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Archos Now Shipping Two Android Tablets

Wednesday Archos added the Android-powered Archos 43 Internet tablet to its online store for $249.99. The device comes packed with a 4.5-inch FWVGA (480 x 854) touch screen, Android 2.2 (Froyo), HDMI output, and more. The company also added the Archos 70 tablet, an Apple iPad competitor arriving as a 8 GB model for $274.99 and as a 250 GB model for $349.99, however the device isn't officially available for purchase at the time of writing.

According to the hardware specs, the Archos 43 uses the ARM Cortex A8 CPU clocked at 1 GHz and a graphics accelerator compatible with OpenGL ES 2.0. Other details include 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, 16 GB of internal storage and a additional microSD card slot, and even a built-in HD camcorder with a max resolution of 1280 x 720. The device is also Samba and UPnP compatible, allowing users to stream video and music from their PC directly to the device.

As for the Archos 70 tablet, it will also come packed with Android 2.2 and most of the same hardware found in the Archos 43 tablet. However this version features a 7-inch WVGA TFT capacitive LCD with a default resolution of 800 x 480. For the 11-oz 8 GB model, the device depends on flash memory and provides an extra microSD card slot. The 14-oz 250 GB version goes retro however, providing storage via a built-in hard drive (hence the reasonable pricetag).

While the prices of the Archos tablets seem pretty reasonable, they won't play MPEG-2 video right out of the box. According to Archos, customers must purchase a special $20 "cinema" plug-in from the company's online store so that the device can read .VOB, .TS, and .PS video streams as well as A3 audio. The tablets also don't have official access to Google's Android Market, relying on Archos' AppLib online store instead.

"The internet tablets feature music, video and photo applications, developed by Archos, that enrich the user experience with smooth browsing through the album covers and with widgets added to the home screen to give instant access and control to media," the company said. "These unique Android applications allow users to amplify their digital experience."

Those looking to purchase the Archos 70 tablet may need to wait a few days for it to become available, however the smaller Archos 43 can be bought online now.