Archos Branches Out To Offer UMPCs

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Denver - Archos started out as a portable media player (PMP) company, branched out last year into entertainment-oriented mobile internet devices (MIDs), and will take the next step in its evolution by launching its first tablet-style ultramobile PC.

The Archos 9, due worldwide in the fall in multiple configurations, runs Microsoft Windows 7 Home and Student on Intel's Atom Z515 1.2GHz processor, features 8.9-inch 1024x600-pixel touchscreen with virtual keyboard, and incorporates WiFi 802.11b/g. The company expects them to be compatible with 3G -cellular USB modems, but Archos also plans to offer versions with embedded 3G cellular-data technology in the form of quad-band EDGE and 850/1900MHz HSPA for the U.S. market. "It will be up to the retailer or cellular carrier to order it that way.

The 0.63-inch-thick Archos 9 will come in 60GB and 120GB hard-drive versions with a choice of black or white. Separate SKUs will add embedded 3G to each. Prices were not disclosed.

Features include a 1.3 MP built-in web cam, optical track-point mouse, 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth, Skype software for audio/video conferencing, , built-in stereo speakers, removable lithium-polymer battery, two high-speed USB ports, and Ethernet port.

The company currently offers two WiFi-equipped MIDs, which it calls Internet Media Tablets, offering 5-inch touchscreens, WiFi, TV recording, and ARM Cortex processor. A cellular-equipped version didn't ship in the U.S. as planned.

 In January, the company announced plans for its first netbook.


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