android. In fact, the folks at ARCHOS have been busy in their development kitchen lately, cooking up a build of Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich for the ARCHOS 80 G9 and the ARCHOS 101 G9 Android tablets. The twin Android tablets will bid goodbye to Android 3.2 Honeycomb and let in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich starting in the first quarter of 2012, according to reports.

Just this week, ARCHOS posted a preview of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running on the ARCHOS 101 G9. ARCHOS is still working on other essential improvements such as support for hardware-based video acceleration, Samba/UPnP connectivity, compatibility with ARCHOS’s 3G stick solution, and other features.

As you can see in the video below, the Gallery app works like a charm. You can also observe how smooth and slick the display is. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is partly the reason for that, as well as the dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 processor that the Android tablet uses. With native support for hardware acceleration, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich runs significantly much faster than Android 3.2 Honeycomb, as you can see in the video below. The graphics processing unit of the tablet is also completely used, resulting in smoother display of graphics and images in Ice Cream Sandwich’s new user interface. Multitasking also becomes smoother on Ice Cream Sandwich, which means you can run numerous Android apps on the ARCHOS 101 G9 tablet without the tablet’s showing any sign of choking or stuttering or lagging.

The ARCHOS G9 Android tablets comes in two size variations. The ARCHOS 80 G9 has an 8.0-inch touchscreen with display resolution of 1024×768 pixels, while the ARCHOS 101 G9 has a 10.1-inch touchscreen with display resolution of 1280×800 pixels. Both Android tablets use a dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP 4 mobile processor with chipset clock speeds of up to 1.5 GHz.

The two tablets have built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, so connecting to the Internet should be quick and easy. Support for 3G is not built into the tablets themselves but can be an option through ARCHOS’s 3G stick solution. The said solution is a plug-in accessory, pretty much like a USB thumbnail drive, that you insert into the tablet’s USB port if and should you want to use a 3G connection. The 3G stick can also be used on your PC or laptop.

Both tablets can play back 1080p Full HD videos. In fact, these ARCHOS G9 Android tablets have superb multimedia capabilities, with support for almost every multimedia format that you could think of. Sadly, the two tablets don’t have the blessings of a high-megapixel main camera–neither tablet has one at all. But, they do have front-facing cameras capable of capturing videos and images in 720p resolution.

For connectivity, the ARCHOS G9 tablets have HDMI, Micro USB, and microSD ports. You can mirror the tablet’s screen onto a hi-definition monitor such an HDTV through an HDMI connection. The microSD card slot allows you to add extra storage. The Micro USB port serves as interface for charging the battery or for connecting it to a PC so you can transfer files to or from the tablet.

The ARCHOS G9 Android tablets have decent battery life, too. One can go on a casual Web surfing adventure for up to about 10 hours. Nonstop video playback is expectedly shorter, with only about 7 hours. If music is your thing, you can play all your tracks nonstop for up to about 36 hours.

If you need a budget-friendly, 10.1-inch Android tablet with 16 GB of internal storage, go for the ARCHOS 101 G9 Turbo (16 GB). Or, if you want the still budget-friendly, more portable, 8-inch version with 16 GB of internal storage, go for the ARCHOS 80 G9 Turbo (16 GB).

Images courtesy of ARCHOS, TechRadar

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