As news of Android tablet developments continues to grow and strengthen, Archos has now joined the fray with the biggest announcement yet. The biggest in terms of quantity, that is. The electronics firm plans to release a whopping five tablet devices running Android by the end of this year. And the first of them will begin shipping this month.
The Archos 28 will be the lowest-end model at a very consumer-friendly $99 price point. However, with a display of only 2.8 inches it will actually be smaller than a lot of mobile phones. Except it won't be a phone. It can't make regular calls. Back in the day they used to refer to this kind of device as a UMPC (ultra mobile PC). The 28 will have an 800 MHz processor and will focus on multimedia support.
The Archos 32 will have a slightly bigger screen, at 3,2 inches. It will pack in 8 GB of storage and a 720p HD video camera built in, along with video output connectors. This one will be priced at $150.
The Archos 43 will be a 4.3-inch device (notice a trend yet?) with largely the same features as the 32, but priced higher at $199.
We finally reach actual "tablet" sized units at the Archos 70, a $350 gadget with HDMI output and 250 GB of storage. An 8 GB version will also be available for $275.
And finally, there is the Archos 101, a 10.1-inch device that will be the most direct competitor of the iPad. The 101 will include a 1 GHz processor, HDMI output, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, and dual cameras. This unit will also come in two capacity sizes, with an 8 GB model available for $300 and a 16 GB one to sell for $350.
All of the above will come pre-installed with Android 2.2, the latest version of the operating system. The 101 tablet will for sure be the first Android device that takes on the same size as the iPad, but with an unfamiliar brand and what will assumedly be a low marketing budget, Archos probably doesn't stand a chance to make any notable dent against the Apple device.