Froyo Five-pack of Android Tablets from Archos
Archos today introduced five Android-powered tablets, two due out this month and three later in the fall, ranging in price from $100 to $349, all shipping with Android 2.2. The quintuplets from the portable media player company range from compact mobile devices with 2.8- and 3.2-inch screens to 4.3-, 7- and 10.1-inch displays. Here's how the line breaks down: the Archos 28 is available this month and has a 2.8-inch screen, includes 4GB of storage and costs $99.99, while the Archos 32, also out this month, has a 3.2-inch display, 8GB of storage and costs $149.99. The other three are slated for a fall release. They are the Archos 43 with 4.3-inch screen, 8GB, $199.999; Archos 70 with 7-inch screen priced at $274.99 for the 8GB model and $349.99 for the 250GB model; and the Archos 101, with 10.1-inch screen, $299.99 for 8GB and $349 for 16GB. Full specs of the five Archos Android tablet PCs are detailed in a company release.
News of the five Android 2.2. tablets comes on the heels of a major update to the mobile Linux operating system to version 2.2. Android 2.2 includes more mobile security features, such as support for complex passwords and policies, remote wipe and the ability to remotely lock the device to secure data if the mobile device is lost or stolen. Froyo also includes support for Exchange calendars, Adobe Flash as well as tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, and, overall, performs much faster. The mobile OS also now allows for application storage on external devices and a more fluid mobile app market experience. Additionally, recent analyst reports are citing Android as surpassing rival mobile operating platforms for the first time, as industry watchers wait to see if any of the new crop of Android tablets coming out over the next few months will be serious challengers to Apple's iPad. The five-pack from Archos will join the Dell Streak and ViewSonic's dual-boot mobile device and ViewPad 7, Samsung's Galaxy Tab, and the Cisco Cius. The 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab is slated to be officially introduced tomorrow and is expected to be carried on Verizon's network. Samsung has not disclosed many details on the Android-powered tablet, but did issue a teaser video showing a 7-inch screen and a back-facing camera. However, other reports suggest it will ship with Android 2.2, or Froyo, have a 1024x600 AMOLED screen, front- and back-facing camera, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and be powered by a 1GHz processor. In addition to the Galaxy Tab, ViewSonic's UK branch announced that it will unveil a 7-inch Android tablet, called the ViewPad 7. It will run Android 2.2, include front- and back-facing cameras, microSD slot, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity. There's no word yet on when it will be available in the U.S., but the company expects pricing to be around $545. "ViewSonic will also be previewing a new Intel-based 10-inch tablet with dual boot Microsoft and Android operating systems," the company said in a statement, but did not disclose any more details. Targeted at business users, the Cisco Cius -- which is slated for customer trials in the third quarter and full availability in the beginning of 2011 -- includes a number of features designed to appeal to on-the-go information workers. For example, the Cius offers both front- and rear-facing 720p HD cameras to enable full video collaboration. It will also integrate with Cisco's suite of collaboration software including the Cisco Quad, WebEx and instant messaging platforms. The device is also designed to be lightweight, tipping the scale at 1.15 pounds. The Cius includes a docking/recharging station that resembles a traditional Cisco IP phone, complete with handset. The Cius device itself has a 7-inch screen and is Wi-Fi enabled with 802.11a/b/g/n connectivity as well as Bluetooth and 3G wireless capabilities.