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Archos Expands Android Tablet Selection

Denver – Archos will dramatically
expand its portfolio of Android-based tablet devices with the launch of five Android
2.1-based models, including a 10.1-inch model and the industry’s first Android
tablet at less than $100.

The new Wi-Fi-equipped models,
four of which will be available in two memory capacities, will ship in
September and October to join two current Android-based Archos tablets.

All new Android tablets are the
company’s first that can be upgraded to Android 2.2 to support Adobe’s full
Flash Internet-video player. Three are also the company’s first with 1GHz
processor, two are the first to use a capacitive multi-touch touchscreen in
lieu of resistive touchscreen, and one is the company’s first to store HD video
in 1080i format. Two are also the company’s first with integrated webcam for
video web chats, and one is the company’s first Android device with a video camera,
which captures 720p.

The new products also expand the
company’s selection of models with 720p HD video storage, which is available on
the current two Android tablets.

All models access Archos’ App
Library, which currently features 3,500 free and paid apps and will expand to
offer 5,000 apps by year’s end, said Ron Ferguson, senior VP/GM for Archos
North America. Archos teamed with Android developers to offer its own library
of apps because Google has not yet created certification standards for
Android-based tablets as it has for Android-based cellphones, Ferguson
explained. Without certification, a device can’t access the Android Store, he noted.

The new models are priced from a
suggested $99.99 for a model with 2.8-inch resistive touchscreen, 600MHz
processor and 4GB of embedded memory to $349 for a 16GB model with 10.1-inch
touchscreen and 1GHz processor. Most models also feature a MicroSD memory slot
for additional memory, and all feature USB Host to add media stored on a USB
stick. One model is available in a version with embedded 250GB hard drive.

All also feature accelerometer,
graphics accelerator, built-in microphone for Internet calling and Wi-Fi
802.11b/g/n. Kindle and Nook apps for e-reading will be available for the new
devices, but it’s not certain yet whether they will be preloaded, Ferguson

The use of a high
tensile-strength stainless-steel plate over-molded with plastic enables the
company to deliver thin
profiles, ranging from 0.3 inches to 0.5 inches, as well as a rigid structure
to prevent large screens from twisting, Ferguson said.

The company’s Android expansion
will be accompanied by an expanded number of retail accounts as the company
emerges from a recession-induced period of retrenchment in which it scaled back
staff, distribution, and its selection of tablets priced at more than $400 while
expanding its selection of less-than-$100 portable media players (PMPs),
Ferguson noted.

New retailers offering select
Archos tablets for the first time will include Sears and others. Other current retailers
planning to carry select models from the new lineup include Best Buy’s website
and stores, Amazon, InMotion stores, CompUSA and TigerDirect.

Here’s what each new tablet

The Archos 28 is available in a
4GB version at $99.99 and an 8GB version whose price was unavailable. It comes with
2.8-inch 320 by 240 TFT LCD resistive touchscreen, 800MHz ARM Cortex A9
processor, graphics accelerator, built-in mic, USB Host, and multiple audio and
video codecs including WMA Pro 5.1, AAC 5.1 and – via a plug-in – Dolby Digital
5.1. The device measures 3.9 inches by 2.1 inches by 0.37 inches and weighs 2.5
ounces. It stores video in resolutions up to 480p at 30 fps. Video can be
output to a TV in composite-video form via an adapter cable consisting of a 3.5mm
jack on one side and three RCA connectors (two audio and one video) on the

The step-up Archos 32 comes in an
8GB version at a suggested $149 and adds 3.2-inch resistive 400 by 240 TFT LCD
touchscreen, 720p HD video storage up to 30 fps, rear-facing VGA camera/camcorder
and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR in a 2.5-ounce chassis measuring 4.1 inches by 2.1
inches by 0.3 inches.

The Archos 43 with 4.3-inch
resistive touchscreen will be available in an 8GB version at a suggested $199
and in a 16GB version whose price was unavailable. It adds UPnP to stream
content from a wireless-networked PC, MicroSD slot, 1GHz ARM Cortex A8
processor, built-in speaker, rear-facing 2-megapixel 720p HD video camera and mini-HDMI
output. It also has a built-in kickstand that provides two viewing angles: one
for movie watching and one for typing on the virtual keyboard. The 4.6-ounce
device measures 5.3 inches by 2.6 inches by 0.4 inches.

The Archos 70 steps up to a
7-inch 800 by 480 screen with capacitive multi-touch capability. The 8GB version
retails for a suggested $275 and the version with 250GB hard drive will be $349.
It adds stereo speakers and front-facing VGA camera/camcorder for webcam use but
lacks an HD video camcorder. The 11-ounce flash-memory version measures 7.91
inches by 4.49 inches by 0.43 inches. The 14-ounce HDD version measures 7.91
inches by 4.49 inches by 0.55 inches.

At the top of the line, the
Archos 101 adds 10.1-inch 1,024 by 600 capacitive multi-touch touchscreen, webcam,
front-facing VGA camera/webcam and USB Slave as well as USB Host. It lacks an HD
video camcorder. The 8GB version will retail for a suggested $299, and the 16GB
version will be $349. Both versions weigh 15.87 ounces and measure 10.6 inches
by 5.9 inches by 0.5 inches, making it about a third lighter and $150 to $200
less expensive than comparable iPad models while offering functions not
available on the iPad, including USB Host and Slave, MicroSD slot, HDMI output,
full Flash, webcam and a kickstand, Ferguson said.

Archos also offers a
Windows-based tablet in the U.S. along with multiple portable media players. It
also offers laptops in foreign markets.