SlashGear stopped by the Archos launch event last night for the company's new Android-powered Internet Tablet, the Archos 5. The idea is straightforward: all of Archos' usual media-centric abilities are there, including broad codec support and the ability to play local and network-based content, but rather than their home-grown Linux-based OS the French company has turned to Android and a custom UI shell.
Hands-on video and gallery after the cut
Archos has just pulled the official curtain off the company's latest Android-based Internet tablet. The Archos 70 Internet tablet may just look like another tablet on the outside, especially when compared to previously released Archos-branded Android-based tablet devices, but this one's special. Why? Because this one's the first Android tablet to feature a 250GB hard drive under the hood.
Having briefly released and then promptly pulling the last firmware update for the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, the French company have left owners waiting as they tweak the apparent "major issue" in the web browser. Now Archos have tried again, releasing firmware 1.7.33 complete with an update to Android 1.6 Donut for the touchscreen tablet.
Archos have released a new firmware update for the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, v1.6.08, and the key change is the introduction of Android 1.6 "Donut". With the new version of the OS comes the quick-search box for the MID/PMP's homescreen, improved power management, native WVGA display support and VPN functionality; Archos have also tweaked media handling, so that the Archos 5 Internet Tablet better supports H.264 SD and HD videos.
Update: Strangely, all mention of the update - including the firmware itself - has been pulled from Archos' site.
As promised, Archos have announced that they will be holding a press conference on September 15th where star of the show will be their new Android Internet Tablet. The company has also launched AppsLib, a new directory for developers and the Android apps they create for "high-end Android devices"; that site lists development guidelines for the touchscreen device as using a 5-inch WVGA display, with 720p video support, an HDMI output and native OpenGL libraries.
When the year 2011 is looked back upon by the Google historians, they'll mark it as the first time they officially made an effort to bring the Android platform to devices with displays larger than handheld smartphones - what we saw, as a result, was everything from the XOOM to the ASUS Transformer Prime. The folks at Google created a version of their mobile operating system Android titled Honeycomb and numbered version 3.0. This operating system began its life in the wild on the Motorola XOOM, a 10.1-inch tablet that by the end of the year would be replaced by the XYBOARD, a tablet which physically in weight and thickness to the iPad 2 - the dominant force in the tablet space throughout the vast majority of this past year.
Archos has unveiled a new internet tablet in the UK. The tablet is called the Archos 70b internet tablet. It sells for £179.99 and runs on the Android Honeycomb OS. The 70b is a new and enhanced version of the older Archos 70 internet Tablet. The new 70b has a 1.2GHz processor and it has access to the full Android Market. Update: The Archos 70b Internet Tablet will drop in the US next month, priced at $199.99.
As you may have guessed, we're big on tablets at SlashGear, and so when Archos offered us its 10.1-inch Archos 101 Internet Tablet, we thought we'd offer it to our readers in a new giveaway. The Android slate weighs just 480g and is a mere 12mm thick, and is idea for web-browsing and multimedia playback.
The two new Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablets aren't Archos' only new products to use Google's open-source OS; the company also has the somewhat more unusual Archos 35 Home Connect and the companion Smart Home Phone, a chumby-style internet radio and a DECT cordless home phone. Announced last week, we rolled up our sleeves and had a fondle of them today.
Ever since the iPad debuted, e-readers were thought to be a dying breed with Amazon's Kindle on the preemptive attack with commercials touting its glare-free e-ink display as opposed to the iPad's glossy screen. However, a new report from Pew shows that so far e-readers are still going strong. In fact, their survey shows that e-readers not only have a greater ownership percentage but also a stronger growth rate when compared to tablets.
Consumer Reports has never been keen on the iPhone 4, criticizing both the original AT&T and newer Verizon versions for their antenna performance, but the independent buyers' guide has no such qualms about the iPad 2. "Some series competitors are finally hitting the market" the organization says, but having tested ten models they're still leaning toward recommending the Apple slate.