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Seagate gets a disk into Archos HD vid tablet

250 gigs: Might not be a Flash in the pan

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The Archos tablet has gone for a spin, being the world's first tablet computer to use a disk drive instead of flash memory. Seagate's single platter Momentus Thin is the lucky spinner.

Archos OMAP 4 processor with an ARM Cortex dual-core A9 running at 1.5 GHz, using Android 3.1 "Honeycomb", and a 250GB version of Seagate's 2.5-inch Momentus Thin. With just one platter the drive is 7mm thick instead of the usual 2.5-inch drive 9.5mm thickness.

It provides eight times more storage than a tablet with 32GB of flash memory for about the same cost. But Archos is hedging its bets by also offering G9s with 16 or 32GB of flash instead of Seagate's disk. These are 3mm thinner than the disk drive G9s.

Archos says the G9 is fast, "with page load time reduced by up to 50 per cent over tablets running the Nvidia Tegra 2TM processor at 1 GHz." There is no information about its startup time compared to a flash-based tablet.

We're told: "G9 tablets are the only tablets able to decode 1080p H264 High Profile videos whilst current standard tablets are not even able to play 720p H264 High Profile smoothly. … [The G9 has] an HDMI output, giving users full access to their Android experience on TV including movies in 1080p resolution." It also comes with WiFi as standard and an optional 3G USB stick. Beat all that that Apple.

The GP 8-inch and 10-inch tablets will have list prices of around $279 and $349, respectively, and become available in September. ®

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