I used the Gen8 101 for over a year and needed a smaller sized tablet that I could use on sardine-packed subway trips.
I totally wanted to get the smaller 1.5GHz Gen 9 device, but Archos didn't have it ready back in December when I was making my purchase.
So I have the Toshiba Thrive 7 instead.
Note: I mostly use my tablet for eReading including books, magazines and locally cached RSS feeds (Google Currents is great!)
Thoughts/comparisons to Gen 8:
- The Thrive 7 screen provides a high resolution 1280x800 image
- The Gen 8 101 provides a much brighter screen
- The Gen 8 101 provides a saturated image, the Thrive 7 appears muted in comparison (but in regular use it's image display feels subtly sophisticated)
- The Thrive 7 is better to use in bright daylight (perhaps it has a less reflective screen?)
- The standard Honeycomb eMail on the Thrive 7 reader refused to support SMTP to my provider, so I had to use the K9 email reader instead
- The Thrive 7 provides two forms of orientation lock, which is great for reading at odd angles that normally cause rotation on the Gen8 101
- The Thrive 7 internet browsing is dramatically faster than on the Gen8 101, but doesn't reflow text when I demand as promptly as the 101
- The Thrive 7 keyboard is harder to use, frequently missing my keystroke - I've been forced to re-learn keyboard tapping as a swipe-like flicks on each character
- The Thrive 7 shows an amazing page flip in Google Books
- The Thrive 7 does not display my CalWidget as semi-transparent, marring the beauty of the desktop interface
- The Thrive 7 provides power hungry enhancements to screen and audio as disable-able options, but not Powersave as a throttle-down option
- The Thrive 7 plays Flash and Youtube like they are native to the OS
- The Thrive 7 does not ship with calibration software, such as orientation and screen-touch location. (On a 7 inch screen some websites respond to the wrong portion of my finger! I'd really like to calibrate my finger placement!)
- The Thrive 7 screen remains sensitive to pressure when the screen is dark - cleaning the screen while the screen is dark can create screen regions that are insensitive to touch. The tablet has to be turned off to return the surface to usability
- The Thrive 7 doesn't flex and feels solid (I don't understand the reviews which contradict my understanding
- The Thrive 7 seems to burn through battery much faster than the Gen8 101
- The Thrive 7 is supposedly a 1GB RAM device, but it only show as as 500MB in the App use pane
- The Thrive 7 is also hobbled by installing Firefox
Although it may sound like I'm dissatisfied with the Thrive 7, I'm not. I take the Thrive 7 more places and to more varied occasions than I ever could with the Gen 8 101. I'm happy with my Thrive 7 and don't understand why it gets such bad press. I think the Gen 9 devices, even at 1.5Ghz, need to be priced more competitively to beat out competing devices that "feel good in the hand", "are pretty on the eyes" and work well enough to get the job done.