Just when you thought you were safe from tablet news for a day… Archos strikes. The new Archos line of tablets has just been revealed, and there’s something for everybody, as long as everybody wants some kind of Android device.
Let’s go down the list here, in order of size. All of these devices will ship with Android 2.2, and they’ve also all got microphones and accelerometers.. However, perhaps fatally, these tablets (like some others) do not have access to the App Marketplace. You’ll get your “custom-sized” apps through Archos’ AppsLib, which doesn’t sound like fun. Google apps will also not be present, which means you’ll have Archos replacements for maps, music, and so on.
Archos 28 ($100) and 32 ($150)
At 2.8 inches and 320×240, the 28 is more of a pocket PMP than a tablet. It’s got a resistive touchscreen, 4GB of storage, Wi-Fi, and a Cortex A8 processor at 800MHz. That’s a serious processor for an MP3 player, geez.
The 32 adds a little bit of screen space (it’s 3.2″, if you haven’t figured out the naming convention by now) and ups the storage to 8GB. It also adds a camera to the back that records in 720p. These will be available in September.
Archos 43 ($200)
This guy falls into that Dell Streak zone where it seems too big for half the stuff you want to do, and too small for the other half. It’s got a resistive display, too, which I’m not too excited about. It does have a 1GHz A8 processor, though, and a camera on the back. I don’t know, I just can’t find anything about this thing to like. 854×480 on a screen that size should be nice and sharp, though.
Archos 70 ($275)
Here we get into the real tablet range. This thing has a 7″ capacitive screen at 800×480, 8GB of storage, HDMI out, a MicroSD slot, and a front-facing webcam. It also has that same 1GHz A8. It supports a lot of video formats (FLV and MKV included) and claims 7 hours of video playback. This thing sounds like an ideal airplane tablet: supports a ton of formats, has decent battery life and removable storage, less than half an inch thick and .69 pounds. Of course, for just a few bucks more, you can get the 101.
Archos 101 ($300)
This is the one they’re aiming at the iPad: 10.1 inches at 1024×600, 1GHz processor, and… well, pretty much the same capabilities as the 70. It’s really just a matter of which size you prefer. Neither is capable of displaying full HD (though they can play 720p files), so personally I’d go with the thinner, lighter 70. But that’s just me. The 101, as well as the other tablets, will be available in October.
While these can’t compete with the iPad on terms of versatility, they certainly beat it in terms of media playback. If you’re someone who watches a lot of video these could be a much more practical solution. The lack of apps sucks, though. To be honest I think buying an Android tablet right now is a sucker’s bet. If you really need a tablet right now, get an iPad. But if you wait a few months you’re going to have ChromeOS, webOS, and Android 3.0 tugging at your wallet. I can wait, personally, but I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to nab one of these right now. $275 for the 70 seems like a pretty decent deal.
More information can be found at the Archos website, of course.