HTPC Portable Media

Archos 9 To Change Netbooks, Media Players. Maybe.

A9_Front_1 While Archos announced the Archos 9PCTablet a few weeks ago now, I recently had a chance to sit down and take a look at the actual specs behind the machine.  While I don’t think it’s going to take over the netbook market, I do like innovation and what the 9PCTablet lacks in power, it makes up for by being the first.

I hate that last sentence.  It makes the device sound like its a slouch when its not.  The reason I say “lacks in power” is because the 9PCTablet ships with the Intel Atom Z515 which runs at 1.2 GHz instead of the 1.6 Atom processor I’m used to seeing in netbooks now.

The 9PCTablet will also ship with the following specs:

  • Integrated US15W graphics chip
  • 60 or 120GB HDD
  • 1GB (DDR2 400/533) RAM
  • 8.9’’ touch screen (Resistive)
  • 1024 x 600 pixels max resolution
  • Realtek ALC269 audio
  • WiFi: PCI-E interface, 2 Antennas, Support IEEE 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 1x USB 2.0 High Speed
  • 1x Audio/headphone output
  • Built-in 1.3MP camera

Again, the specs seem a bit lower than the standard netbook you’ll find on the market today.  That doesn’t mean I don’t want one.  To me, this is what a net tablet should be.  Light (around 28 oz.), small (10.07’’x5.27’’x0.62’’) and easy to carry around.  It’s not that my Aspire one is heavy but it just like the tablet form factor.  I could easily see myself sitting outside reading the news from this device.  And actually, I like the specs!  I’m hoping that it will keep the price reasonable.  Must UMPCs are way over priced for what they do.  This machine keeping the netbook specs will hopefully mean a netbook price.

My real hope is that since this is shipping with Windows 7 it’ll be perfect for Media Center use.  I don’t see it running as smoothly as my HTPC, but do you need it to on the road?  With Windows 7 built in internet streaming this is perfect for those times stuck in an airport waiting for your flight, or even for me to use when we have my son at his doctor’s appointment and we have to wait for an hour.  I can start a show, hold it for my boys and they can stay a bit more occupied.  Right now, I used my Aspire One for this and yes, it works.  This would allow me to entertain them and get some work done at the same time.

Only time will tell if this kind of design can work.  I certainly hope so.  For me it would be a great portable media player as well as net tablet.  Of course my Zune is much more portable but it doesn’t handle Media Center.  My netbook is better for working but I don’t need a full keyboard and laptop form factor to surf the net and check email.  Then the 9PCTablet launches, the question will be:  Do people want a more portable netbook/less portable media player?  We’ll see!

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About the author

Adam Thursby

Adam Thursby is the founder and creator of The Digital Media Zone.