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Five Archos Android tablets range from 2.8 to 10.1 inches

Aug 31, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Archos announced five new Android-based tablets running Android 2.2 on 800MHz to 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processors, all offering 720p HD video playback and 802.11n Wi-Fi. Shipping this fall, the tablets include the 2.8-inch Archos 28, the 3.2-inch Archos 32, the 4.3-inch Archos 43, the seven-inch Archos 70, and the 10.1-inch Archos 101, says the company.

Equipped with Android 2.2 ("Froyo"), all the new Archos tablets accordingly offer Adobe Flash 10 support. They also provide Archos' own suite of multimedia player software. Other apps include an ebook reader, as well as a wide range of games, tapping the Cortex-A8 processors' 3D graphic acceleration.

Unfortunately, there does not appear to be Android Market support, although like other Archos tablets, the devices can pull a selection of Android applications from Archos' AppsLib store. AppLib apps are said to include online music players such as Deezer, Mewbox, and Napster, as well as the Ebuddy chat app.

The Archos 32, available for $150 with 4GB of internal flash memory, was tipped earlier this month when it was spotted on an FCC website. Like the similar Archos 28 mini-tablet ($100 with 4GB), it will ship in September, says Archos.

The $200 Archos 43 (with 8GB), as well as the larger Archos 70 and Archos 101 tablets will ship this fall, says Archos. According to Engadget, which posted a brief video demo from the announcement event, these three larger tablets will ship in mid-October.


Archos 101 with leg-stand

Surprisingly, the only tablet to offer hard disk storage as an option is the seven-inch Archos 70, not the Archos 101. The Archos 70 is available for $275 with 8GB of flash memory (plus up to 32GB of optional SD card storage), and $350 with the addition of a 250GB hard disk drive, says Archos. The Archos 101 is available for $300 with 8GB or $350 with 16GB.

Hard disk storage is rare on Android tablets, but has long been an option on Archos' Linux- and Android-based Internet Tablets, including the Android-ready Archos 5 and Archos 7.

Earlier this year, Archos announced some 600MHz ARM9-based Archos Home Tablets that run Android. Seven- and eight-inch versions were offered for $180 and $225 respectively. Considering the low prices of the new tablets,  discounts may now be in order for the older devices.

Archos 28 and Archos 32

The tiny Archos 28 and Archos 32 are more like portable media players (PMPs) than tablets. Both run Android 2.2 ("Froyo") on an 800MHz Cortex-A8 processors, but unlike the Dell Streak, lack telephony features. The Archos 28 comes standard with 4GB of internal flash, and is also available with 8GB, and the Archos 32 offers 8GB, says the company.

Archos 28
(Click to enlarge)

Neither tablet includes an SD card for memory expansion. Storage expansion is instead available via a USB 2.0 host port, says the company. A USB 2.0 device port is also available.

The two mini-tablets offer fairly similar features, and are compatible across major music and video formats, says Archos. These are said to include H.264, MPEG-4, and WMV9 formats, all with 720p quality at up to 30 frames per second (fps). (For the full list, see the links to detailed spec lists for all five Archos tablets at the end of the story.)

The devices' resistive touchscreens are available in 320 x 240 resolution for the 2.8-inch Archos 28 and 400 x 240 resolution for the 3.4-inch Archos 32, the company says. They both offer 802.11b/g/n, accelerometers, speakers, and microphones, says the company.

The Archos 32 adds Bluetooth 2.1 support, as well as a camcorder of unknown resolution. This model is also said to add a composite video output.


Archos 32

(Click to enlarge)

The Archos 28 measures a wee 3.9 x 2.1 x 0.35 inches (100 x 54 x 9mm) and weighs 2.4 ounces (64 grams), says Archos. Claimed battery life is up to four hours for video, six hours for web surfing, and 16 for music playback.

The Archos 32 is a bit taller at 4.1 x 2.1 x 0.3 inches (105 x 55 x 9mm) and weighs 2.5 ounces (72 grams), says the company. Touted battery life is six hours for video, eight hours for web surfing, and 24 hours for music.

Archos 43

The Archos 43 moves up to a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 SoC clocked at 1GHz, and includes a built-in DSP (digital signal processor). The SoC may be the Texas Instruments OMAP3640 or OMAP3630, the latter of which is incorporated in the Motorola Droid X and Droid 2 phones. (Previous Archos tablets have also used TI's OMAP processors.)


Archos 43
(Click to enlarge)

Available with 8GB or 16GB of internal flash, the Archos 43 adds a microSD slot for up to 32GB of additional storage, says Archos. The device is claimed to support 720p H.264 playback, and it appears to be the only tablet among the bunch to offer 720p recording, the latter via a two-megapixel camcorder. It also swaps out the composite output for HDMI.

The 4.3-inch resistive display offers 854 x 480 resolution, says Archos. Measuring 5.3 x 2.6 x 0.4 inches (135 x 65 x 9mm) and weighing 4.6 ounces (130 grams), the device is said to be much thinner and lighter than previous Archos tablets.

The slim profile is due to a patented construction process also found on the Archos 70 and 101, that uses an over-moulded PVD stainless steel structure, says the company. All three of these devices also add a leg-stand.

Battery life is rated at 10 hours for video, 12 hours for web surfing, and 36 hours for music. Otherwise, the Archos 43 appears to offer identical features to the Archos 32, with similar capabilities such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB ports.

Archos 70

Equipped with the same 1GHz SoC as the Archos 43, the Archos 70 ships with 8GB of flash and also offers flash expansion. As noted, it is the only model to provide a hard drive option, offering a capacity of 250GB. This HDD model apparently dispenses with the internal flash memory, as well as the microSD slot.

Archos 70
(Click to enlarge)

The seven-inch screen offers 800 x 480 resolution and moves up to capacitive screen technology, says Archos. Unlike the Archos 43, which offers a back-facing two-megapixel camera, the Archos 70 supplies a front-facing VGA webcam, suggesting videoconferencing support. While the device supports 720p 30fps playback, no such claims are offered for video recording.

The standard flash-memory model measures 7.91 x 4.49 x 0.43 inches (201 x 114 x 10mm) and weighs 11 ounces (300 grams), and the HDD-enabled version measures 7.91 x 4.49 x 0.55 inches (201 x 114 x 14mm) and weighs 14 ounces (400 grams), says the company. Battery life for both models is rated at seven hours for video, 10 hours for web surfing, and 36 hours for music.

Instead of the Archos 43's device and host USB 2.0 ports, the Archos 70 USB options are listed as host and just plain USB 2.0, with both models said to offer mass storage class (MSC). Other features mimic the Archos 43, including the HDMI port and Bluetooth.

Archos 101

The "iPad killer" of the lot (if such a beast exists) appears to be the 10.1-inch Archos 101. Equipped with the same 1GHz processor as the Archos 70, it ships standard with 8GB, along with a microSD slot, and is the only system to offer a 16GB internal memory option, says Archos. No hard drive model is available, however.

The 10.1-inch display offers 1024 x 600 resolution (WXVGA), but capacitive technology is not touted, as it is for the Archos 70. (Engadget, however, says the screen is capacitive.)


Archos 101

(Click to enlarge)

USB 2.0 support is listed as host and slave, with both referred to as MSC ports. Other features are the same as with the Archos 70, including the HDMI and Bluetooth support and the front-facing VGA camera.

The Archos 101 measures 10.63 x 5.91 x 0.47 inches (270 x 150 x 12mm) and weighs 15.87 ounces (480 grams), says Archos. As with the Archos 43 and Archos 70, this slim design is said to be a result of its new patented design technology.

Engadget demo of Archos 43, 70, and 101 tablets on Viddler
Source: Engadget, Viddler
(Click to play)

Availability

The Archos 28 (information here) will be available in September with 4GB of internal memory for $10, says Archos.

The Archos 32 (information here) will be available in September with 8GB, with a recommended retail price of $150.

The Archos 43 (information here) will be available this fall with 8GB for $200.

The Archos 70 (information here) will be available this fall with a recommended retail price of $250 (8GB) and $350 (250GB).

The Archos 101 (information here) will be available this fall with a recommended retail price of $300 (8GB) and $350 (16GB).

The Engadget story on the new Archos tablets may be found here.


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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