Archos announces $119 Android tablet

The Archos 70 Titanium will include an IPS display, a front-facing camera, and Android 4.1. It could emerge as the bargain tablet to beat.

The Archos 70 Titanium is a 7-inch Android tablet priced at just $119. It goes on sale next month.
The Archos 70 Titanium is a 7-inch Android tablet priced at just $119. It goes on sale next month. Archos

For the last couple months, rumors have been flying that Acer and/or Google would introduce a $99 tablet .

Will it happen? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, Archos just fired the first shot in the tablet pricing wars: the Archos 70 Titanium. It goes on sale in February for $119.

Although Archos has yet to post a product page (which is why there's no link), I saw the 70 Titanium at CES, and just received a preliminary spec sheet from a company rep. I'd say its main competition is the original Kindle Fire, which Amazon currently sells for $159.

For $40 less, the 70 Titanium offers a 1,024x600-pixel IPS display (same as the Fire), 8GB of storage (ditto), a microSD slot (something the Fire lacks), and a front camera (ditto again). It runs on a 1.6GHz dual-core processor with quad-core graphics and 1GB of RAM. There's an HDMI output and Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) behind the scenes. Alas, no Bluetooth.

The Archos tablet measures 0.34 inch thick and weighs 0.62 pound, so it's both thinner and lighter than the Kindle Fire. Plus, it has a chrome back and white front, which may appeal to those who don't like the Fire's fingerprint-attracting all-black facade.

Needless to say, it's hard to judge a tablet based on specs alone, and the unit on display at CES wasn't functional, so I couldn't really gauge things like screen brightness or overall performance. But the other models in the lineup (see below) looked impressive, if a little plain, especially for the price.

Archos also plans to ship the 80 Titanium, an iPad Mini competitor with an 8-inch screen and $169 price tag, along with the 10.1-inch Archos 101 Titanium ($199) and 9.7-inch Archos 97 Titanium HD ($249). The latter features a 2,048x1,536-pixel display resolution, same as the current iPad but for half the price.

I'm hoping to get some hands-on time with these models in the near future. Until then, what do you think about a $119 Android tablet running Jelly Bean? Is it just the deal you've been waiting for, or will you hold out for something with a two-digit price tag?

 

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