Some people might frown at the $800 price tag the Motorola Xoom comes to the show with and some might argue that most tablets in this market area are still dedicated to a rather reduced sector of the market. Because of this I thought I’d give the Arnova Android tablets from Archos a quick look as they are producing and selling at the time being 2 models, one with an 8 inch display and a second one with a 10.1 inch display.
Arnova 10 is the name of the larger tablet and it will be shipping with a 10.1 resistive multi-touch display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. The tablet does have 24 bit colors on it so don’t think that because of the resistive display you’ll get a downgrade in quality because colors look pretty good on the tablet. A version with a capacitive display will be coming out sometime in Q2 according to the manufacturer although no certain release date is set for that version. The Arnova 10 Android tablet will be shipped with a 600 MHz ARM9 processor, which again will be changed when the capacitive version will be released to an ARM Cortex-A8 1 GHz processor ( the same processor you have in the iPad ). You will get Android 2.1 Éclair on this version but supposedly the successor will be shipping with Android 2.3 Gingerbread yet Honeycomb might stay out of it reach for a touch longer.
The Archos Arnova 10 will be able to playback 720p videos at 30 fps in avi, mp4, mkv, mov and flv file formats with the subsequent version touting 1080p video playback. You’ve got your standard interfaces with USB 2.0, micro SD slot, WiFi b/g, built in speakers and a front facing camera. The device will come with 4 GB of on board storage which can be extended via a micro SD card. All of this fun will measure in at 272 x 152.3 x 13.5 mm ( that’s 10.7 x 6 x 0.5 inches ) and will weigh in at roughly 570 grams ( that’s 20.1 oz ).
Arnova 8 is the little brother of the previously detailed Arnova 10 and will also come with a resistive touchscreen which measures 8 inches in this model and has a standard resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. A capacitive version will be released most likely in the same time period as the capacitive version of the Arnova 10. Video playback is the same as well as connectivity and the processor powering this little device is the same 600 MHz processor which again will be changed once the Arnova 8 with a capacitive display is released. The only differences between the two are the measurements really, as the Archos Arnova 8 will come measuring in at 205 x 153 x 12 mm ( that’s 8 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches ) and will weigh 500 grams ( that’s 17.6 oz ).
The real selling point of the Archos Arnova tablets is the price tag for all of this. Consider the specs of the Motorola Xoom and now ask yourself – is it actually worth it the $800 price tag it comes with? Well I know for a fact that these two Android tablets sure deserve their price tag as the Archos Arnova 8 will set you back $149 in the USA and 149€ in Europe while the Archos Arnova 10 will set you back $199 in the USA and 199€ in Europe. According to the company these prices won’t change for the capacitive versions of the tablets. So if you are in the market for a budget tablet, make sure to give these little monsters a look because you can’t get any cheaper than this and not end up with just an empty cardboard box. Until next time, I’ll be preoccupied doodling with these little attention mongers – come here you two!1