You may have thought that netbooks had vanished from the modern era, but that's only partially true. Nobody really cares about Windows-based netbooks anymore, but would they buy one built around Android? Archos is determined to find out with its ArcBook, a 10.1-inch laptop running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. We've seen low cost Android laptops before, but according to Archos, the ArcBook is the world's first Android netbook with a touchscreen display.
Archos on Monday unveiled its GamePad 2, the company's second generation handheld tablet made for gamers. The Archos 2 features a 7-inch HD (1280x800) In-Plane Switching (IPS) display powered by an A9 generation quad-core processor built on a 28nm manufacturing process and clocked at 1.6GHz. The CPU is coupled with a quad-core Mali 400 graphics processor and 2GB of system RAM.
Smaller tablets are all the rage these days, but all those 7-inch slates don't exactly lend themselves to family time. Heck, even the current crop of larger size tablets are mostly geared towards single-user scenarios. Archos is hoping to change that perception with its new FamilyPad, a 13.3-inch Android tablet designed to "bring back game night" and put a "digital twist on family time."
Handheld consoles don't seem to be the hot commodities that they used to be back before everyone owned smartphones, but don't tell Archos there isn't a market for such a thing. Not only does Archos believe there is, the company is betting big on it by launching its Android-powered 'GamePad' device with a 7-inch capacitive display and physical gaming control buttons and analog sticks.
The media tablet truly entered the public consciousness after the launch of the iPad, but it in no way was the first tablet in the world. Tablets have been around in some form or the other since the late 80s. But you don’t have to cast your mind too far back to recall that Archos had a steady presence in the pre-iPad market. That it has little to show for its faith in the category is an entirely different thing. The French company is now taking aim at the Kindle Fire with a sub-$200 Honeycomb tablet.
The army of Android tablets is about to get bolstered by a few more foot soldiers as Archos readies the launch of its G9 tablets. Each of the four tablets will be led by General Honeycomb (Android 3.2), and each one will come packing a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1GHz or higher. Archos says one of its upcoming tablets -- the G9 Turbo -- will debut as the market's first sub-$400 tablet to tote a Texas Instruments OMAP 4 dual-core processor up to 1.5GHz.
Archos on Wednesday announced the availability of its Archos 70 Internet tablet in 250GB trim. That's not a typo, this thing sports a capacious 250GB hard drive, giving the iPad and most other tablets a serious case of storage-envy.
"We are proud to be the first to release an Android tablet that features a 250GB HDD," says Henri Crohas, CEO and Founder. "We strive to be the leader in the Android and Windows based tablet market by creating award-winning innovative options at affordable prices."
In this case, Archos defines "affordable price" as $350. In addition to the 250GB hard drive, that buys you a 1GHz processor, native Flash 10.1 support, 720p HD video playback, HDMI, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a handful of other goodies wrapped in a slim and light design (7.21 x 4.49 x 0.55 inches, 14 ounces).
Private copying levies can have a divisive impact on a room full of people with some sense of technology and law. It is arguably one of the most hotly debated areas of copyright law. In case you need to brush up on your knowledge of copyright law, a private copying levy is generally imposed on the sale of storage media that can be used for copying copyrighted content. The proceeds are distributed among copyright owners as prevenient compensation for copying.
The debate is about to heat up as France is now ready to expand the purview of its private copying levy beyond recordable media and MP3 players. The government there is considering taxing all non-Windows tablets with more than 40GB of storage. Apparently, they feel there is a strong case for taxing tablets as they can be used for duplicating copyrighted content. Despite the majority view that tablets are part of the genus Computer, the French possess enough profundity to point to something that makes the two substantially dissimilar: Windows.
Let alone the fact that even computers running a desktop OS, and not just tablets, can be used for duplicating content, it is ludicrous how the new law exempts tablets running Windows as it treats them as full PCs.
According to French trade magazine Numerama, tablet vendor Archos isn’t too pleased by the lopsided nature of the proposed law and has threatened to join a lawsuit against the legislation. Contending that it lets users turn the company’s Android tablets into full PCs by letting them install Linux on them, the company wants its tablets to be exempt from the levy in much the same way as Windows-based slates.
It remains to be seen what kind of market exists for handheld tablets, but the general consensus is that even at $499 -- the cost of Apple's entry-level iPad -- tablets are going to be a tough sell. Enter Archos, who just announced a pair of large-screen Android-based tablets that cost less than half as much.
First up is the Archos 7 Home Tablet. As the name would suggest, this one comes with a 7-inch touchscreen display. It also sports a slim form factor measuring just 12mm thick and weighing less than a pound.
Keeping things modest, you'll find an ARM 9 processor inside clocked at 600MHz. Other features include built-in Wi-Fi, a USB port, and up to 7 hours of video playback or up to 44 hours of music playback, Archos claims. This will be available in April in 4GB ($193) and 8GB ($223) configurations.
The Archos 8 Home Tablet boasts the same specs, only with a larger 8-inch screen and slightly heavier frame (0.9 pounds versus 0.8 pounds). Look for this one to start shipping in May in 4GB form for $193.
CeBIT is just around the corner, and given the current trend, you can expect a boatload of tablet announcements. Archos will be there to show off its Archos 7 tablet, but according to CarryPad.com, that won't be the only one Archos has on display.
Apparently Archos' German PR company has put the word out that Archos will introduce two new Android-powered tablets, both of which will represent a "good value" and are "specially designed for use in the home," CarryPad.com says.
What that could mean is anyone's guess. One of those we know is the Archos 7, which is basically a bigger version of the Archos 5. It seems likely that the second model might be another 9-inch unit. Archos already sells the Archos 9 PC Tablet with Windows 7, but if the company's shooting for a more value-oriented product, putting Android on a 9-inch tablet could help drop the price.