Archos announces five Android tablets
Big ones, small ones
Archos will release a raft of Android-based tablets later this month, with more following in October.
The line-up comprises devices with screen sizes ranging from 2.8in to 10.1in, with 3.2, 4.3 and 7.0in offerings in between.
The Archos 28 - the 2.8in, 240 x 320 tablet - is heralded by the company as the first Android-based PMP with a sub-£100 price. It's a pound less than that and comes with a measly 4GB of storage. Pay £109 and you'll get 8GB. Both have an 800MHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU and 802.11n Wi-Fi on board.
The Archos 32 has 8GB of storage, a 240 x 400 screen, and adds Bluetooth 2.1 and a 0.3Mp video-oriented camera to the 28's spec. It'll cost £129.
The Archos 43 not only ups the screen size, but the resolution gets bumped to 480 x 854, the CPU to 1GHz and the camera to 2Mp. It gains HDMI output too. A 16GB model, it'll cost £199.
All these glorified PMPs will be out later this month - the real tablets come in October.
The Archos 70 has a 7in, 800 x 480 display, that 1GHz A8 CPU, and 8GB of Flash storage or a 250GB hard drive. The Flash model has an SDHC slot too. Again, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 are built in, and there's a front-facing 0.3Mp camera. It'll output to HDMI.
Expect to pay £229 for the 8GB version and £269 for the HDD model.
Finally, the Archos 101 has a 1024 x 600 screen and a choice of 8GB or 16GB Flash storage capacity, expandable by SDHC card. The two models are priced at £269 and £299, respectively.
All five devices will run Android 2.2 and support video playback at up to 720p resolution. They all tap into AppsLib, Archos' sub-section of the Android apps market. They support Adobe Flash 10. ®
Review Archos 7 Android tablet
a "tablet" with a 2.8in screen? hmm not entirely sure tablet is the right name for that?
... microdot then :D
There aught to be something in the T&Cs for Android that states any vendor implementing a version of Android should have to provide free updates to the next few versions. Perhaps not to the next major release, i.e. 2 to 3, but certainly for all minor releases, 2.0 to 2.1 to 2.2 etc.
And if a vendor isn't willing to provide updated, they shouldn't be allowed to use Android.
Granted there'd need to be rules around this, I wouldn't expect a vendor to still be providing updates to something 5 years old, and of course there could be hardware dependencies.
But there should be a reasonable expectation from consumers that if you buy any Android device, that as new features are added to the OS, you should see them on your device at some point. After-all, a device with Android installed is more akin to a PC with an OS installed on it, than an appliance with a custom OS installed, so updates should be simply a case of taking the latest version, adding the hardware drivers, and testing it. If this is hard work for vendors, then that would seem to indicate that they are doing something wrong in the way they implement updates.
Also all updates should be over the air (even none phone enables tablets have wifi), there shouldn't be any need to plug the device into a PC and download software from anywhere.
Re: You sure about those prices?
Prices quoted in the story are from Archos' UK release.
I expect anyone who bought the Archos 7 Android to be a bit miffed at the arrival of these.
And then very miffed when Archos don't release any more firmware for their device and they find themselves stuck with Android 1.6.
Forget about these devices getting Android 3 when it comes out too, Archos will just release minor upgrades for the best selling models.
Archos produce some nice kit, but they provide slightly less support than HTC. Yes, it turns out that is possible.