It was just a few days ago that we reported the Archos 5 might be withdrawn with a new tablet introduced in its place. Well, little did we know Archos is out to pamper us with not one or two but a whole lot of 5 tablet devices spanning the entire range from the miniscule 2.8 inches to the largest of the lot measuring 10.1 inch. Apart form the number of tablets slated for launch, the other impressive aspect of the tablets is that Archos has finally woken up to the benefits of the more responsive capacitive screen technology and have come to replace the resistive screen of yore though its only the larger tablets that are fortunate enough to receive the capacitive touch. Further, each of the tablets run the latest Android 2.2 Froyo right from the word go. Surely Archos wants to erase from public memory what their last tablet adventure yielded and they are pinning their hopes on these latest tablet quintuplets to deliver the goods. Will that happen? Lets explore the tablets a bit more to find that out.
Taking an ascending approach, the smallest tablet of the lot is the one with a 2.8 inch screen and is more of a cute littlePMP and less of a tablet. The resistive touchscreen display has a resolution of 320 × 240 pixels and is powered by an 800MHz ARM Cortex A8 processor. On board storage amounts to 4 GB and has built in WiFi. The Archos 28 also boasts of a custom designed music application that is several notches better than the standard Android version. Cost has been kept below $100, $99.99 to be precise and will be hitting store shelves by the end of September.
The next tablet higher up the scale is the Archos 32 with a 3.2 inch screen (you may have guessed it right, product names are an indication of screen sizes). Still a bit too small to be classified a full fledged tablet, the Archos 32 includes 8 GB of internal memory and comes with a built in camera at the back that can pick up 720p quality videos. A port at the bottom of the Archos 32 will let you get hooked on to the TV while continues with the same 800 MHz ARM Cortex A8 chip. A bigger size also means a bigger price tag so that the 32 will cost $149.99 and is another one to make it to the market by end September.
Next in line is the Archos 43 and it is from this point onwards that things begin to take an exciting turn. Featuring a 4.3 inch 854 × 480 screen, it is this tablet – well it is from here that we can use the term tablet liberally – that will eventually replace the Archos 5 and is slimmer and more powerful than the tablet it replaces. In fact, its just .35-inches thick, which means it’s tight enough to fit your pocket though you will have to first shell out $199 before you can slip it in. Inside, there is a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and has an integrated camera that can record 720p quality video. There is also an accelerometer for automatic screen rotation though the touchscreen continues to be resistive. Shipping date has been fixed at around mid October.
Archos 70 comes next while screen size has grown to 7 inches. The Archos 7 is also the first in the series to feature capacitive touchscreen display and has a 800 × 480 pixel resolution. Other feature the tablet comes with include an accelerometer, MicroSD storage, a front-facing VGA camera (none at the back), a standard USB port, and a mini-HDMI port. Again, the Archos 7 has a smaller form factor than the Archos Home Tablet 7 and comes pre-loaded with video chat applications. Cost of the device, $274.99.
The last in line is the big boss of the tablet range with a 10.1 inch 1024 × 600 resolution capacitive touchscreen display and is the one that will fight with the, well you may have again guessed it right – the iPad. Named Archos 101, the tablet is half an inch think and has a 1 Ghz processor running behind the scene, which is enough for a smooth playback of a 720p video. The Archos 101 also includes a front facing VGA camera along with an USB port and an HDMI out, just as its & inch brethren does. The .93 pound tablet cost $300 and will also ship from middle of October.
However, on the flip side, the lack of access to the official Android Market place can mar things as Archos has revealed all apps will have to be sourced from Archos AppsLib. Not much is known of the AppsLib and might not have reached a level of maturity or have the numbers to boast of as yet. However, whether the tablets become a hit with consumers will be known only by the end of October by which time all the tablets have gone on sale.