After reporting financial performance that could legitimately be called disastrous, Archos have announced their plans to turn around business in 2009 and beyond. Key among those plans is the release of the company's Android-based multimedia internet tablet, first tipped back in February, together with a new range of MP3 products and pushing out its Archos Internet Media Club film download service.
They may look like old analog rabbit-ears antennas, but these are actually the digital-TV grasping tendrils of Archos' Snap On TV accessory for the Archos 5 PMP. A narrow slice docking across the bottom of the touchscreen mediaplayer, the Snap On TV adds DVB-T reception to the PMP's DVR functionality; Archos Lounge have been testing one out.
Archos have announced plans to launch an Android-based Internet Media Tablet, that would deliver not only the high-definition media playback of the company's existing range, but offer voice communication, wireless connectivity and access to the Android Market of smartphone applications. The Android IMT measures just 10mm thick, and has a 5-inch high-resolution touchscreen, up to 500GB storage and uses Texas Instruments OMAP 3 platform for "laptop-like performance".
Archos have announced pricing and availability details regarding their Archos 10 netbook, first seen earlier this week. UK buyers can pre-order the netbook for £349.98 ($511) while European buyers get it slightly cheaper at €348.98; that puts the 10 close to early estimates. For your money you get a 10.2-inch screen, Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and Windows XP Home.
Details of Archos' upcoming entry into the netbook market have emerged, found among the files at ArchosTest.fr, and anyone hoping for something as interesting or concientously designed as the company's Internet Media Tablets will be sorely disappointed. Instead, they've slapped their their brand on a dull OEM netbook design, the Hasee MJ125, with the usual 10-inch 1024 x 600 display, Atom 1.6GHz processor and 160GB hard-drive.
If size is everything in PMPs, the Archos 7 Internet Media Tablet certainly has a lot going for it. With a 7-inch touchscreen, there are certainly a whole lot fewer rivals than its smaller Archos 5 sibling faces; still, that hasn't stopped Archos from packing it with WiFi, a choice of 160GB or 320GB hard-drives, and internet browsing. JAMM have been testing it out (including holding the photoshoot with the iPod touch shown here) and the general judgement is good.
We kicked off the week with some high-profile reviews here at SlashGear, putting the latest MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops through their paces. If you’re considering one of these slick new machines – or are wondering what style features other manufacturers will be copying over the next six months – make sure to check them out! We also played with a more budget computing option in the shape of the ASUS Eee PC 1000HA.
Meanwhile cellphones have been on the test bench, with Sprint’s pair of new Samsungs – the messaging Rant and the musical HighNote – squaring up against Velocity Mobile’s 103 smartphone. We had to leave our desks to try out Blackline’s GPS Snitch, however, but were back in before curfew to play with some toys: WowWee’s Bladestar remote control helicopter, for one, and a rather more unusual review of the WowWee Femisapien.
French carrier SFR has officially announced three 3G-enabled mobile devices, the Archos 5g Internet Media Tablet, the M! PC Pocket and a WWAN-enabled ASUS Eee PC 901. All have integrated 3G HSDPA modems, with monthly data subscriptions of €19.90/$25 (for existing subscribers; €24.90/$32 for new) on the Archos and M!, and €29.90/$38 (for existing subscribers; €34.90/$44 for new) on the ASUS Eee PC. The Archos 5g has a 30GB hard-drive and new, SFR-specific menus and widgets.
A few months back, when we wondered out loud about abbreviations, one of the easiest targets was the ultraportable device market. Mobile Internet Devices, Ultramobile PCs, Personal Media Players; as manufacturers rush to grant their gadgets more functionality, all seem to end up overlapping. The Archos Internet Media Tablet isn't a MID, not by Archos' own definition anyway, but it does offer internet access, on a touchscreen tablet, in a device that's certainly mobile. Pocketables have been comparing the Archos 5 (soon to be available with integrated 3G WWAN, remember) with the Aigo P8860, a gadget which certainly does claim to be a MID.
Archos' latest range of Internet Media Tablets, the 5 and 7, are on sale in many markets worldwide, but if you want the 5g version with integrated HSDPA you'll have to head to France. SFR is so-far the only carrier to have publicly signed up to the WWAN PMP; their official launch is expected later this week, but they've been scooped by November's issue of Stuff magazine.
Update: Stuff got the pricing wrong; see here for official details.
It might seem overkill to have a whole separate review about a dock, but when said-dock adds stacks of functionality for a bargain price it's bound to be a popular accessory. Jenn at Pocketables has been sitting her Archos 5 Internet Media Tablet in the $30 Archos Mini Dock, and if we're talking cost-to-flexibility ratio the Mini Dock sounds like it's off the scale. In fact, only some ergonomic issues potentially hold the Archos Mini Dock back.