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ARM9-based Android tablets to sell for under $200

Mar 3, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Archos announced two low-cost, WiFi-enabled tablets that run Android on a 600MHz ARM9 processor. The Archos 7 Home Tablet offers a seven-inch touchscreen and is designed for mobile use, while the eight-inch Archos 8 Home Tablet is designed for fixed kitchen-computer and digital picture frame (DPF) duties, says the company.

Archos offered relatively few details on the new tablets, which it said will both ship this spring. Compared to the company's Linux- and Android-based Internet Tablets, such as the most recent Archos 5 Internet Tablet, the new devices are underpowered, running on an unnamed 600MHz ARM9 processor instead of an ARM Cortex-A8-based Texas Instruments OMAP3x system-on-chip (SoC). However, the prices, ranging from $180 to $225, are considerably less than the Archos 5 Internet Tablet's $500 price (with 500GB storage). Archos also announced that it will introduce a new range of Internet Tablets this summer that run ARM Cortex-based SoCs ranging up to 1GHz, with screen sizes from three to 10 inches.


Archos 7 Home Tablet

The Archos 7 Home Tablet accompanies its ARM9 600MHz processor with 2GB or 8GB of memory, says Archos. Appearing similar to the compamy's previous Archos 7 Internet Tablet, the device offers a seven-inch touchscreen, weighs about 350 grams (0.8 Ibs), and measures only 12mm thick, or just under a half inch. Equipped with WiFi, a USB connection, and speakers, the battery-operated tablet supplies up to seven hours of video playback and up to 44 hours of music, says Archos. The device appears to lack other Internet Tablet features such as Bluetooth, GPS, or an FM radio.

The Archos 8 Home Tablet is equipped with 4GB of RAM, and provides an 8-inch touchscreen surrounded by a large DPF-like frame, says Archos. Designed to plug into an outlet in the kitchen, bedroom, or office desk, the Archos 8 Home Tablet appears to lack a battery. The Archos 8 is designed primarily for web browsing, slide-show viewing, web services, and video content. The Archos 8 shares its sibling's 12mm thickness, but weighs a bit more at around 400 grams (0.9 Ibs).

Archos 8 Home Tablet

Pre-installed Android apps on both devices include email, web browser, photo viewing and sharing tools, and access to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, says Archos. The devices also support YouTube streaming, offer an MP3 player, and provide access to the free music streaming service Deezer, says the company.

Other services include news, weather, and local business directories, which can be configured to appear as live widgets on the home screen. Home Tablet users can customize their tablets with Android apps from Archos' Appslib store, which also serves the Android-ready Archos 5 Internet Tablet, says the company.

Archos background and Angstrom Linux distro

Announced in February 2009 and shipping last September, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet is an upgraded, Android-ready version of a Linux-based tablet first introduced in August 2008 (along with a seven-inch Archos 7). Igny, France-based Archos has been making Linux-based PMPs for years, including the PMA400, the Archos 604, and the 7-inch Archos 704.


Archos 5 Internet Tablet

(Click to enlarge)

In November, Archos announced an alternative Angstrom Linux installation for the Archos 5 Internet Tablet that can replace Android for developers interested in an OpenEmbedded build environment and "true standard Linux." On Feb. 17, Archos announced the release of the distribution, which is being made available in proof-of-concept" pre-release form, said the company. (For more background, including details on Angstrom and contact information, please see our previous coverage, here.)

Availability

The Archos 7 Home Tablet will be available in 2GB and 8GB flash memory versions at a recommended price of 130 Pounds (about $195) and 150 Pounds (about $225), respectively, starting in April. On the Archos Home Tablet Web page, here, the company says the Archos 7 Home Tablet will start at a lower $179 price in the U.S.

The Archos 8 Home Tablet, meanwhile, will be available in 4GB at a recommended price of 130 Pounds starting in May, says Archos.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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