The Android tablet market is heating up, and ARCHOS wants to prove that it's still very much in the game. Hardware details for its upcoming Gen 9 tablets are impressive, and the devices will hit shelves starting in June 2011. This took some by surprise as the company was expected to reveal its latest products in September at IFA in Berlin.
Engadget reported on the photo taken above, in which Archos reveals the four key technology differentiators in Gen 9 tablets. The 3G data equipped model will retail for around $570.
The processor is certainly faster than the iPad 2 or Xoom tablets, with an ARM Dual Core A9 running at 1.6 GHz. According to ARCHOS all Gen 9 family tablets will carry the processor. One feature that helps ARCHOS keep prices competitive is the inclusion of conventional hard drives in their tablets. The company has used the technology in its tablets for some time, and redesigned low-level software in the Android operating system to support hard drives.
For comparison, 32 GB of flash memory costs the same as a 250 GB hard drive. ARCHOS has also patented its plastic-overmolded stainless steel structure. This enclosure is lighter, thinner and stronger than some competing solutions and ARCHOS has been using the design since 2009.
ARCHOS plans to release a new 3G modem solution and get its Gen 9 tablets onto wireless carriers' networks. This patent-pending modem is described as "disruptive" on the presentation slide. We'll have to wait and see exactly what that means. What's clear is that ARCHOS will launch the Gen 9 tablet with Android Honeycomb 3.0 and full Android Market support. If they can keep the price down with these specifications ARCHOS could have a winner on its hands.