Testing some cool features, Dolphin Browser HD multi-tabs, video-chatting, RDP, video-games, I just did a 37 minute VOIP call using SIP on Fring and using my $8/month 1GB/month SIM card in my Huawei Mifi and it works pretty much perfectly. For some reason audio in Skype and in Fring video-chat is still buggy, but I am sure Archos will fix this in a firmware update imminently. Also see Part 1 of my video review of this product.
Touch screen based PMP with full codecs support up to 1080p. No Android, no WiFi, but surely may be very cheap. Possibly cheapest such PMP to be broadly distributed at retailers in Europe and the USA. How cheap is to be confirmed. It seems to be Rockchip RK2818 ARM9 based. It comes with 250GB and 500GB of 2.5″ hard disk drive storage and MicroSD card expansion.
Thanks BenMars for your reports from the Hong Kong Sourcing fair!
Archos is bringing a new line of cheap 1080p-capable PMPs. The reason they are bringing those to the European and US markets is because they can provide a really cheap attractive price, how cheap it will be sold for is to be confirmed. I guess it must be running the Rockchip RK2818 ARM9 processor which has HDMI output and up to 1080p video playback support.
Thanks BenMars for your reports from the Hong Kong Sourcing fair!
First unboxing and review of the Archos 70 Internet Tablet, a $275 alternative to the $499 iPad and the $599 Samsung Galaxy Tab. I was amazed by how thin and light it is when I first took it out of the box, at 300 grams, it nearly feels like it’s an empty case without any electronics inside.
The capacitive touch screen on an Archos tablet is cool, I need to get used to that. Hopefully I will learn to type on it as fast as I do with my finger-tips/nails on my resistive screens. My plan this winter is to carry this 7″ Archos Android tablet with me everywhere in the inside of my jacket pocket. In this video, I try to show you multi-touch, web browsing speed, email, facebook, Google Maps Street View, Live wallpapers, video playback, HDMI output and more.
This review model is still running Android 2.1, while Archos is putting finishing touches to their faster and more optimized Android 2.2 firmware, hopefully to be ready in like days or so for when this device and its 101 big-brother actually ships worldwide. As I showed you in my previous video, Google Marketplace works on these Archos Android tablets using the gApps4Archos.apk one-click installation file. All codecs up to H264 high profile high bitrate 720p MKV works even on HDMI output (still to be tested and optimized in firmware). It’s only 300 grams (vs 380 grams Galaxy Tab and 680 grams iPad).
Pictures available at Picasa:
You can discuss this video in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=38513
The full Google Marketplace with Gmail, Google Maps now works on Archos new range of Android Internet Tablets, it has been made available as a one-click installation file with the name “gApps4Archos.apk” in the ArchosFans forum by a forum user. In this video of the Archos 43 Internet Tablet, I also feature demonstrations of Skype (these Android tablets can be a perfect as cheap VOIP devices!), Bluetooth speakers, 720p MKV high bitrate video playback with DTS audio and a couple of action packed 3D games on the HDMI output.
Here’s a reminder of the new Archos Android Tablets that this Google Marketplace gApps4Archos.apk installation file works with:
Archos 28 Internet Tablet, 4GB, 2.8″ resistive screen: $99 (2.29x cheaper than iPod Touch!) (available next week)
Archos 32 Internet Tablet, 8GB, 3.2″ resistive screen, VGA camcorder, composite tv-out: $149 (available since a couple of weeks at certain online resellers like Amazon.com)
Archos 43 Internet Tablet, 16GB, 4.3″ resistive screen, HD camcorder, HDMI output: $199 (3x cheaper than Droid X!) (available next week)
Archos 70 Internet Tablet, 16GB, 7″ capacitive screen, front-facing webcam for video-chat, HDMI output: $275 (2.5x cheaper than Samsung Galaxy Tab!) 250GB version for $349 (available next week)
Archos 101 Internet Tablet, 8GB, 10.1″ capacitive screen, front-facing webcam for video-chat, HDMI output: $299 ($200 cheaper than iPad!) 16GB version for $349 (available next week)
In this video, I try to show you the quality and to demonstrate the value of the Archos 32 Internet Tablet with Android. It’s the 3.2″ $149 8GB big brother of Archos 28 Internet Tablet which is to be sold below $99 with 4GB of storage and a slightly smaller 2.8″ screen, of about the same size as the HTC Tatoo, Sony Ericsson X10 Mini, Acer beTouch 110/120/130. This video shows how the experience is on such WQVGA resolution small screen Android device.
What do you think about this Archos Android WiFi-connected PMP, at 2.3x cheaper than the iPod Touch? Don’t you think it will be a no brainer for mass market consumers, if given the choice in stores, that they will choose this type of Android alternative to the iPod Touch?
An overview of the difference in screen size, touch screen quality, web browsing speed. More on video playback support including a test on streaming video over Samba file sharing.
It packs everything you can think of into 130 grams, with 4.3″ highly responsive touch screen, $199 price point for 16GB, no monthly subscription fees required (makes it much cheaper but similar in performance to Droid X), it can access 3G on Mifi or using Bluetooth tethering. In this video I demonstrate awesome HDMI output to browse the Internet on your HDTV, to play amazing 3D video games using the accelerometer or perhaps using bluetooth gamepad controllers too, and of course, to playback HD quality videos.
This is my unboxing video of the Generation 8 Archos Android tablets:
Archos 43 Internet Tablet (16GB) for sale soon for $199 in the USA and 199€ in Europe. (yes A43 is confirmed to be $199/199€ for 16GB Capacity). The Archos 43 Internet Tablet basically offers the same Android experience on a large yet very pocketable 4.3″ touch screen as on a Droid X using the same Texas Instruments OMAP3630 ARM Cortex A8 45nm 1ghz processor but for $199 all inclusive (no $599 unlocked pricing or $2000 with 2-year contracts), no monthly subscriptions required, though for 3G access and VOIP you need to use a Mifi or Bluetooth tethering. It comes with HDMI output and full video and audio codecs support up to MKV 720p high profile and high bitrate support (which I will test in my upcoming next videos).
Archos 32 Internet Tablet (8GB) for sale now on Amazon.com for $144 in the USA and 158€ on Amazon.de in Europe. This MiniTablet range by Archos offers basically a similar experience to the iPod Touch but for an amazing price starting at $99 for the Archos 28 to $149 for the Archos 32 which thus has slightly larger screen, a VGA camera and Composite tv-out.
In this video, I unbox them and boot them up for the first time:
Consider European prices include ~20% VAT taxes which is why the EU price of any consumer electronics devices is always higher than US prices which don’t include taxes.
You can discuss this video in my other forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=37752
Samsung is releasing this 3.2″ Android 2.2 compatible ARM11 based media player.
This 130gr super compact FWVGA 854×480 Android 2.2 tablet with ARM Cortex A8 1ghz 45nm omap3630. Although it’s a resistive touch screen, it is the most reactive and best looking resistive touch screen that I have seen thus far. This Android 2.2 device is extremely compact, offering comparable Android 2.2 experience to the HTC EVO and Droid X, though at a fraction of the price, for $199 for the 16GB model, it comes with HDMI output and support for all video codecs at up to 720p and with pretty high bitrates even for advance profile encodings. In this video I also try to demonstrate some of the performance for web browsing.
The world’s cheapest Android 2.2 device with ARM Cortex A8 45nm processor. It’s got a 2.8″ QVGA resistive touch screen. But, it can really do most things basic Android users want. It’s less than half the price of the iPod Touch.
This is the new Archos 32 Internet Tablet, with a 800mhz ARM Cortex A8 omap3630 processor based on 45nm process, it playsback all video codecs at up to 720p requiring no video convertions, suport composite video output, bluetooth, WiFi b/g/n, comes with 3.2″ resistive (but good) touch screen.
Sanmos Microelectronics Corp. is launching some cheap video games emulators, available from $13 with 8bit-only pre-loaded games or for $36 for the MiShark64 with MicroSD card slot and video game emulation support of upwards 10 thousand games (one can “find” on the Internet) from 8bit NES (FC), GB, GBC, 16bit SNES (SFC), Sega MD and up to 32bit GBA games. The MiShark64 also includes a composite TV-output and video playback support of RMVB, DAT, RM, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, FLV, H.263, WMV, AVI, ASF, 3GP, VOB formats and Audio codecs support of MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, APE, FLAC. It comes with an integrated 800mA Li-ion battery good for 2 hours of portable use, but it can also be used on the TV and comes with 2 game controllers for that.
Rockchip may be the new “China Processor”, that ARM Processor coming out of China that can be found in some of the cheap Android Tablets and Laptops. This could be a major part of China’s attempt at providing every component of future low cost computing devices, even the processor. The new version of the Rockchip processor is said to be faster, RK2808 is 600mhz while RK2818 can go to 1ghz. But according to Toms Hardware, this new Rockchip RK2818 might still be ARM926EJ-S ARMv5 based.
In practice, RK2808 reached 1.1 DMIPS per MHz, while a core based on the Cortex A8 is 2 DMIPS per MHz and the recent Cortex A9 is 2.5 per DMIPS MHz. Even at 1 GHz, a Rockchip will be about two times slower than what the Cortex competition offers (at a higher price).
The question might be, how much cheaper are ARM9 based devices? Rockchip might still be only for low-end lower cost devices mostly made by Chinese manufacturers. The good news is this new Rockchip can support Android 2.1 and 2.2 (while RK2808 can only do Android 1.5). It’s got to be thanks to its newer and better DSP graphics accelerator, with screen support at up to 1024×768 which could be great to power cheap ARM Powered laptops and low cost 10″ Android Tablets. Availability may be after September for a bunch of new RK2818 based products or maybe also simply quick upgrades of RK2808 based designs. I wonder if the new 720p video playback on RK2818 may be improved, while RK2808 could only playback H264 MKV 720p at up to 2.5mbit/s.
Source: Toms Hardware France (in french)
AllGo is presenting what may be one of the lowest cost ARM9 i.MX233 based Android device solution. For Tablets, PMPs, intelligent screens. AllGo provides Android software integration on the Freescale processors. The full Tablet with a 7″ WVGA screen and a battery could have a Bill Of Material cost of as low as $35.
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.
You can discuss this news in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=32392
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Chinese manufacturer Hott is launching a design for a 4.8″ tablet based on a version of Android which they have customized to work for them on the ARM9 Rockchip based processor which comes with full video playback support. Check out these interesting Android customizations in this product that they proudly define as “iPad-killer”.
The design of this 4.8″ Android tablet by Hott is the most compact that I have seen so far. I think it is very nice that it only has a minimal screen bezel. Check out it’s size compared to my Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android in the following pictures posted to Picasa (click to see the full size versions on Picasa):
This is the first Android device with such a gaming buttons layout. It’s affordable available at around $300 unlocked at http://hardkernel.com but does not come with a 3G modem, only WiFi. It does have a pretty snappy ARM Cortex A8 processor from Samsung clocked at 833mhz, with 512MB DDR2 memory, a 3.5-inch capacitive touch screen display and 720p video playback through its built-in HDMI output. This is for now the Developer Edition of this ODroid product to be released in March 2010, followed by commercial editions of this product, to hopefully include full emulators for all game consoles ported to Android up to N64 and Dreamcast games if this device’s 3D acceleration and processing power will be able to handle those emulators and if developers port those to this implementation of Android.
Archos is releasing a whole bunch of new cheap Mp3 and Mp4 players at the CeBIT 2010 consumer electronics show. Here is an overview of most of the new ones. It enables Archos to position itself as a low-cost provider of Mp3 players, with really good affordable value for retailers and to position the Archos brand broader on the market, interest people in then also checking out Archos higher end Android devices.