The iPad has been ruling the roost since launch. We've all been waiting patiently for an Android tablet to come along and challenge the Apple device, but although we've heard plenty about companies with plans for Android tablets, very few have actually announced anything.
This week, all that changed, as Archos announced five Android 2.2 tablets. With displays ranging in size from 2.8- to 10.1-inches and prices from under $100 to just under $300, the line of tablets seems have a little bit of something for everyone.
First up is the Archos 28, a 2.8-inch (320 x 240) touchscreen PMP that seems to be a rival for Apple's iPod touch. Priced at $99, the device packs 800MHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, and 4GB of storage. Though things are a little bit low on the storage side of things, the device boasts WiFi and support for an array of different media formats (MPEG4, WMV, MPEG2) so perhaps the focus here is on streaming rather than storage.
The Archos 32 packs a 3.2-inch screen and seems to be the same kind of device as the Archos 28 but with a few more features thrown in on top. With just 8GB of storage, this is on the small side as far as PMPs go, but it's twice as big as the Archos 28. It also boasts a camera capable of recording video at 720p and has a TV port for hooking up to the big(ger) screen. Priced at $149, the device packs the same 800MHz ARM Cortex A8 processor as the Archos 28.
The Archos 43 is where things start to get a little bit interesting. It replaces the 800MHz ARM Cortex A8 processor with a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor. It has 8GB of storage and is described by Archos as a "multi-media marvel." It's got a HD camera, HDMI, USB, WiFi and a kick stand. Interestingly, the Archos 43 also has a Micro-SD slot, which means users could probably upgrade the storage of the device via an SD card – something that's not possible with the 28 or the 32. The Archos 43 rings in at $199.
The Archos 70 is Archos' 7-inch offering and other than storage and size, it's quite similar specswise to the Archos 43. This one comes in 16- and 250GB flavours, which is quite a departure from the measly 4- and 8GB we saw with the rest of the line. It's also got a Webcam in place of the HD camera. The Archos 70 is priced at $274.
The one that will garner most attention is the Archos 101. Packing a 10.1-inch (1024 x 600) touchscreen, the device has the same 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor as the 70 and 43 and shares a lot of other specs with its lower-end counterparts, including HDMI, USB, WiFi, Micro-SD and a kick stand. This one is the most expensive of the line and it's priced at $299.
All run Froyo, also known as Android 2.2, the latest build of Google's mobile operating system. Both the 28 and 32 will be available this month, while Archos has pegged nothing more specific than a 'fall' release for the 43, 70 and 101. Anyone interested?