Archos Intros First Sub-$200 Honeycomb Tablet

Contributing Writer

Archos is claiming a market first with the upcoming launch of its Archos 70b internet tablet featuring Android 3.2 "Honeycomb" and a sub-$200 USD pricetag. The device is an enhanced version the current Froyo-based Archos 70 Gen 8 model, sporting an upgraded capacitive touchscreen, a 1.2 GHz SoC and the tablet-friendly Android OS. It even offers Google's full suite of mobile services including the Android Market.

"With Honeycomb, users will have faster and smoother transitions between different applications, and more intuitive navigation to and from home screens," the company said. "Very slim and light, the newest version of the Archos 70 internet tablet Gen 8, offers the best performances in terms of portability, immediate internet access, multimedia, apps and affordability."

According to the specs, the tablet uses a single-core SoC based on ARM's Cortex-A8 architecture, clocked at 1.2 GHz. It also has a higher resolution 7-inch capacitive touchscreen @ 1024 x 600, and provides twice the RAM at 512 MB. As for other specs, the tablet supports 3D OpenGL ES 2.0 and provides an SD card slot, HDMI output, 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth connectivity, support for 3G tethering, 8 GB of internal storage, and an option to dual-boot between Linux Android or Linux Ångström distributions. There's even a built-in webcam and microphone.

"[The tablet features] a full multimedia experience with upgraded multimedia Archos apps for video and music," the company said on Tuesday. "HDMI output [gives] users full access to their Android experience on their TV including all the pre-loaded apps, video playback, 3D games, photos and all the Android Market apps."

Based on these details, the Archos tablet has a few advantages over Amazon's similarly priced 7-inch Kindle Fire: the camera, the SD card slot, HDMI output and most importantly, support for Google services. The Kindle Fire makes up for the loss by supporting Amazon's Instant Video library and powering the tablet with a dual-core 1.0 GHz TI OMAP4 SoC. Still, the Archos tablet seems to offer more bang for the buck.

The Archos 70b internet tablet will be available in stores starting in January with the recommended retail price of $199.