updated 01:00 pm EDT, Thu September 15, 2011
Archos 80 G9 and 101 G9 priced and dated for US
Archos commmitted itself to the US launch of its first truly native Android tablets on Thursday with release details for the 80 G9 and 101 G9. The unique eight-inch 80 G9 will be the first and ship September 20 for $299 with Android 3.2, making it one of the least expensive Android 3 tablets in the US. The entry version has a 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP processor and a light 8GB of storage.
The remaining models in Archos' line will all ship in October. Two more 80 G9 models will ship with 1.5GHz processors at $329 for 16GB of space and $369 for the 250GB hard drive edition. Two of the 10.1-inch 101 G9 models will be available, a 1.5GHz 16GB version starting at $399 and a 250GB version for $469.
Both sizes are Archos' first to have full Android Market support instead of having to use aftermarket stores and are the first to implement rotating hard drives instead of pure flash; the 250GB models use a Seagate Momentus Thin with a 4GB flash cache to avoid the delays associated with spinning up the drive. The 80 G9 is also rare in Android for using a 4:3 aspect ratio like the iPad's instead of rigidly following the 16:9 ratio set by Google.
Android tablets have only just begun to undercut the iPad in price and usually have to do so through lower build quality and reduced features. The Archos tablets may not necessarily counter Apple in quality but will be much less expensive and create problems for Acer, ASUS, and others that focus on price first.