Archos 32 first out of the gate, now available for $150 from Archos in US

Archos_32

Now that we all know what Archos has been cooking up in its secret French lab, since all was revealed about the entire line of Gen 8 Android tablets last week at IFA in Berlin, I thought a quick visit to Archos.com was in order to see if the new devices had been plastered across the pages. Yup, they're all there, but the biggest surprise was the availability of the iPod touch-like Archos 32 model, ready to purchase today for $150.

The Archos 32, so named because of the 3.2-inch resistive touchscreen, comes loaded with an 800MHz ARM Cortex A8, 8GB flash storage, 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, and a rear-facing camera capable of VGA video. Imagine the current Archos 5 Android that was released last year, shrink it down about 50%, and you pretty much have the sleek new Archos 32. Following in the grand tradition of Android devices that never seem to get everything just right, the 32 will be shipping with Android 2.1 (Froyo is promised for October) and without the official Android Market, using AppsLib instead.

Even though Archos claimed a mid-September release, I'm surprised it actually beat that date by over a week, but what other choice was there with Apple's hot new fourth-gen iPod touch reaching customers later this week? Will the tiny Archos' $80 price savings over the base model iPod touch be enough to overcome the lack of features in comparison? Maybe, maybe not, but at least Archos is responding to the challenge faster than it ever has in the past.

[Archos Store]
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Chris King

Chris King is a former contributing editor at Pocketables.