updated 06:05 am EST, Sun February 27, 2011
Affordable Android tablets for those on a budget
After some users reeled at the $800 price of the Motorola Xoom Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) 10-inch tablet, Archos has introduced two very low-cost Android tablets in the Arnova 8 ($150) and Arnova 10 ($199). Initially, both tablets will ship with a ARM9 600MHz processor and with resistive touch screens. However, both are expected to be upgraded to ARM Cortex-A8 1Ghz chips (similar to the current iPad) and capacitive touch screens within the next two to three months, while the prices are expected to hold steady.
Both tablets also currently run Android 2.1 (Éclair), but the OS will be upgraded to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) when the hardware refresh comes as expected in April. Other than the 600MHz chip, and the use of resistive touch screens, the other area where Archos has been able to reduce the price is through including only 4GB of RAM, although this can be expanded via the included microSD card slot. Wi-Fi is also paired back at 802.11b/g.
Users can still expect reasonable performance from the devices, including around 22 hours of battery life when listening to music, or six hours when watching video. File support is also good with audio support for popular formats, including FLAC lossless. Video formats supported includes AVI.
The Archos Arnova tablets are currently shipping in Europe and are expected to reach the states soon. [via ARMdevices.net]