Tag Archive | "archos"

Archos Gen 9 Tablets Now Tracking in the Product Database

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archos tabletsWe’ve just finished adding the recently announced Archos 80 G9 and the 101 G9 to our mobile product database where you can find official specifications, popularity charts, links, photos, and more. Have a look here:

Archos 80 G9 tracking page

Archos 101 G9 tracking page

We’ll be keeping a close eye on these exciting upcoming devices along with plenty of others. You can browse through our entire database here, which features hundreds of mobile devices!

Archos Announces Two Unique Tablets — Honeycomb, 250GB HDD Option, Modular 3G, Well Priced [video]

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Archos has unveiled two “bang for bucks inch Android Honeycomb tablets: the 8-inch (1024×768, 4:3) ’80 G9′ and the 10.1-inch (1280×800, 1.6:1) ‘101 G9’.

The 80 and the 101 both use a dual-core TI OMAP 4460 processor running at 1.5GHz. With more grunt under the hood than most Tegra 2-powered Android tablets in the market these days, the tablet looks promising to deliver a silky smooth multitasking experience as well as high resolution video playback. Archos claims that the OMAP 4460 CPU is up to 50% faster than Nvidia’s Tegra 2 in certain situations.

As Archos is focused on creating multimedia devices for over a decade, it understands that full HD video content comes at a price and that’s storage space. This is where the Apple iPad 1/2 and most other Android tablets currently on the market are lacking in — sufficient local storage to hold oodles of HD video content.

To address this limitation, Archos offers the G9 tablets with the conventional Flash storage format or a huge 250G hard drive, although the latter introduces a slightly thicker (around 3mm more) form factor than its flash counterpart. But then, a small price to pay for those requiring lots of storage.  I’ll be mighty interested to see if the HDD version will consume more battery life than its Flash counterpart.

Both tablets will be able to hook directly to a host computer and accessed as an external HDD for easy transfer of multimedia content. You’ll also be able to play back such content through the mini HDMI-out port that both tablets are equipped with.

Focused on multimeadia, Archos has historically included kickstands to make hands-free media viewing easy, and they aren’t about to stop that trend. Both the 80 and the 101 come with built-in kickstands.

Both tablets will come with Android 3.1 Honeycomb as the operating system with Adobe Flash 10.3 support.  Archos also promises the G9 tablets will provide a great multimedia experience to its users by replacing the standard Android multimedia applications with their own Archos multimedia app suite. Full HD 1080p videos will play with no issues and there will be massive support for codec, format and subtitles.

Then there’s the 3G module that no one else on the market is doing. For $49, you can buy a USB 3G stick that slips into a slot on the back of the 80 or 101 tablet and sits flush with the edge. If you want to use the USB stick with a laptop as well, go right ahead! This inexpensive 3G module adds flexibility for customers by allowing them to add 3G at a later time if they choose, and also not forcing them to choose to pay for a 3G connection that only works on one device!

archos-g9-3gstick

Charbax of ARMdevices.net has an early hands-on video of the G9 tablets:

Now for “bang for bucks inch bit: the 16GB 80 will start at $270 USD and the 16GB 101 will cost $349! The 250GB versions have not yet been priced, though Archos says 32GB flash costs nearly the same as 250GB HDD, so we’ll likely see aprox. $350 for the 250GB 80 and $429 for the 250GB 101.

One thing which I wished Archos had done was to create a model that is pocketable. Rather than the G9 80, I would have liked to see a 5 inch (eg size of a Dell Streak 5) or a 7 inch (eg, size of a Samsung Galaxy Tab), that would have been great!

Both tablets will be available to us all end September of this year and will appeal to buyers looking for a cheap but powerful tablet with unique options and full Android market access!

Update: Archos now have 8GB variants of the 80 and 101 on offer with lower CPU speed.

Today Only: Archos 7 Home Tablet (refurbished) for $79.99

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News flash! Woot.com is throwing out the Archos 7 tablet out for an amazing $79.99.

Ok, the truth is that you’re not buying the best of breed tablet – this is a refurbished 7 inch (800×480 resolution) WiFi enabled tablet that comes with an old Android 1.6  operating system . The screen is resistive meaning that the touch screen is not going to be responsive to finger action so you will end up pecking with your fingertips instead.

It also runs an old 600Mhz Rockchip processor which is very slow when compared with the current tablets running Tegra2 1Ghz but if using the Archos mostly for audio, video,  eBook reading (ie, not a lot of finger to screen interaction), and basic web browsing  sans Adobe Flash, then this device will suit you.

Also note that also doesn’t give you the fancy accelerometer (meaning no auto-rotation of the screen), in-built GPS, Bluetooth connectivity or any video output capabilities that most of us take for granted on the most expensive Android tablets these days.

The Archos 7 does comes with some good features though – it has a mini USB2.0 interface which allows the tablet to be presented as a mass storage device to the PC for convenient file transfer and also has a kickstand which allows it to be propped up for easy screen viewing. Video playback is around 7 hours.

It comes with 8GB storage and give you the option of expanding more memory via the micro SDHC slot.

I reckon this is a great economical entry tablet for those of you that are looking to dip your feet into the Android tablet waters or looking for a good mobile multimedia entertainment companion.

As usual, remember that Woot.com is a deal a day, so if you’re interested, best to hurry down to their website today before the deal is gone, or before they sell out of stock!

The Ultra Mobile Challenge is Harder Than Ever

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Let’s say you need a UMPC. It’s not as uncommon as some people think. It might not be the consumers cup of tea but in industry, mobility counts for a lot. Logistics, amateur pilots, health industry, blue-light industry, traveling geeks and other situations where full capability, compatibility and flexibility in the smallest package is key. The problem is, if you need a ultra mobile PC today, what the hell are you going to buy?

Lets put down a little wish-list for the sake of the argument.

Sub-1KG, Windows 7 support, 5hrs battery life 5-8.9 inch screen, easy conversion to keyboard/screen device. Price under $1000.

The shortlist I would recommend right now would be the following but they are all ‘last-gen’ UMPCs, at least a year old and going out of stock, and probably entering the end-of-life phase.

  • Fujitsu UH900
  • Sony Vaio P
  • Viliv N5
  • Viliv S7
  • Viliv X70
  • Archos 9 (with SSD, 1.2Ghz)
  • UMID Mbook SE – Thx to Gearsguy for the information on the availability and videos. I’ve included one of the videos below.

If you need a keyboard, the Mbook SE, UH900 and N5 are worth a look. The Archos 9 is good value at under 450 Euro right now and the X70 is a great performer. Isn’t it underwhelming that these devices are all over a year old though.

W100One device I took a second look at was the Toshiba Libretto W100. Originally this device was available for 1100 Euro. Today, it’s under 600 Euro in Europe making it an interesting option because of its CPU – Pentium Dual-Core U5400 with 2x 1.20GHz that comes in at about 130% the processing power of a high-end dual-core Atom part. It also includes 2048MB Ram and a 62GB SSD. This is certainly an ultra mobile workhorse but the design and battery life are going to be issues for some. 3hrs isn’t that exciting.  Interestingly this could make a super ultra-mobile video editing platform.

 

 

This dearth of options in this space is because of two things. Firstly, Menlow is out and Oaktrail isn’t yet in. There isn’t really another platform to think about right now although I’ve got my eye on AMDs Z-01 We’re going to have to wait for a set devices on Oaktrail for another few months. The other issues is the 10 inch tablet craze. It puts designs at around the 1KG mark and limits usability. The Viliv X70 is one to keep an eye out for but based on the silence from Viliv, I’m guessing it’s not close to being available yet.

Widening your choices

Netbooks, starting at about 1.2KG (2.6lb) and large-format Windows tablets (again 1.2KG when a keyboard is added) along with 5~ and 7~ Android tablets and the iPad2 all need consideration. Even the >4 inch Android phones with the latest CPUs. As Meego filters in, keep an eye on that too as it spans mobile and desktop environments. Finally, Honeycomb and WebOS are operating systems to watch. Personally I have high hopes for Honeycomb as one of the more flexible operating systems to cross-over into a productive and flexible environment and that could happen on either ARM or Intel.

Choosing a platform for 2012

Oaktrail – Intel’s Z6xx series. We’ve seen it running Windows, Android and Meego already, it will run Chrome OS and there should be forward compatibility with Windows 8 making it, in my opinion, one of the most interesting ultra-mobile platforms out there right now. Intel builds of Honeycomb and Meego should be able to squeeze more battery life out of it too. There’s a 2X graphics improvement over Menlow (GMA600 vs. GMA500) and even hardware 720p video encoding which could speed up video rendering. At 1.5Ghz, it’s not the most CPU-powerful platform but Intel have already talked about 1.8Ghz versions and I’m sure, if the platform becomes popular, we could see dual-core versions too. Why Oaktrail and not Cedar Trail? Because it’s got power management capabilities that Cedar Trail hasn’t got.

Waiting for Sandy Bridge.

Sandy Bridge in ultra-low-voltage guise is very interesting. I recently tested an AMD-E350 based Lenovo S205. It was good. It’s TDP (CPU+GPU) is 18W and the CPU performance is high-end Atom level. Sandy bridge, on the other had also comes in 17W TDP variants but the CPU performance on these simply blows Atom, E-Series Fusion and even first-gen Core parts out of the water. with around 5x the CPU performance of an Atom CPU along with some good GPU performance. Price is high as we’ve seen with the Samsung Series 9 but that devices comes in at 1.3KG with 6hrs of battery life and serious compute power. It’s a sign that Ultrabooks could push down in to even smaller and lighter designs.

Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook (4)

My plan. What’s yours?

Today I sold my last netbook / laptop. Over the last few months I’ve been having a clear-out and now I’m left completely without any sort of mobile productivity device. It’s a nice position to be in but it’s going to be a tough decision. Right now I’m favouring the Samsung TX100 / Gloria / PC7 Slider on Oaktrail because I’m interested in Oaktrail performance and multi-OS scenarios. I’m worried about the CPU performance though. I’m also looking carefully at that Toshiba W100/W105 show above. I think I can run PowerDirector video editing suite on that and get some usable 720p rendering speeds that should be 2x what the Oaktrail platform can produce. Finally, Samsung have another very interesting product in the Series 9 laptop on Core i5 Sandy Bridge. It’s an expensive item but a real mobile workhorse. And why am I looking at all these laptop-style devices? Because after spending 7 months with the Galaxy Tab I’ve found that there are fewer things I need to do on a laptop now and those things generally involve high-productivity working with Video, Images and multiple windows. The 7 inch tablet has filled a great position but along with my new requirement to product 720p videos, has pushed up my requirements for a laptop.

Screen Size Analysis (Sub 12″) Feb 2011

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This is the sixth report on sizing trends in PCs below 12 inch screen size (and above 5 inch) appearing in the German market through the popular price comparison engine, Geizhals.at (*1)  The last one was done in August 2010 In this report you’ll see  a big jump in overall numbers, a reversing of the decline in 7 inch devices and a turnaround in the 10 inch segment.

total_number_of_sub_12_pcs_germany

Number of SKUs in the market.

sub_12_screen_size_distribution

Screen size distribution

The big jump in numbers is clear to see from the top graph. Total numbers jumped by 83 and this is likely to be due to the Christmas season and introduction of new model ranges following IFA 2010. Surprisingly, the 10 inch segment has grown in numbers and %. A lot of this is attributable to dual-core Atom N550 devices.

  • Over 20 Intel Atom N550 devices appeared exclusively in the 10 inch category.
  • 62% of the devices are running on Intel Atom. One year ago, this figure was 78%  Remember that the segment includes some devices running laptop-grade CPUs and there’s an influx of AMD and ARM devices in the top and bottom end of the 5-11 inch range.  This is not just an analysis of ‘netbooks.’
  • The 7% segment had the biggest percentage growth (over 300%, from a very low starting point) and the 10% segment had the biggest numeric growth (63)
  • Including Android, over 14% of the segment runs a Linux kernel. One year ago this figure was 5%.  Almost all of this growth is within the ‘tablet’ style of devices.
  • Only 13% of the devices weigh 1KG or less. (up from 10% one year ago – again, growth is in the tablet segment)
  • 18 devices now include Nvidia ION2.  All of these are from a single manufacturer – ASUS.
  • Total number of tablet form-factor devices – 60 (not including 4.8 inch) which is about 10% of the total sub 12% screen size market.

The cheapest devices (based on lowest price offered) are:

  • X86/Windows Laptop – Samsung N145 at 228 Euro
  • ARM Tablet – Nexoc Pad 7 (Android 1.5) at 99 Euro
  • X86/Windows Tablet – Archos 9 at 402 Euros.

Also of note is the larger spread of GPU technologies, the increased us of SSDs (even in the X86/Windows segments) and a large number of dual-core CPUs. Dual core CPUs make up a 30% of the 10-11.6 inch bracket now.

In the last report I talked about a netbook freeze.  Certainly the trends for search and news seem to be heading south (see below for ‘netbook’ trend)  but the increase in numbers of 10 inch devices indicates that there is still interest from manufacturers. The increase in SKU’s, however, could be misleading as we’re seeing an increase in the number of colour options, CPU options, GPU options and screen options that use the same chassis. Acer and ASUS each have over 90 different model types in the German market in the 10-11.6 inch category.

image

I think most people in the netbook field would agree we’re seeing a levelling of interest and manufacturers are using offers and personalisation to attract sales in this mainstream part of the segment lifecycle.

For mobility fans though the message is clear. There are more options than ever and competition is increasing which will drive improvements in software and hardware very quickly. Certainly we will see the tablet segment grow and it will be interesting to see how the 5-9 inch segments move when we do the next analysis in about 3 months time.

Warning: Please remember that this is a single data-source analysis of what is happenning today, in the German market. This is not a complete market analysis report. You may use the data and images but please also reference this article which includes this warning.

*1 Based on SKUs, not model families. Note that Geizhals have now moved all tablets to a new category called ‘tablets.’ This category was included in the analysis. An English language (and UK market) version of Geizhals is available at Skinflint.

Archos 70 Hands-On, Feedback says Good-Value

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Archos 70 _5_ The price of the Galaxy Tab is gradually coming down but it’s clear that it will never reach the 250 Euro price of the Archos 70. It looks the same, comes with 8GB of storage, a similar processor, similar operating system and plays back video just like the Tab. So what’s the difference?

Balazs of Ndevil unboxes the Archos 70 in the video below and Charbax has a text/video review up. You’ll hear them talk about some of the very important differences between this and the Galaxy Tab but lets list them all here so you can compare.

Galaxy Tab Extra Features:

  • Phone, 3G, SMS, MMS
  • 1024×600 screen
  • 3.2MP Auto-focus camera and 480p video cam
  • Docking port for accessories
  • Stereo Speakers
  • 16GB Storage
  • Samsung software suite including Samsung keyboard
  • Access to Google Market and Google apps suite
  • GPS

Archos 70 Extra features

  • USB OTG (unconfirmed)
  • Micro USB Charging and connecting
  • HDMI out port
  • Kickstand

Full specs for the Archos 70 here. Galaxy Tab here.

There may be others differences and in terms of software, some of the issues on the Archos 70 can be fixed through hacks but the summary is that on the Galaxy Tab, you’re paying 450 Euros for voice,3G, hi-res screen, auto-focus cam, 8GB storage, GPS and the Samsung Google software. That’s a lot of money for features that you probably don’t need when you’re lazing around at home and if the Archos 70 is as good as people are saying (I’m getting good feedback from owners so far) and if Archos push that V2.2 firmware out ASAP then the Archos 70 is definitely a better value product for sofa-surfing. When it comes to mobility though, the Tab has the edge although with the Viewpad 7 coming in at 399 Euros in the next few weeks, there’s quite a head-to-head building up on this 7 inch space. (Actually there’s at least 16 devices in our database, more to come soon!)

So how’s this 7 inch space shaping up for you?

Viewpad 7 Available for Pre-Order in UK. Starting Price: £399

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If you’ve been thinking about an Android tablet purchase over the next 2 months, these devices are probably on your list. Galaxy Tab, Dell Streak, Notion Ink Adam, Viewpad 7, Archos 70, Archos 101 and maybe the Toshiba Folio. Only 2 of them are currently available and both the Tab and the Streak are great quality products (Streak even gets a 2.2 upgrade soon) but what if you’re looking for something a little cheaper? The Viewpad 7 might be just what you’re looking for.

viewpad 7 case

We tested it extensively at IFA in Sept and were tricked by its speed into thinking it was based on a Snapdragon CPU.It’s not!  Our reports from IFA here.

The Galaxy Tab is almost like-for-like in specs (although it is fair to say that it will be a higher-quality device in terms overall ‘product’) and it is retailing for £529 at Amazon.co.uk today [affiliate link]  The Viewsonic Viewpad 7 is available by pre-order now for £399. We think that price might come down a little soon too, just like the price of the Tab did. Admittedly, the price is 50 pounds more than we were promised at IFA  – “no more that £350 inch was heard a number of times – but retailers are obviously free to charge what they think is right and with the Tab price ranging up to over £600, £399 sounds fair as a starting point.

Availability is set for the 15th November (confirmed with Viewsonic) and we also heard that there’s a press event on Thursday 28th so expect a number of hands-on reports to go out from the .co.uk tech press. We’ll try to get there.

Availability in the UK will be through Maplin, Scan, Misco and Expansys. Only Misco is showing pre-order details at the moment although you can find the Viewpad 10 up for pre-order on Maplin (£499.99)

My advise is to wait just a week. After the press event you’re likely to see a scramble to get the Viewpad into online retail channels / price comparison engines and the price will find its place.

We had a chat with Viewsonic yesterday and it look like we’ll get a Viewpad 7 in early November so keep an eye our for news about the live testing session. We also heard that Germany is also on the list. MediaMarkt will be the partner according to some emails that have gone out.

1K Challenge – One More Device Needed.

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1k-challenge In Mondays post I outlined the 1K challenge:

1000 Words written on a mobile PC setup weighing less than 1KG, costing less than €1000

I’ll be taking four rigs on the road over the weekend (Starting Saturday) and testing them to see what works best. We’ve got four sets of kit lined up for the test:

  • Exclusive! – Tega V2 Tablet PC arrives in Europe on Friday
  • Toshiba AC100 ‘Smart Book’
  • Viliv X70 – 7 inch Windows Tablet – Winner of our 2009 awards.
  • TBA

Call for help

As you can see, I’ve got one position open at the moment. I’m aiming for a lightweight 7 inch Android Tablet although the options aren’t too good at the moment. The Viewpad 7 and Camangi FM600 and Archos 70 aren’t available. The SmartQ T7 3G is here but the OTG option for attaching a keyboard isn’t working. I’m also looking at the ultra low cost Archos 7 HT, the Smartbook Surfer, WITS A81 and a few others includiong the Galaxy Tab which is available in Germany now. If anyone in Germany has got a 7 inch Android tablet they can loan me for the weekend (one that works with a USB keyboard) I’d be interested to hear from you.

Or should I just order a Galaxy Tab from Amazon? Anyone care to sponsor that ;-)

If I don’t manage to get a 7 inch Android tablet I have the Viliv S7 ready for action – it’s still one of the best mini laptops around.

Archos 43, 70, and 101 Android Tablets Pop-Up on Dynamism, “Available Soon”

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archos 101 Dynamism is gearing up to sell Archos’ latest Android tablets. They’ll be offering the top three models (check out the tracking page for full specs):

Pre-orders are not yet available but you can sign up for availability notifications from Dynamism on their Purchase page. We’ll hopefully see these tablets start to become available in mid-October, but Archos hasn’t said anything official just yet.

Archos 43, 70, and 101 Android Tablets Pop-Up on Dynamism, “Available Soon”

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archos 101 Dynamism is gearing up to sell Archos’ latest Android tablets. They’ll be offering the top three models (check out the tracking page for full specs):

Pre-orders are not yet available but you can sign up for availability notifications from Dynamism on their Purchase page. We’ll hopefully see these tablets start to become available in mid-October, but Archos hasn’t said anything official just yet.

Archos 43 + Raging Thunder = Fun!

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I’ve had a lot of hands-on with the Archos 43 [specifications] today and I’m impressed. Somehow that small form factor and low price makes the speed and capability all that more impressive. I’m working on a few other videos but I wanted to show you this one first.

Update: Hands-on thoughts, gallery, videos now available.

IF (and it’s a big IF) you’re able to side-load applications and IF they work on the Archos firmware, you’ve got yourself a great value little entertainment device.

Two more videos coming up soon.

Archos 101 – Hands-On and Overview

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IMG_4661 10 inch consumer tablets don’t seem to make much sense to me. I can’t think of any scenarios that need that much space apart from newspaper and magazine typesetting. Sure, a netbook running a multi-windowing OS could use a whole lot more space but when I look at Android tablets that show one window at a time through apps that were created for a maximum 5 inch screen I have a problem. Having said that, there’s a special feeling one gets when touching and moving huge web pages smoothly across such an area when the screen is only 50cm from your face. Video becomes more immersive too, especially when it’s good quality. The challenge is to create a large screen at a very low weight. A low price always helps too!

The Archos 101 [specifications and details] does 10 inch in 480gm. That’s an impressive size/weight ratio and when you add in a price of just $300 you have to agree that Archos have set out in the right direction with the 101.

Its almost no surprise that the Archos 101 doesn’t include Google Applications but there’s a lot more to get excited about. A full range of codec support, USB host (with full-size USB port) and a good level of processing power. It looks good too which is important when you’re aiming for as many coffee tables as possible.

Personally I still think that 7 inch makes more sense for a single-window experience but if you’re looking for an impressive gift for yourself, big is always better right?

Full specifications are in the database, a Chippy hands-on is shown below and we hope to be testing this out further as soon as we can. Note that the test devices at IFA were all running Android 2.1 Android 2.2 will, without a doubt, speed this up to very acceptable levels.

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