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Summary:

http://www.youtube.com/v/6cTfXgbuenk&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1 ARCHOS decided to resurrect the slate UMPC market yesterday with the announcement of its 9pctablet. Essentially, the device offers the guts of a netbook running Windows 7 in a resistive touchscreen tablet. Many have tried this type of device, but from a mainstream perspective, they’ve […]

http://www.youtube.com/v/6cTfXgbuenk&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1

ARCHOS decided to resurrect the slate UMPC market yesterday with the announcement of its 9pctablet. Essentially, the device offers the guts of a netbook running Windows 7 in a resistive touchscreen tablet. Many have tried this type of device, but from a mainstream perspective, they’ve been relative failures. Bear in mind, I’ve owned three of the devices and they met my needs at the time. To me, these UMPCs weren’t failures; I’m talking instead about the general consumer market.

Perhaps the time is now “right” for such a device. Hardware has matured to the point that a UMPC can perform adequately, based on the netbook market. Windows 7 offers a better touch and ink experience as well. In the above video from ArchosFans, you can get a feel for how the device looks and behaves. It’s thin and light but I’m already leery of the battery life. In the video, they say around three hours. For a tablet or slate that you’d carry around, I’d want to see double that life. Still, this looks like a fairly impressive UMPC to me so far.

The question now (as it generally was before) is: Do folks want to carry a 9-inch UMPC that can run Windows for three hours? As much as I’d like to say yes, since I have a UMPC soft spot, I’m thinking no. Some of us geeks surely will. We have before. But the rising trend I see is ARM finally having its day against x86. I know Intel hopes I’m wrong and I surely could be. But running a full-bore x86 desktop OS on a mobile device comes with too much baggage for some folks — challenging user interfaces, programs that just don’t fit on the small screen and battery challenges. Thoughts?

(via UMPCPortal)

  1. I just printed out the device 1:1 – given the dimensions in the specs – and I think the device is about the right size for this type of device.

    Assuming the screen is multi-touch and responsive to finger use I think they’ll have a hit if the price is reasonable (<$500-$600).

    With regard to the OS/CPU/Battery life. I think running Windows 7 on the device is the way to go initially, assuming a 4-5 hour battery life is available with a larger battery. Once everyone is accustomed to this type of device, moving to an ARM processor with a custom (Linux) OS will have cost/battery life implications.

    Assuming the browser performance is equal, I would choose a device with a lower cost and longer battery life (using an ARM CPU) over a Windows 7 (X86) system.

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  2. I want devices like this to suceed, but when I show my Q1 to my non geek friends they respond, “I can get an iphone to do that and its smaller too.”

    Me personally, I’m lookng to upgrade from my Samsung Q1. The the 9pctablet is on the list of devices to consider. Battery life,cost and storage are my big criteria. I want to use it for video, music picture review word docs and pdfs along with web and email.

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  3. I would have said the same thing, but when you look at the Viliv S5 or even the larger X7 with about the same battery life, It makes you wonder what archos was thinking?

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  4. I agree with you Kevin. Definitely.
    They have taken the wrong turn and may be lost.
    It is not like the company is doing so well to begin with – so it may a close to fatal blow in the long run.
    The right thing may come with Android around September (see archosfans) but who knows what disastrous quarter they will have till then.

    Tal

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  5. Is there really still a market for resistive touch screens? Why didn’t they go capacitive?

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  6. You know it’s quite odd that at every single Apple conference, everyone wants a slate Apple tablet. Yet when ‘other’ manufactures create a tablet that uses Windows, right away people claim it won’t succeed.

    I love and use Apple products everyday, but I just can’t figure this logic out?

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    1. Clearly, the difference is the software. People (rightly or not) think that Apple will do a better job with tablet software than Microsoft.

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    2. In my opinion, the iphone succeeded because of size, ease of use, cost and apple branding/marketing. I think a 9 inch apple slate would not do as well. Its gonna be expensive (over $500) and people are going to wonder what they are gonna use it for. Maybe if its subsidized they might sell some. But I just don’t think the typical consumer is gonna get it.

      How much computing power does the average consumer want or need to carry around on a regular basis? I’m not talking about work. I’m talking about for personal use. My non techie friends can get along just fine with a smartphone. They want to listen to music, text, twitter, do facebook and maybe check email. Video isn’t evena big deal to them. I pull out my Q1 and they ask me why I carry it around all the time. The only time they think my Mini 9 is cool is when I tell them the price.

      I think that the average consumer does not see the need to have a full computer with them all the time, no matter how small. A smartphone is enough. I don’t think even Apple can easily change this mindset. But I hope to be proven wrong.

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  7. Looks pretty!

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  8. Art Kavanagh Friday, June 12, 2009

    Has the video been pulled? I can’t view it here or on the ArchosFans site. When I right-click in the white space where it should be, it just says “Movie not loaded …”

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    1. Hmm… the source vid is gone from the original site as you said. Looks like it was pulled. Pity. :(

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    2. Vid is back. Enjoy! :)

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  9. Maybe its pulled because that Archos fanboy who posted the vid has spent the last few years flaming MS, Intel, and the entire UMPC community for being useless crap (his words) and members of some evil empire. Now Archos releases a UMPC with W7 and Intel. Maybe he’s embarrassed.

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  10. “The question now (as it generally was before) is: Do folks want to carry a 9-inch UMPC that can run Windows for three hours?” I already do. It’s called a Fujitsu P1620.

    Gordon

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