Archos finally goes capacitive with a slew of new tablets
Archos, Archos, Archos. There are a lot of people out there that want to like you. However, in the last year they’ve been giving cringingly little in return. Hopefully, after the disappointments of the Archos 9 PC Tablet and Archos 7 Home Tablet, your new tablet line-up can reciprocate some of the love.
Ok, so the good news is that Archos has finally dropped the resistive screen on their larger models in favor of the more responsive, less aggravating, just plain mo’ better capacitive touch screen. The other news is that they’ll be shipping this new batch of tablets with Android 2.2. This new “shock and awe” group forgoes the single digits and expands into the double and even triple digit model numbers! Exciting, no?
Let’s start with the new big boy — the Archos 101. This 10.1-inch capacitive touch screened fella hopes to erase the words “Archos 9 PC Tablet” from the popular memory. It features a 1GHz processor, can play 720p video, has a front-facing VGA webcam, kickstand, USB, HDMI, is half an inch thick and weighs under a pound. While we don’t know yet what type of internal storage or mountable drives are possible with the 101, it will be shipping in mid-October for a very un-Archos-like price of $300.
Next up is the Archos 7 Home Tablet upgrade — the Archos 70 (see what they did there?). This takes that latest Archos release, which was disappointing, and attempts to fix it. Gone is the clunky resistive screen in favor of a capacitive screen. Included is an accelerometer, which the A7HT lacked for some unknown reasoning. It even goes the extra mile to include a front-facing VGA webcam, USB and mini-HDMI ports. While not as cheap as the A7HT, the $275 price isn’t bad considering what it is. Release is supposed to happen in mid-October.
The Archos 5 Internet Tablet has definitely been Archos’s most popular tablet model. Now the Archos 43 looks to usurp the King of Portable (non-Apple) Media with it’s 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and rear-facing 720p video camera. Sadly, no capacitive touch on this model, but for $199 we’ll be interested to see what storage is associated with a $200 price tag. Release will again be in mid-October.
The Archos 32 fills in the small-screened PMP portion of the group with a 3.2-inch screen, 8GB of internal storage, 720p recordable camera on the back composite port all for $149.99. Finally, if you really want to squint, the Archos 28 will give you a 2.8-inch 320 x 240 resolution screen with 4GB of storage and 800MHz ARM Cortex A8 processor. It will cost $99.99 and both the Archos 32 and 28 will be hitting shelves at the end of September.
So how can (will) Archos mess this all up? First, no Android Market support. All tablets come with Archos AppsLib and there are no preloaded Google apps. Second, what storage ability will the Archos 101, 70 and 43 have? Typically that’s where the major price differences happen in Archos products. Will we see a $149.99 Archos 32 with 4GB of storage and a 16GB model for $229.99? We’ll find out shortly. Archos has a long way to go before climbing back into bed with most of us. Maybe this is their way of telling us that they were listening the whole time, want to start over and take it slow.