Archos Adds Android Tablets, Cordless Phone

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Archos will push the envelope for tablet processing power and storage with the planned September shipment of two Android-based tablets that incorporate dualcore 1.5GHz processors and 250GB hard drives.

The features will appear in an 8-inch tablet and a 10.1-inch model, both of which will be the company’s first Android tablets to use the Honeycomb OS designed expressly for tablets.

The company is also bringing Android to two new product categories: a home cordless phone and a tabletop Internet radio, both equipped with touchscreens. Both will ship in September with ability to download apps.

The two new Wi-Fi tablets are the 8-inch Archos 80 G9 at a suggested $279 and the 10.1-inch Archos 101 G9 at $349. With TI-made ARM Cortex dual-core A9 processor running at 1.5GHz, the tablets deliver more processing speed than other tablets announced to date. The Hewlett- Packard TouchPad and a recently announced Huawei tablet, for example, offer dual-core 1.2GHz processors, while the HTC-made Evo View 4G for the Sprint network uses a 1.5GHz single-core processor.

The additional speed, Archos claimed, loads web pages up to 50 percent faster than tablets running the dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 1GHz processor, and it enables the tablets to decode 1080p H264 High Profile videos, whereas other tablets have difficulty in smoothly playing 720p H264 High Profile video, the company said.

With 250GB Seagate hard drive, the two tablets and a 7-inch Archos tablet unveiled last year are the only tablets announced to date with hard drive, the company said. The hard drive holds more than 250 hours of full 1080p HD video, which can be transmitted through an HDMI output for display on a 1080p TV.

The tablets are also the industry’s first with an optional 3G USB stick that slides into the back of a tablet and disappears. The $49 stick, which also plugs into laptops, can be used with month-to-month prepaid service. The company didn’t specify the 3G technology used.

In home products, the Android-based Archos 35 Home Connect Internet radio is due in September at a suggested $149 with AC/DC operation, Wi-Fi, dual speakers, preloaded Internet radio app to stream thousands of Internet radio stations, and the Archos alarm clock app that streams weather, traffic and news. It also features front-facing webcam and video-calling application for video chats with PC and Android mobile phone users.

The Archos 35 Smart Home Phone, due in September at a suggested $159, brings Android smartphone capability to a DECT cordless phone. With front-facing webcam, it can be used for video chats. It also enables contact sharing with Android smartphones, caller photo display, web browsing, email access and downloading of Android apps.

The cordless phone and Internet radio incorporate Wi-Fi and download apps from Archos’s own app store. The cordless phone is also compatible with ADSL broadband service.


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