Archos 9TabletPC: Boasts On-Screen Keyboard, Win7

Dennis Faas's picture

High-end digital media device-maker Archos, which has made a name for itself in an iPod-dominated market by selling "entertainment products," is taking a big leap forward with tablet technology by introducing an 8.9 inch machine capable of running Microsoft's highly anticipated operating system (OS), Windows 7.

The device, dubbed the "Archos 9PCtablet," will feature an on-screen keyboard and a 1.2 GHz Intel Atom Z515 processor. The tiny tablet will also boast high definition video, stereo audio, and non-3G wireless. However, the feature getting most of the attention is its preloaded OS -- Windows 7 Started Edition.

Experts: Archos' Touchscreen Rivals iPhone

The device has much in common with netbooks. Both feature the Intel Atom processor, which has to date experienced most of its success running Windows XP. However, a prime difference between more mainstream netbooks -- like Acer's Aspire or HP's Mini -- is the 9PCtablet is the keyboard. Boasting touchscreen technology not unlike Apple's extremely popular iPhone, the 9PCtablet's keyboard appears on the display only when summoned.

Early reviews of the 9PCtablet's design are mostly positive, with the UK's Register giving the Archos touchscreen higher marks than even the iPhone. According to an Archos representative, the design's feel takes some getting used to, but ultimately it will be up to consumers as to whether or not they will buy it. (Source:

However, if touchscreen really isn't your thing, an external Bluetooth keyboard can be attached.

Hardware Specs and Pricing

Most the the 9PCtablet's other features make it pretty similar to netbooks from Acer, HP, and Dell.

Hardware specs include: 1 GB of RAM, 802.11b/g WiFi, resolutions of 1024x600, and a 1.3 megapixel camera. However, it's also extremely light, weighing in at just 28 ounces, or 600 grams, including the battery. Archos promises the battery will last far longer than most netbooks, with estimates in the four hour range -- a lot longer than my 3-cell HP Mini capable of about two hours off-the-cord.

All that battery life, a sturdy but feather-light design, and Windows 7 add up to a fairly hefty price tag, especially compared to most other netbooks, which tend to sell for about $250 to $350. Retailing at $499, the 9PCtablet had better hope Windows 7 is enough to make consumers open their wallets just a tad bit wider.

Archos' Win7-capable tablet ships the same day as Microsoft's long-awaited operating system, on October 22, 2009. (Source:

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