The other day I provided a brief overview of 5 new Android devices from Archos, with displays ranging from 2.8 inches to 10.1 inches. Today I want to start taking a closer look at these tablets one by one. I’ll have more details in the coming weeks after I have some time to play with review units, but to kick things off, here’s what we know about the Archos 28 — plus a bunch of pictures of this tiny and inexpensive tablet/media player.
There’s no way to talk about the Archos 28 without first mentioning the price. It’s just $99. That’s not a bad price for a portable media player, although with just 4GB of built in storage, you can certainly find music and video players that cost less. But when you consider the fact that this device also has a built in web browser and the ability to run thousands of third party apps, that $99 price tag is pretty amazing. There will also be a model with 8GB of storage space.
Of course, you’re not going to get all the features that come with pricier Android devices on this model. The 2.8 inch, 320 x 240 pixel display isn’t exactly ideal for surfing the web or reading documents. But it should be adequate for watching videos, playing games, or running many Android apps.
The Archos 28 also has a resistive touchscreen — which is makes entering text with the on-screen keyboard a little difficult if you try to use your fingertips. I’d recommend using a fingernail or stylus/pen. I had no problems, on the other hand, launching applications or navigating through apps with nice big, finger-friendly buttons. Unlike some devices with resistive touchscreens, you don’t have to press down very hard on the Archos 28 screen to register a button press. A light tap will do the trick.
The Archos 28 will run Google Android 2.2 at launch, although the demo unit I checked out was running android 2.1. It has an 800MHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, a 3D graphics accelerator with support for OpenGL ES 2.0, a G-Sesnro, built in mic, and a USB port for connecting to a computer. The handheld device supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi. This is the only new tablet from Archos that doesn’t support video output.
The Archos 28 measures 3.9″ x 2.1″ x .37″ and weighs just 2.4 ounces. Like the other new tablets from Archos it supports H.274, MP4, WMV, and M-JPEG video out of the box as well as MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, OGG Vorbis, and FLAC audio. There are optional plug-ins that add support for MPEG2 and AC3 5.1 playback.
Like all Archos tablets, the Archos 28 will ship without access to the Google Android Market or Google suite of apps including Gmail and Google Calendar. But Archos does bundle it with the AppsLib market which includes about 5,000 free and paid apps which you can download and install.
You can find more photos after hte break.