For the confirmation if 8GB 1Ghz versions have 512MB RAM and 16GB and 250GB 1.5Ghz versions have 1GB RAM, you have to wait another few days or weeks for Archos to give us an official confirmation on the RAM capacity. As far as I understand, they may still be testing out the different types of RAM and capacities based on the latest Honeycomb 3.2 software most optimized for the high memory bandwidth of the OMAP4460 processor, to determine which type and capacity of RAM to use. Though these 1.5Ghz tablets are probably right now coming out of those factories so Archos should be able to confirm this at any moment now. Let's try again tomorrow and the day after, when the engineers are not on their week-end break and can give us an answer.
These cool new Archos tablets start at 249€ for the 8" 8GB 1Ghz, 299€ for the 10.1" 8GB 1Ghz device. Consider US prices do not include VAT so similar $249 to $299 starting price can perhaps be expected in the US, though the $ is weak at the moment so US prices might start at something closer to $299 and $349 (to be confirmed officially tomorrow). You get 1.5Ghz processor speed when you choose the 16GB or 250GB versions that are slightly more expensive. Also check back for my further videos tomorrow on the Archos G9 series, I will ask them about the performance and more.
I got lucky enough to be able to play around with the new Archos G9 tablets for a few minutes (as I am the admin on http://forum.archosfans.com), they are awesome. Here are some of the features that I think makes this probably one of the best tablets in the world when it comes out in September:
- 50% faster than iPad2/Xoom/Transformer/Tab101/etc, 1.5Ghz Dual-core OMAP4460 ARM Cortex-A9 vs 1Ghz for the others (Quad-cores such as Nvidia Tegra3 are rumored to come at 1.2Ghz so this dual-core may be 25% faster for some things that are not too parallel and perhaps about 20% slower on other more parallel processed things)
- Optional unlocked $49 3G Dongle slides in the back
- Built-in kick-stand
- HDMI-out (1080p All Codecs High Profile High Bitrates) with most powerful Video/Audio/Photo apps on any device with automatic meta-data and Upnp/Samba streaming support
- 2x USB Host (one is dedicated for 3G Dongle)
- Honeycomb 3.2 with official Google Marketplace pre-installed
- Most importantly, starts at $279 for 8", $349 for 10.1", there will be all kinds of options though, 16GB Flash or 250GB hard drive (the 250GB version is likely around $100 more than the 16GB flash version, to be confirmed) don't worry about hard drive speed/failures, all the Android OS and apps are on 4GB Flash based ROM cache so the OS feels 100% as fast as on a Flash based tablet, the HDD only spins up when loading big video files into memory while you probably are not likely to be running around with it anyway.
This is my first video showing how those tablets are. Look forward to many more videos that I will post about the Archos G9 if I can get some review samples at one point in the next few weeks until and after they are released in September worldwide.
I would have liked to see them do 5" and 7" G9 tablets as well to be more pocketable (pants 5" or jacket 7" pockets), but for now, Archos has nothing to announce regarding more sizes for the G9 series, it's open to speculation, my speculation is that it may be the reason for them to have to wait for Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich to come and support more screen sizes officially and also it may be a question of production capacity and limiting the amount of skews they release.
$349, Honeycomb 3.2, Google Marketplace, 3G dongle can be integrated, up to 250GB Hard Drive storage, 1280x800 resolution touch screen, available in September, 1080p@60fps full codecs high profile video playback support... Engadget is posting some infos.
Archos hacker Bubu just released the multi-boot menu support for the Archos Gen8 Tablets, it reportedly works great on Archos 70 Internet Tablet and Archos 101 Internet Tablet, find the release here: http://www.openaos.org/archives/739
Then you can install alternative firmwares and have them right there available in your multi-boot menu on your Archos, so you could for example today choose between Archos official Android firmware, Debian Linux and Angstrom Linux.
If more software hackers contribute, Archos tablets may also run Ubuntu 11.4, Chromium OS, Gingerbread and any other embedded Linux OS through this multi-boot system.
Bubu and the team at OpenAOS.org previously released this solution for the Archos Gen6 and Gen7 tablets as well.
Archos surely seems to dominate in terms of nearly every store in Hong Kong that sells tablets have a range of Archos Gen8 tablets for sale right there at prime shelf space, while very few have the iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab for sale. It seems consumers and gadget retailers in Hong Kong Electronics Market regard Archos as great value, even as there might be cheaper "Archos Home Tablet" or "Arnova" grade tablets also being sold there, consumers who want high-end experience for low to mid-range pricing, still overwhelmingly choose the Archos tablets.
ABI Research recently speculated that Archos as being the third largest tablet maker worldwide in 2010. If Apple still has 85% in Q1 2011 and with 4.69 million iPads sold, that means Archos would have had to only sell 110 thousand tablets worldwide between January-March 2011 to remain at that 2% 2010 ABI Research speculative worldwide tablet market share.
My theory, Archos probably has more than 6% global tablet market share today
Another thing to consider, Archos can only have as much marketshare as it can afford to build for.
If you consider Apple may have about 80% tablet market share in Q1 2011, and Archos let's say 8% in that same period, here are some of the differences between those two companies:
Archos has less than 150 employees mostly based in France, $56.7 Million Q1 2011 revenues, Market Capitalisation at $215,34 Million, probably has less than $20 Million in the bank to use for production enhancements, sales channels increase, marketing, manufacturing capacity increase, and R&D investments.
Apple has 49,400 employees (329x more than Archos) mostly based in the USA, $24.6 Billion Q1 2011 revenues (433x more than Archos), Market Capitalisation at $223,77 Billion (1039x more than Archos), probably has over $40 Billion in the bank to use for production enhancements (2000x more than Archos), sales channels increase, marketing, manufacturing capacity increase, and R&D investments.
This is why Archos has started today issuing a capital increase of upwards $43 Million, a call to their investors to invest more money in new Archos stock. If investors answer the call (by May 4th), Archos may triple their bank account size, thus having more money to spend on increasing production capacity, smoothing sales channels, optimizing software/hardware R&D efficiency, and may gear up for trying to reach upwards 24% global tablet marketshare by the end of the year.
Considering the many new entrants to the tablet market, including major ones like Asus, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, etc, it might be hard for a small company like Archos to reach 24% marketshare in such a rapidly growing market. But who knows, in my opinion, it's mostly a matter of cash, investments and being able to provide the best value. While Archos may triple their sales having 3x more cash in the bank for tripling production capacity (considering they can easily sell everything that they make), that does not mean they would triple their marketshare if the tablet market at the same time more than doubles in size. They might go from 8% to 12%, something like that. And if the tablet market triples in size they could remain at 8% in a 3x larger market.
Here's the Arnova 10 with capacitive touch screen and the RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 processor. At around $229 MSRP it could possibly become one of the best value 10.1" ARM Cortex-A8 capacitive tablets on the market. It's thin, uses most of the nice design features of the Archos 101 Internet Tablet released in October 2010, but removes the kick-stand (to lower cost), replaces some of the metallic design features with plastics (to lower cost), removes HDMI output (I need to let them confirm this, perhaps that was just removed on the prototype). This device uses the new 1.2Ghz Rockchip processor, with 1080p video codecs support (possibly all codecs at up to over 30mbitps high profile playback), new better graphics performance, but most importantly, this awesome 10.1" tablet may be sold around $229/229€ at retail MSRP (with capacitive and rk2918), and there is a good chance Rockchip should be getting access to the Honeycomb source code soon (comon Google, give it to them sooner rather than later! (I have no idea if Rockchip has Honeycomb yet or not, I will try to interview Rockchip again about Honeycomb at China Sourcing Fair tomorrow)).