Archos outlines plans for upcoming generation of Android Tablets
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Archos hasn’t been exactly the biggest name in tablet devices recently, but they do have a decent hold on the lower end of the tablet market. However, that could change soon as Archos is hinting towards some heavy hitters in their 2011 tablet product line.
According to a financial results document by Archos, the French company has big plans for their Generation 9 Android tablet line. The document outlines certain directions the company will be taking in 2011 in order to beat the competition. Unfortunately, those directions don’t seem to include a new design, as the company seems to be sticking with the plastic-overmolded stainless steel structure used in previous tablets. The reasoning behind the same material seems to be that the structure results in a “thinner, lighter and stronger tablet enclosure” that is cheaper than other alternatives.
While the design might not bring anything new to the table, the document did indicate some powerful hardware that could turn the Archos Generation 9 tablets into competitors. At the moment, the top gun in the tablet processor department seems to be the 1GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 that is found in the likes of the iPad 2 and the Motorola Xoom. However, Archos is planning on outfitting all their Generation 9 tablets with 1.6 Ghz dual-core Cortex A9 chips, and in doing so would be the first manufacturer to offer that CPU.
Lastly, the document also listed the inclusion of 3G connectivity in the tablets along with the use of a 250GB hard drive that would still equal the cost of a 32GB flash drive. The extra storage is achieved through a redesign of Android’s software layers, but would most likely lead to heavier and bulkier devices.
Although the top of the line CPU and extra space might have warranted a higher price tag, Archos still seems to be targeting the low price market. Although the new systems could be sold directly from Archos at a price ranging from 99€ to 400€ ($140-$566), they might also be available as white-label devices that are rebranded through various retailers. Archos plans on releasing the Generation 9 tablets in June of 2011 and we’ll see if they can end up making a dent in an already overflowing tablet market.