Archos, the undisputed champion of budget tablets with high-end specs, is back at it again with its new line of Platinum devices. This series contains three different tablets with similar specs: 8-inch, 9.7-inch, and 11.6-inch models.
Each of the three devices features a "high definition IPS display" (though each has a unique screen resolution), a 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 8-core GPU, 2GB RAM, miniHDMI, microSD card slot, dual cameras, and Android 4.1.
If you follow Archos, you probably know the French tablet-maker's product formula by now: "cheap and usable." This is a strategy that has allowed the company to expand its product line greatly over the last year, and to branch out into less familiar territory. In particular, the recently-announced TV Connect and Gamepad are two devices unlike anything Archos has made previously.
The TV Connect's purpose is quite simple: you have Android running on your TV, with a TV-remote-meets-gamepad style controller.
ARCHOS is not messing around! After releasing the first in its iPad Titanium line of tablets, the 97 Titanium HD, sans price, the company is back for more with three new slates in the family: the 70 (a 7" tablet), the 80 (an 8" tablet), and the 101 (can you guess? can you? I bet you can. Yes, it's a 10.1" tablet!). The company isn't even being shy about its intent.
You're crazy for this one, ARCHOS! Today, the company most known for releasing the best cheap Android tablets before the Nexus 7 swooped in and drove a wedge between the concepts of "cheap" and "inexpensive" announced the TV Connect. This thing is designed to plug into your set and essentially turn it into a giant Android tablet. With a remote control. No, it's not Google TV. What.
The TV Connect will come with a 1.5GHz "Multi Core" processor of indeterminate origin, 1GB RAM, 8GB of storage, and Android 4.1.
I could tell you about the Archos 97 Premium's features. It's specifications. The version of Android it's running. How much it might cost. But honestly, Archos has made it a near certainty that no one will remotely care about any of these things, because of the 97 Premium's decidedly interesting design. Let me just do a little side by side for you.
Is the 97 Premium an iPad? No. Is it so obviously meant to draw comparisons to the iPad that it borders on something I'd expect out of a fly-by-night Chinese manufacturer?
Back in August, Archos announced its then-upcoming GamePad, a tablet which looks to "revolutionize" gaming on Android. Featuring built-in physical game controls and custom button mapping software, the GamePad removes the need for touch controls, giving mobile gaming a more console-like feel, while its 7" display still keeps it portable enough to toss in your bag and take on-the-go. And now, it's finally available.
The GamePad is on sale in Europe for 149.99€, with North American availability coming in early 2013.
If you have a 101 XS from Archos, it's time to furiously start hitting the "check updates" button, as the company just began pushing Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) to the device. This bumps the tablet up to version 4.1.0, and brings a couple other enhancements along for the ride, as well:
Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1 firmware release
Archos Video: major upgrade with simplified video information retrieval and media indexing, new network shares infrastructure
Archos applications: future updates of Archos Video, Music, File Manager, System Monitor applications (embedded in the firmware) will be carried out through Google Play
So there you go - if Jelly Bean is what you've been feening for, the wait is over.
Archos is sending an OTA update to its 80/101 G9 and 101XS tablets right now that brings several enhancements to the devices, including some media and video playback features, improved display outputs, and more. The update for the 80/101 G9 also brings some fixes for units containing HDDs, and the 101XS is getting a device-specific tweak to the keyboard.
Today, ARCHOS released details on its newest small form factor tablet, the 80 Cobalt. Clearly aimed at the lower end of the slate market, this device packs a 1.6Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of on-board storage and a rather meager 1024x768 display. Fortunately, the device also includes the controversial as of late micro SD card slot.
Here's the full list of specs you care about:
Dual core @ 1.6 GHz with Quad core GPU
8” 1024 x 768 display (4:3 aspect ratio)
8 GB flash memory
2MP rear camera
0.3MP front camera
Micro SD slot (SDHC compatible) Up to 64 GB
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
To put it politely, the specs don't exactly overwhelm.
Back at the end of August, Archos announced an innovative new tablet called the GamePad. As its namesake suggests, it's built with gaming in mind - complete with on-board controls. In the announcement, Archos claimed the 7" device had "automatic gaming recognition and mapping tools" - the big question was, however, how's that going to work?
We now have a better idea of what to expect from the GamePad, as ArmDevices.net has gotten some hands-on time with the device.