Archos has been making tablets for over 2 years. They’ve actually released one 5″ Android “tablet” back in fall 2009, so they are quite familiar with them. I wouldn’t say their tablets look as good as recent Galaxy Tab devices, buy they are usually solidly built and come with reasonable prices for the specs they have.
The current 2 tablets being shown at IFA are 8″ and 10.1″ in size, and come with the latest Android Honeycomb 3.2 operating system, which is a a little surprising,, especially since Honeycomb hasn’t even been made open-source, yet.
It’s almost as if manufacturers can upgrade Android 3.xx faster than they can upgrade Android 2.xx devices. Could it be because of the better architecture of Honeycomb (and soon ICS), or is it just becaue Google didn’t let them customize the OS too much? Either way, I’m happy to see this, and I hope after Android ICS launches, we won’t have to see any phone or tablet that comes to market with a one year old or even 6 months old Android version. As for the older phones, I hope they, too, can get the latest version of Android within a couple of months or so – all of them (that may be a little too optimistic, though).
The 2 Archos tablets come with a dual core 1.5 Ghz chip, and seem to handle the Honeycomb OS with ease. The 2 devices also come with some nifty features such as a kick-stand for media viewing, and a custom 3G USB modem that comes built-in, for connectivity on the road. You can put your SIM card in there to get 3G connection on your tablet. You can also configure your internal storage to up to 250 GB (HDD storage), which is not something you see everyday in a tablet, although I wouldn’t say I would prefer a 250 GB HDD tablet over one with 16 GB flash storage, simply because I don’t care much about the amount of storage in tablets, as long as it’s enough for some apps and pictures, and I prefer the higher performance of the flash storage. But I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who will appreciate the extra storage they can get for their tablet.