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Archos unveils $199 Android tablet

Dubbed the Archos 70b, the new 7-inch Android Honeycomb tablet will hit the consumer market in January.

The new Archos 7-inch tablet will sell for $199.
The new Archos 7-inch tablet will sell for $199.

Taking a page out of Amazon's playbook, Archos has unveiled an Android tablet priced at just $199.

Outfitted with Android Honeycomb 3.2, the new Archos 70b is expected to reach consumers worldwide in January, missing the holidays but potentially serving up some competition to pricier tablets.

An enhanced version of the Archos 70 IT Gen 8 tablet, the 7-inch 70b offers a more powerful ARM Cortex A8 1.2 GHz processor and a higher-resolution 1024x600 pixel multitouch screen. The new tablet also boasts a 3D graphics accelerator, while RAM has been doubled to 512 megabytes.

The 70b provides just 8GB of internal storage, but its microSD slot can handle cards up to 32GB in capacity. It also includes a Mini-HDMI port so that users can hook it up to a TV. Archos makes a remote control app for Android, allowing people to control the tablet from an Android phone.

The usual Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 are thrown in for wireless access. And unlike the Kindle Fire, the 70b includes a Webcam in the front.

The tablet comes with a variety of apps, including Google Calendar, Google Maps with Street View, Google Talk video chat, and YouTube. Archos also provides access to Google's Android Market.

At $199, the 70b could prove tempting to buyers in a market crowded by $299 and $399 7-inch Android tablets. The addition of a front Webcam is a nice feature. But it's still likely to face rough competition against Amazon's Kindle Fire, which is already off to a blazing start.