Archos tablets go bigger, dumber, cheaper

Archos unveils two new portable Android devices described as Home Tablets. Named the Archos 7 and Archos 8, the new devices are ironically underpowered versions of the Archos 5 tablet, released in 2009.

Donald Bell Senior Editor / How To
Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.
Donald Bell
2 min read

Photo of the Archos 7 Home Tablet.
The Archos 7 Home Tablet promises to be...well, cheap. Archos

Do you like the idea of a coffee table tablet PC, but can't imagine shelling out $500 for an iPad? If so, perhaps you'd be interested in paying half as much for half the functionality at half the speed.

That seems to be the logic behind the latest announcement (Google Translate) from Archos, where details for a pair of "Home Tablets" were made public ahead of Cebit.

The Home Tablets are both based off Google's Android operating system, but skinned and augmented by Archos in a similar fashion as the Archos 5 Internet Tablet released near the end of last year.

The smaller of the two new tablets is the Archos 7, which sports a design similar to the Archos 5, but uses a larger 7-inch touch screen. Internally, the Archos 7 takes a big step back from the Archos 5, running its system on a basic 600MHz ARM 9 processor. You can connect over Wi-Fi to check e-mail and browse the Web, but Archos 5 features such as Bluetooth and GPS are a no-go.

The Archos 7 also includes a microSD memory slot, which is a good thing considering the device will only come in 2GB and 8GB capacities. Multimedia playback is mentioned in the press release (including Flash video), but no detailed format support is given. The device is rated for 7 hours of video playback, or 44 hours of music.

Photo of the Archos 8 Home Tablet.
The Archos 8 falls into that awkward Chumby/Sony Dash photo frame Internet widget host category. Archos

If you like your tablets extra "tablet-y," the Archos 8 packs many of the same features into an 8-inch screen surrounded by a gigantic photo frame bezel. The tablet/photo frame offers 4GB of storage and what could be a video camera integrated into the top of the frame bezel.

Both models of the announced Home Tablets are priced at 149 euros (approximately $200), with the 8GB Archos 7 going for 179 euros (approximately $250). Europe can expect to see the tablets in April or May. As for American availability, don't hold your breath.

On a lighter note, Archos used this same press release to tease plans for "...a completely new series that is based on ARM Cortex with up to 1 GHz and will offer a large selection of different screen sizes - 3 to 10 inches."

I'll keep hope alive, Archos.

(via Electronista)