Two new budget tablets from Archos have been making the rounds recently, first popping up in Russia, and then on the FCC web site. Now Charbax has gotten some hands-on time with the Archos Arnova 8 and Archos Arnova 10 tablets and he’s posted a few videos.

In a nutshell, these tablets are designed to be cheap, but fairly capable devices. They’re not going to replace a Motorola XOOM anytime soon. They have slower processors, lower resolution displays, and cheaper components. They lack 3G and don’t run Google Android 3.0. But if you’re looking for a tablet primarily for surfing the web, watching videos, or reading eBooks, those things might not matter.

Charbax says the Archos Arnova 10 currently has a 600 MHz processor and resistive touchscreen, but the goal is to upgrade the specs to a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 Rockchip RK2918 processor and a capacitive touchscreen by April, while selling the tablet for $199 in the US or about 199 Euros in Europe.

The budget tablet has a 1024 x 600 pixel display, runs Google Android 2.1, and comes with 4GB or 8GB of storage. It supports a wide range of audio and video formats including H.264, MP4, MKV, MOV, WAV, MP3, FLAC, and OGG.

The 10 inch tablet has a G-Sensor, front-facing VGA camera, and 802.11b/g WiFi as well as a microSD card slot, USB 2.0 host port, and a speaker and mic. It weighs less than 1.3 pounds.

The Archos Arnova 8 will run about $150 US or 150 Euros. This model has an 8 inch, 800 x 60 pixel display. Like the 10 inch model, the Arnova 8 will ship soon with a Rockchip RK2818 processor, resistive touchscreen, and Google Android 2.1. But in April it will be available with a 1 GHz RK2918 chip, a capacitive touch panel, and Android 2.3 or higher.

The 8 inch tablet weighs about 1.1 pounds and has a built-in mic and speakers, microSD card slot, g-sensor, and 4GB of storage.

You can check out hands-on videos from ARMdevices after the break.

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6 replies on “Closer look at the Archos Arnova 8, 10 tablets”

  1. On 3G radio via USB dongle, I doubt they have that firmware subsystem (code is totally in the hands of carriers). USB keyboard and Web cam hacks would be nice to see though.
    Honeycomb will certainly make a fallback to no hardware accelerated GUI, just like AOSP 3.0 preview does on my NookColor. Also, there’s no need to wait for any CDD to get to the Google Market: as of today, if it’s not a smartphone, you’re on your own. Google Tablet Market may have different requirements to qualify.

    Unaccelerated GUI, no hardware support for Renderscript might make installation of Android 3.0 quite impractical for the device. Though I can see it might get quite popular with RK29xx chip, 512 MB DDR3 (or it better be 1 GB) capacitive screen (better be 1024×600 for 8″ model). I think I didn’t see Web cam and mic on a 8″ model.

  2. i think i’ll wait for the rk2918 upgrade, as that actually sounds interesting (cortex-A8 and VP8 acceleration).

      1. Noooooooooo! I’d have gotten the 8 inch one in april if it had bluetooth….

  3. Yup, 3G might work now already with a USB dongle on the big USB host connector, I think the Rockchip firmwares support that already, I haven’t checked-asked. I also think the Arnova lack Bluetooth compared to the Archos Gen8 Internet Tablets, so for 3G-4G tethering only WiFi based would work, but more and more smartphones allow for hotspot sharing, so that’s probably fine.

    I’m looking forward to Google releasing the CDD (compliance definition document) for Android 3.0 in the coming days, same day as when they release 3.0 source code, same day Xoom is really released in the US market. At MWC, in my Matias Duarte interview Google says Honeycomb has no minimum hardware requirements. So while 2.2 and 2.3 required graphics acceleration only available in ARM Cortex-A8, Honeycomb might allow for disabling of Holographic UI elements to thus still work on slower ARM platforms like the older Rockchip and Telechips ones.

    But in any ways, I am pretty sure the ARM Cortex-A8 will support Android 3.0, but the big question is will Google relax their CDD to allow them all to ship with Google Marketplace pre-installed officially. So likely the Archos Gen8 and the Arnova 10 with RK2918 will support 3.0 firmware upgrades, but to be seen how full those are and how much Google will put their support onto that broad Honeycomb adoption for tablets that are cheaper than $800.

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