December 22nd, 2011, 12:42 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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G9 80 Turbo (nice!)
My G9 80 Turbo (the 16 GB, 1.2 GHz model) arrived a couple of days ago. $299 online from Adorama.com. And I have to say that I'm pretty thrilled with it.
I thought long and hard before I bought it. I wanted a tablet in the 7-9 inch range, and read a lot of reviews of everything that was coming out. The professional reviewers haven't been very kind to the G9's, but I was impressed with some of the end user reviews I read--particularly a couple of very in-depth pieces on modaco.com. The system isn't without it's flaws -- the screen smear when you press on the back of the tablet is still present, but at least on mine it doesn't seem to happen very often. In fact, I didn't notice it all for a couple of days until it popped up tonight when I was holding the tablet with my fingers pressing in the middle of the back cover. And the way your micro-SD card extends a millimeter or two out of the slot when inserted is a bit disconcerting, and could lead to accident ejections. But hey, at least it has a memory card slot--the lack of which was a big part of my decision not to look closely at the Samsung Galaxy 8.9.
Overall, I'm much more impressed with the build quality than I had expected to be. The G9 80 is a lot sleeker and polished-looking than some reviews had led me to believe, and feels very solid without being overly heavy. (At 17.9 ounces it's four ounces lighter than an iPad 2). It runs Honeycomb 3.2 like a dream -- page transitions are very smooth, apps run as expected, and the system overall seems quite stable. I haven't run into any app compatibility issues, and I've been installing and running a lot of apps the last few days. WIFI performance is great, and it connects easily.
Performance wise, the Turbo model more than holds its own against pricier tablets, at least if the standard benchmarks are reliable. I ran SmartBench 2011 on it tonight, and over three runs got scores averaging 3857 on the productivity benchmark and 2987 on the games benchmark. By way of comparison, SmartBench reports average scores of 3165/2487 for the Asus Transformer, 2985/2389 for the Motorola Xoom, 3164/2487 for the Acer Iconia Tab, and 3008/2495 for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, all of which I believe run 1GHz Tegra 2 processors. So my scores topped the average of all those much pricier devices by an average of 25% on the productivity benchmark, and 21% on the games benchmark. Not bad for a $299 tablet.
When I ordered the G9 80 Turbo, I expected that it would be a decent but perhaps somewhat unimpressive tablet. It turned out to be considerably more than that. So this bargain from Archos gets my highest recommendation.