updated 01:15 pm EDT, Tue August 19, 2008
Archos Media Tablets
Archos mid-Tuesday launched an aggressive campaign to capture the touchscreen media player market with the Internet Media Tablet line. The devices are pitched as complements to the earlier fifth-generation media players and focus primarily on Internet access: all use a Flash-enabled version of Opera for browsing and support both radio and video streams. Aside from a new and slimmer design, the 5-inch Archos 5G also marks one of the few devices of the type with built-in 3G: an internal modem and SIM card support HSDPA cellular data from most providers and enable Internet access from most areas.
The simpler Archos 5 and the flagship, 7-inch Archos 7 also support 3G through a USB modem, according to the company. Wi-Fi is available on every model for short-range networking.
These devices all support many of the traditional music, photo, and video playback features of the fifth-generation players and continue to support the earlier add-ons, ranging from the GPS mapping attachment and recording from TV or similar sources with a DVR cradle; a revamped version of the latter now adds HDMI video out for relaying purely digital sources, including 720p HD MPEG-4 or WMV clips playable through a $20 software extension.
The normal Archos 5 starts the series with 60GB, 120GB, and 250GB models available for prices between $350 and $450. An Archos 5G carries just 30GB but sees its 3G equipment boost the price to $550, while the Archos 7 carries either 160GB of storage for $450 or 320GB for $550. All base Archos 5 models ship in September and will be followed by the Archos 7 in October. The 5G arrives last with a December appearance. Archos devices have typically supported both Macs and Windows PCs.
Archos 7 with DVR dock