Archos 101

Archos has unveiled a new line of Android devices including two new tablets and two entirely new products for use around the home.

On the tablet front, Archos will soon launch its first devices running Android 3.1 Honeycomb, and they’re the cheapest Honeycomb tablet I’ve seen so far.

The Archos 80 will have an 8 inch, 1024 x 768 pixel display and a starting price of $279. The new Archos 101 G9 will have a 10.1 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display and a starting price of $349. They’re each expected to go on sale at the end of September.

Both tablets will have 1.5 GHz TI OMAP4 dual-core processors and a choice of flash storage or a hard drive with up to 250GB of storage. These will be the first Archos tablets to ship with full access to the Google Android Market.

They’ll each have 720p front-facing cameras, USB host and slave capabilities, microSD card slots, and HDMI outputs. Built-in sensors include GPS, G-sensor, and compass, and unlike most tablets on the market the Archos 80 and 101 will have built-in kick stands.

The 8 inch model will weigh about 1.1 pounds with flash storage or 1.4 pounds with a hard drive. The 10 inch tablet will weigh 1.5 pounds to 1.7 pounds. Archos says you sholud get up to 7 hours of battery life while watching videos or 10 hours while surfing the web.

The tablets will support WiFi and Bluetooth out of the box, but there’s also an optional 3G stick accessory which will let you connect to mobile broadband networks. The stick is designed to fit into the back of a G9 tablet, but it will also work with Windows or Mac computers. The 3G stick will run 49 Euros, or about $69 US.

 

The Archos 35 smart home phone is basically a land line telephone that works like an Android smartphone. You can use the device as a cordless telephone by plugging the base station into your phone line or ADSL box. The smart home phone will let you set custom ring tones, view caller photos, and generally do anything else you could do with a smartphone — except make or receive phone calls away from the house. It also runs Android apps.

The Archos 35 home connect takes a different approach toward injecting a little Android into a home appliance. This time Archos is taking aim at the clock radio. The Archos 35 home connect has built-in speakers and uses the Android clock app to display the time and weather and to let you set alarms. You can also tune into web radio stations, or even make video calls or use the device as a baby monitor.

The Home Connect will have a 1 GHz TI OMAP 3630 processor, 4GB of storage, an SD card slot for expansion, a 3.5 inch touchscreen, and Google Android 2.2 Froyo.

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13 replies on “Archos unveils a new line of Android tablets, plus a home phone”

  1. What’s the memory allotment? The G8 never mentioned it either, and turns out they only have 256MB. I’m guessing these will have 512MB.

    The G8 build quality was shenzhen-level, and given the same price point, I’m expecting these to be similar. I’d buy one if these were at Walmart or such with easy returns, as I expect failure rate will be significant.

    These are supposed to come out at end of Sept. Given another month or two after that, ICS is supposed to be appearing. Hmmm.

    I think I’ll just wait until Black Friday and sort it all out.

    1. Archos tends to use the default install of Android without doing much besides adding a few apps.  So limits depends on the defaults for Honeycomb.

  2. These tablets will now have to be taken seriously, the specs look good and that TI OMAP is a kickass processor. There is a market for a $279 tablet, forget these $ 500 ones too much money for what it is a 3rd computing product for most of us.

  3. wow.  And here yesterday I was saying that tablet prices were being largely set by actual hardware costs, etc.  I’m wondering what Archos skimped on to get those price points.  My experience with their last round of tablets was somewhat positive, but the screen lag was pretty intense, and the models I got to play with didn’t feel very responsive despite the relatively impressive technical stats.  I’m skeptical of these tablets being any better since it seemed like the issues were both with cheap components and software more than anything, and I’m not sure how much Archos has improved on that front, but those price points are compelling, and so are the stats on those machines…

    The rest looks interesting as well.  That alarm clock could be truly wonderful as a baby monitor, something I’m increasingly concerned with…

    And having the 3G modem be a USB stick for tablets is freaking genius.  About time that happened.

    We’ll see…  my interest is definitely piqued.

    1. The markup on “SUV” tablets is ridiculous, particularly the iPad. While there are some shortages, the net cost is still quite low. This article gives the details:
      https://chrisklein.wordpress.com/2008/10/30/apple-vs-android-modular-to-interdependent-and-back-to-modular/

      Expect a price war driving generic Android tablets down to near disposable levels. When tablets and other android devices get cheap disposable and ubiquitous things get really interesting.

      What happens, when your alarm clock (Archos 35 home connect) has the same OS as your TV (Google TV), are on the same network, and have trivially interoperable controls.

      Fold in Android ADK and home automation and things get really really interesting.

    2. The mark up costs usually include a hefty profit margin, which is normal for most of the market.  Only netbooks are really known for getting close to actual production costs in their pricing.

      However, unless dealing with a cutting edge system the cost of these ARM systems are pretty low.  While Archos is known for leveraging cost of parts to help produce a pretty good offering for the price range for the products they offer.

      Things like only including a single camera instead of the normal front and back pair that most devices are opting for these days for example and don’t expect the same run times as you can get from systems like the iPad as the battery tends to be smaller.

      Also they exclude the normal Android buttons from the case design and instead opt for software equivalent but that can get in the way as not all apps can adapt and so it can either take up screen space away from the app or the buttons vanish and you’ll have to go through the app menu instead.

      On the plus side, the last Archos model to include GPS was the Archos 5, the Gen 8 models didn’t have GPS.  But costs for such features are down and inclusion of the 3G options makes it easier for them to include such features now for their Gen 9 offerings.

      Physical build quality is usually pretty good and the kick stand comes in handy.  Though hopefully they won’t have the same parts shortage like they had with the Gen 8, which delayed some of the models for a month or two.

    3. A good hint is the markup put on the mobile phone radio. That can easily add $50-100 to a device. This perhaps because OEMs hope that carriers will subsidize the cost before it reaches the customers.

  4. The Home Connect sounds great. I’ve been tempted by the Chumby 8 but their browser still isn’t well implemented. An Android device with a hardware snooze button is just what I need for my bedside.

    One question. Does anyone know of any other comparable devices?

  5. Neat! Especially the 3s home connect.
    I currently use the Insignia Infocast 8 as my primary alarm clock but I’d love to have a dedicated android device. I just wish they would have incorporated an IR transmitter, an alarm clock that doubles as a remote control from hell would have been perfect.

  6. Huh, wasn’t too long ago people were poo-pooing the idea of plugging in a 3G stick into an Android Tablet since there were no drivers and unlikely any would be created.

    1. Who was saying that. That’s rediculous. Android uses linux drivers and tons of modems are supported. Most use standard CDC/ACM USB class. There is an android layer specific hook that must be tied in but its no problem for a knowledgable developer. I’ve tried several modems and phones with my ubuntu laptop and was tethered immediately, without any know how.

      1. One of the dudes at MyTabletLife said it to me. I also read some comments at Amazon.com that said as much.

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