Archos Generation 8 Android Tablets, prices and sizes rumored

Posted by Charbax – April 12, 2010

The prices are said to be $100 to $350, the sizes 3" to 10", ARM Cortex processor from 800mhz to 1ghz, with multi-touch and 3D acceleration.

My guesses are, based on this slide presented by Henri Crohas in China:

2x Archos 3 Android Gen8: starting at $100, what would the second 3" model be about?
1x Archos 5 Android Gen8: starting at $200?
2x Archos 7 Android Gen8: $200-300? Why two 7" models?
1x Archos 10 Android Gen8: $350? Pixel Qi dual-mode screen (my huge wish, so it can be readable for e-books and run 50h on the battery)?

The slide mentions multi-touch, a big question would be, does Archos now use Capacitive touch-screens? The the case of 3" and 7", might it be that the second skew is to provide a cheap resistive choice as well as a $50 to $100 more expensive capacitive type? The thing about capacitive screen is this, as far as I understand, and as far as one can find by just looking at what's available on the market, it might be capacitive screens are really much more expensive and hard to come by in sizes other than some very definite sizes decided to be mass manufactured by the smart phone industry.

OpenGL acceleration and multi-touch features are clearly stated in the slide. Which may mean that Android 2.1 support is pretty much for surely available. Another hardware feature would be interesting to know about would be how well those devices will integrate 3G connectivity. We know Archos does Bluetooth tethering well, and one can buy a Mifi for WiFi to 3G tethering, how about Archos building 3G modems directly into skews of those Android tablet devices, and how about them making sure that power is managed in a way so that Voice-over-IP and other instant messaging over IP applications can constantly be active and stand-by on 3G and WiFi connections.

Logically to reach 1ghz they will use the Texas Instruments OMAP3640 series of processors, which is a significant upgrade on OMAP3440 of the current generation. This is not only a matter of increase of mhz speed. OMAP3640 is built on a 45nm process instead of the 65nm process of the current processor, which means the processor is significantly smaller and uses a lot less power, which probably brings better battery runtime. You can watch my video comparing OMAP3630 with OMAP3430. The performance increase for 3D rendering with the new processor is more than 62% going from 92fps to 156fps on the same 3D rendering animation. I don't know if video decoding and encoding performance has been improved. And I don't know how much things like website rendering is improved, if it's just 25% faster based on 800mhz vs 1ghz or if it is more than that.

I do not know if OMAP3640 can do 1080p decoding and much higher HD video decoding bitrates. I don't know if OMAP3640 simplifies the integration of mini-HDMI output directly into the device. If Archos includes a camera, it could probably record 720p video which would be really awesome, if a wireless microphone using Bluetooth or mini-jack input also can be used for good sound recording.

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