Following the report two weeks ago of the impending introduction of new tablets from Archos, the company today announced the new Archos 7 and Archos 8 Home Tablets with the emphasis clearly being on affordable, simple tablets for home use rather than more full featured, powerful MIDs in the vein of the existing Archos 5 Android in the Internet Tablet family.
The new home tablets both run Android powered by 600MHz ARM9-based Rockchip 2808 CPUs and have 128MB RAM, WiFi and USB connectivity, microSD support, and in-built speakers. The Archos 7 HT (top) features a similar design to the Archos 5 Android and seems to be the product previously leaked by DataMind. With a 7" WVGA touch screen, the device is impressively light and slim at 12.35oz and 0.47" respectively. The battery life is rated at 7 hours for video playback and 44 hours for music playback with two options of local storage capacities: a 2GB model priced at €179 in Europe and $179 in the US or an 8GB model for €179 (approximately US$211 excluding European tax).
The Archos 8 HT, as seen above, has identical specifications to the 7 HT with the exception of an 8" touch screen and a large picture frame form factor with a spacious bezel surrounding the screen, reflecting its additional use as a digital photo frame. The device is also 0.47" thick, weighing under 14.1oz, with 4GB local storage and costing €149 (likely also US$179 excluding European tax).
With the emphasis on home use, the tablets feature comprehensive media playback and streaming capabilities including HD video and support for a large range of codecs, web browsing, information services, social networking, and Android applications through Archos' AppsLib online store. Unfortunately there is no mention of whether these new tablets will be able to access the Android Market app store, and hence I assume this feature hasn't been worked out between Google and Archos yet.
Although the Archos 7 and 8 Home Tablets represent good value for casual home use, it is disappointing they are not the products many of us were hoping for, namely the tablets to follow on from the Archos 5 Android. However, there was some good news regarding those next generation products with Archos also announcing that it would be launching a new range of tablets using ARM Cortex A8 processors up to 1GHz this summer with screen sizes ranging from 3 to 10"!
So there is definitely more to look forward to from the French company in the coming months. In the meantime, check out the additional "in the metal" image of the Archos 7 HT below and a great preview video shot by Charbax over at ArchosFans.com, giving a good overview of the tablet and showing decent web browsing performance and impressive 720p HD video playback.