ArchosFans.com

Archos News, Forums and Videos

Archive for the 'News' Category

Archos 7c Home Tablet, RK2918 Capacitive

Posted by Charbax on 13th April 2011

Welcome to Archos Shenzhen offices, Sandy Chen is Archos OEM sales director, she introduces the new Archos 7c Home Tablet, an updated Archos 7 Home Tablet with capacitive screen and RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 performance chip inside.

Posted in Exclusives, News, Videos | View Comments

Archos Gen9 tablets, 1.6Ghz Dual-core, 3G, to be announced in June

Posted by Charbax on 18th March 2011

Archos just announced that their revenues are up 44% for 2010 sales compared to 2009 sales, to $118 Million in yearly sales. They also managed to increase their profit margins from 13.5% to 23.3%. In terms of actual profits after R&D, Marketing and other expenses, Archos is about break-even. Archos plans to more than double its revenues and profits in 2011, grabbing about 5% of the worldwide tablet market share expected in 2011 (they captured 22% market share in France for November-December 2010, behind iPad 67% but infront of Samsung 4%, so it should be doable even as tablet competition strongly increases). They plan to do that among other by launching Generation 9 in June (at least show it for the first time), that’s only 3 months from now!

Here are the first few details as reported by bestofmicro.com from what they heard at Archos investors meeting today about the Gen9 tablets (what’s in bold is from the report, the rest of following text are my added speculations and guessing):

- ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-core 1.6Ghz, it’s the fastest processor in a tablet ever unveiled thus far. I expect this to be a customized Texas Instruments OMAP4440, but that is only because I guess Archos will continue their long time partnership with TI that they’ve had for over 10 years now.

- New innovative 3G modem. Yup, we’re getting 3G (at least as an option). What kind of 3G? How they implement it? I dunno, it seems they have a new special way of doing it? I hope they do it with some kind of modem module that can be added or swaped, thus making the tablet compatible with all types of cellular networks current and future and making production and distribution easy, anyone think it could be a module? Somehow allowing for space for a standard USB 3G modem on an “internal” USB host could also be a very innovative way to simply add 3G to the devices, the back of the device could “simply” have some space available to insert any standard compact 3G modem such as the Huawei or ZTE 3G usb dongles that anyone can buy everywhere for as little as $20 unlocked.

- 6 sizes from 5″ to 10″. That’s the sizes it seems they are aiming at. It might mean Archos noticed their 7″ and 10″ Gen8 were much more popular and in demand than the smaller sizes, and it might mean Archos is realizing a tablet has to be at least 5″, perhaps they leave the smaller sizes to the Arnova line? I expect/hope all are capacitive, even the 5″ one. Likely sizes are 5″, 7″, 10.1″, other possible sizes (since there are 6 sizes planned), 9.7″ 4:3 aspect ratio, 5.8″, 8.9″, 8″ 4:3 aspect ratio. I also hope Archos and Pixel Qi can synchronize release schedules so Archos can provide Pixel Qi matte capacitive screen option on all these sizes, at least as an option. Would you pay $50/$100 extra for Pixel Qi if Pixel Qi is not yet fully mass produced? One can hope Pixel Qi is fully mass produced in time, and that somehow Archos sees the opportunity in using it accross the line, thus making Gen9 ready for productivity, ready for real reading, ready for outdoor use, ready for use in professional and study situations, ready for serious collaboration on text annotations, ready to be Kindle-killer and iPad-killer all at the same time.

- All are Android, obviously it has to be Honeycomb (source code for Honeycomb has yet to be released in the open by Google, it should be done any day now), can Google finally open up Android and allow value Archos tablets the full Google Marketplace access? I would expect so, that could hopefully allow Archos to be certified. (this is totally up to Google is my guess)

- Archos says they continue to focus on aiming for the medium range pricing. My guess is it likely stays below $300, but if they do 3G, Pixel Qi and if they are first out with OMAP4440, who knows, perhaps the price might sneak up to something below $400. Archos CEO is planning all this based on offering the best possible value they can, my guess is that they aim to stay below $300 for the basic models.

- They continue to make hard drive versions. Reason being hard drives provide much more storage at much lower cost. My expectation is at least some of the 6 sizes will have hard drive options. Capacity can depend on how thick they can accept that hard drive to be, cause 2.5″ hard drives can go up to 1TB as far as I know, but those are probably too fat. So 250GB for sure, 320GB and 500GB again maybe, if the 320GB or/and 500GB are available in super slim mode.

Well that’s all they have teased for us for now. What other features are you hoping Archos is preparing for us in the Gen9 tablets? write in the comments. You can also comment in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=43708&p=337531#p337531

Sources: http://www.bestofmicro.com/actualite/28876-Tablette-Android.html, http://www.archos.com/corporate/investors/financial_doc/ARCHOS_2010_Results_en.pdf

Posted in News, Rumors, Suggestions | View Comments

Arnova 10, $199 10.1” Android Tablet

Posted by Charbax on 25th February 2011

Here is a world exclusive video unveiling of the new Arnova 10 entry-level 10.1” Android tablet:

This may become the world’s cheapest ARM Cortex-A8 1Ghz RK2918, 10.1” capacitive Android tablet on the market (I filmed an early pre-production prototype of it with capacitive/rk29 combo at CES here). Until about April, Arnova 10 is released now as a 10.1” resistive ARM9 600Mhz RK2818 tablet. The price remains $199 in the USA, 199€ in Europe (consider all European prices always include ~20% VAT). Look for a slightly different model number once the capacitive/rk29 version starts shipping. They will shift to it as soon as 10.1” capacitive and rk29 components are ready/stable and mass manufactured, the Chinese suppliers are working as fast as they can, this should be in a couple months.

Archos is the second largest tablet maker in France according to GfK sales numbers, having 22% market share, far in front of Samsung with 4%, 67% for iPad. Arnova is a new brand from Archos based in Hong Kong, that uses the design, manufacturing and distribution strengths of ARchos but will remain a separate brand for the cheaper $100-$200 Rockchip based devices (see the press release here). The idea here is to get these excellent valued Rockchip based designs to more people in Europe and the USA. But Arnova is also more extensively going to be promoted for developing countries as people there enjoy cheaper stuff. But people enjoy cheaper stuff everywhere.

Rockchip is doing excellent work optimizing cost in their entry level SoC designs, and are doing stable hardware optimizations with the latest versions of Android that can be adapted for the given ARM architectures that they use. Archos has probably been the top selling Rockchip maker thus far with the Archos 7 Home Tablet massively sold in every major electronics store in the USA and Europe these past 12 months (go check your local Staples, Best Buy, etc.. it’s probably there), and they plan to further extend that kind of reach with their new Arnova branding.

As it stands right now with Rockchip, Eclair is the furthest they can go for ARM9 RK2818 based devices (Donut for their older ARM9 RK2808 without graphics acceleration), and Gingerbread is the furthest they can go with ARM Cortex-A8 RK2918 based devices. But who knows, Google may announce tomorrow Honeycomb support for every popular ARM architecture used in any previously certified or not certified Android tablets out there, even including the cheapest Rockchip designs. I asked some Google people at MWC, including in my interview with Honeycomb designer Matias Duarte, they told me Honeycomb has no minimum hardware requirements, which hopefully also means other than opening Honeycomb source code for all to use, that Google will also allow for Google Marketplace on all devices without requiring stuff like compass/gps/3g, and hopefully Google also plans to dedicate resources to help all SoC platform makers and device maker with getting great and fully hardware optimized new firmwares with Honeycomb and Marketplaces onto all these cheaper devices as well (evt with Holographic UI effects disabled on low hardware specs).

$800 for a Honeycomb tablet is a lot of money for some people. Sure enough, the Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 Tegra2 Honeycomb experience is awesome, but a lot of people prefer paying 4x less if they can get a decent ARM Cortex-A8 Honeycomb experience, if Google and companies like Arnova just allow consumers to have that choice.

Specs:
Price: $199 in USA, 199€ in Europe (consider all European prices always include ~20% VAT)
Capacity: 4GB (or 8GB) with MicroSD slot
OS: Android 2.1 Eclair (on RK2818), Gingerbread (on RK2918 version available ~April), Honeycomb? (depends on Google/Rockchip)
Display: 10.1″ 1024×600 touch screen (resistive now, capacitive version available ~April) , 16 million colors
Video playback (on current RK2818 model): H264 up to 720p 30fps 5mbitps, Mpeg4 30fps 2.5mbitps, RMVB up to 720p 30fps 2.5mbitps, in these extensions: .avi, .mp4, .mkv, .mov, .flv (RK2918 version available ~April may add 1080p and higher bitrates support)
Audio playback: mp3, wav, ape, ogg, flac
Photo: jpeg, bmp, gif, png
Interfaces: USB 2.0 Slave MSC, USB 2.0 Host MSC, MicroSD slot
Wireless: WiFi b/g
Other: built-in speaker, microphone, G-sensor, front-facing VGA camera
Battery runtime: TBC music, up to 6h video
Size: 272×152.3×13.5mm (10.7″x6″x0.5″)
Weight: 570gr (20.1oz)

Posted in Exclusives, News, Reviews, Tradeshows, Videos | View Comments

Arnova 8, $149 8″ Android Tablet

Posted by Charbax on 25th February 2011

As with the Arnova 10, this one also starts resistive/rk2818 for now, and becomes capacitive/rk2918 during the next couple of months, staying at $149 MSRP.

Specs:
Price: $149 in USA, 149€ in Europe (consider all European prices always include ~20% VAT)
Capacity: 4GB with MicroSD slot
OS: Android 2.1 Eclair (on RK2818), Gingerbread (on RK2918 version available ~April), Honeycomb? (depends on Google/Rockchip)
Display: 8″ 800×600 touch screen (resistive now, capacitive version available ~April) , 16 million colors
Video playback (on current RK2818 model): H264 up to 720p 30fps 5mbitps, Mpeg4 30fps 2.5mbitps, RMVB up to 720p 30fps 2.5mbitps, in these extensions: .avi, .mp4, .mkv, .mov, .flv (RK2918 version available ~April may add 1080p and higher bitrates support)
Audio playback: mp3, wav, ape, ogg, flac
Photo: jpeg, bmp, gif
Interfaces: USB 2.0 Slave MSC, USB 2.0 Host MSC, MicroSD slot
Wireless: WiFi b/g
Other: 2 built-in speakers, microphone, G-sensor
Battery runtime: 22.5h music, 6h video
Size: 205x153x12mm (8″x4.2″x0.5″)
Weight: 500gr (17.6oz)

Posted in Exclusives, News, Reviews, Tradeshows, Videos | View Comments

Alcatel One Touch and Archos partner up for low cost Android Tablet and Smartphone combined data plans

Posted by Charbax on 8th February 2011

Alcatel One Touch is one of the makers of cheap Android Smartphones such as the Alcatel OT-980 which is sold for only £99 on pre-paid plans in the UK. Alcatel One Touch is a brand of TCL Corporation, a $16.7 Billion valued Chinese consumer electronics company.

Alcatel One Touch’s partnership with Archos would enable an easy sharing of data from a low cost Android Smartphone using a ‘’One Touch Connect’’ button to share the 3G data automatically with the Archos tablet over a mobile WiFi hotspot. This may be a one-click process, and the carrier may be able to limit access of that WiFi hotspot only to the Archos tablet through Mac address filtering and not as a totally open or encrypted WiFi hotspot for use with other devices.

The idea is that one affordable subscription plan include the voice and data through the low cost Android smartphone as well as the low cost yet high-end Android tablet. This way, consumers don’t need to subscribe to more than one package. I think it can be expected that Alcatel One Touch will present a new range of cheap Android Smartphones with this One Touch Connect mobile hotspot functionality built-in.

Here is expectation/guess/suggestion for a pricing model which I think would make this kind of offer a sure hit:

Pre-paid only, no contract: $299 for the basic 3.5″ capacitive Alcatel-OT Smartphone and the latest Archos 7″ capacitive tablet, both are on pre-paid and no contracts are needed, pricing for pre-paid should be below $30 per month for something like 300 minutes or unlimited use of voice and 3GB to 5GB of data per month to be used on the Tablet and the Smartphone. The 3GB monthly data hotspot may be open for other devices as well if the carrier wants to allow it. For example $10 to $20 extra per month it could open up the mobile hotspot to any other device and increase monthly limit to something like 10GB per month.

Phone alone on pre-paid no contract should be $149. Tablet alone no contract needed would be $249.

6-month contract, then pre-pay: $249 for the Smartphone+Tablet package, $30/month for unlimited voice/data to use on both devices or more. $50 early termination fee, lowered $5 each month.

12-month contract, then pre-pay: $199 for the Smartphone+Tablet package, $30/month for unlimited voice/data to use on both devices or more. $100 early termination fee, lowered $5 each month.

18-month contract, then pre-pay: $149 for the Smartphone+Tablet package, $30/month for unlimited voice/data to use on both devices or more, $150 early termination fee, lowered $5 each month.

24-month contract, then pre-pay: $99 for the Smartphone+Tablet package, $30/month for unlimited voice/data to use on both devices or more. $200 early termination fee, lowered $5 each month.

What do you think of the idea to use a cheap Smartphone mostly for voice and basic apps and tether it with a larger screen Tablet, use all on one same low cost voice+data plan, and even have this work for pre-paid plans?

You can discuss this partnership here: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=47988

Posted in News, Rumors, Suggestions | View Comments

Archos 7 Home Tablet v2 released

Posted by Charbax on 27th December 2010

The price in Europe seems to be 149 euros, it might be around $179 in the USA, bhphotovideo.com has it for sale at $189. It’s using the new Rockchip RK2818 processor that can run at up to 1ghz but may be limited at 800mhz for heat/battery consideration, it runs Android 2.1 with better features and more hardware/software optimizations, the DSP and graphics are faster to improve video and web browsing. I filmed it here demonstrated by the Rockchip engineers:

You can discuss this product in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=44736

Posted in Exclusives, Interviews, News, Tradeshows, Videos | View Comments

ArchosHDVideoTransfer HD video splitter is out

Posted by Charbax on 22nd December 2010

To watch MKV high profile movies that are larger than 4GB on your Archos, you can either format a MicroSD card using EXT3 or use following file splitter softwares available for Linux, Mac and Windows: http://www.archos.com/support/support_tech/updates.html?country=gb&lang=en#driv

You can discuss this software in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=42082&p=301932#p301932

Posted in News | View Comments

Official statement from Archos on current Froyo firmware

Posted by Charbax on 3rd December 2010

“CPU:
We have set the ARM cortex A8 CPU to a maximum of 800MHz by default in order to optimize the battery life. All Archos products are using frequency scaling as a means to prolong battery life (e.g. when listening to MP3, CPU speed goes down to 300MHz). 1GHz is currently used for certain tasks like Internet browsing.
We are achieving approximately the same performance between eclair 1.0.84 and froyo 2.0.54 firmwares using Quadrant benchmarking software.
Note that there is an issue with Quadrant benchmarking software on our current firmware resulting in a false result regarding CPU speed evaluation. It has been fixed internally and we reach now a score of more than 1300 for the Archos43it.

Wi-Fi:
We have identified 2 issues with Wi-Fi:
i) Problem: it is impossible to connect on access points using channels above 11. Workaround: configure the access point to use another channel. Problem already solved internally and will be published in a firmware update very soon.
ii) Problem: on some devices wifi gets stuck sometimes with WPA2/AES encryption. Workaround: use a different encryption mode on the access point if possible. We are working with our chipset provider to find a solution.

Flash:
We have a specific flash plugin configuration that enables hardware acceleration for optimized video decoding that cannot be made public until Adobe certification is completed. All benchmarks currently conducted with other flash plugins will result in poor performance that will not reflect our platform capability.”

You can discuss this in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=42422

Posted in News | View Comments

Archos 35 Vision released for 99€ (probably $99 in USA)

Posted by Charbax on 23rd November 2010

For people who just want multimedia features at the size of an iPod Touch and no Android/WiFi stuff, here is the (likely) $99 Archos 35 Vision, now being released in Europe.

Yup it includes HDMI, 720p full codecs support (to be tested and confirmed in the forums) battery runtime for up to 5 hours of video playback. Pretty cool for $99 to $129 msrp huh?

Summary of the iPod Touch competitors to be on the market:

Archos 24 Vision (4GB) for $59 MSRP, mostly just for audio and basic video stuff, no touch screen
Archos 3 Vision (8GB) for $79 MSRP older video playback, no HD/HDMI, no Android/WiFi/Bluetooth/USB-host stuff
Archos 28 Internet Tablet (4GB) for $99 MSRP has a smaller screen, no HD playback, no HDMI output.
Archos 35 Vision (8GB, microsd) for $129 MSRP has 3.5″ touch screen, 720p/HDMI, but no Android/WiFi/Bluetooth/USB-host/camcorder stuff.
Archos 43 Vision (8GB, microsd) for $129 MSRP has 4.3″ touch screen, basic video playback
Archos 50 Vision (probably starts around $149) has 5″ touch screen, 720p/HDMI, 250GB/500GB hard drive and microsd storage
Archos 32 Internet Tablet (8GB) for $149 MSRP has a slightly smaller screen, no HD playback, no HDMI output.
Archos 43 Internet Tablet (16GB, microsd) for $249 MSRP Android and has all HD/HDMI/HD camcorder features

Also rumored:
Archos 32 Internet Tablet (8GB) with MicroSD slot instead of second set of volume buttons, possibly to replace current A32IT
Archos 35 Internet Tablet (8GB) possibly with capacitive amoled screen

I would recommend they try to reach these prices:
A24V: $49
A3V: $59
A28IT: $79
A35V: $99
A43V: $99
A32IT-with-MicroSD: $129
A35IT-with-capacitive-amoled: $149
A50V-250GB: $149
A50V-500GB: $179
A43IT: $199

To each his own.

Found via: archoslounge.net

Posted in News | View Comments

Archos 70 and 101 Internet Tablets available November 18th in the USA

Posted by Charbax on 13th November 2010

This press release confirms broad availabilitiy of the Archos 70 and 101 Internet Tablets should start November 18th across the USA.

Discuss this in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=40471

Posted in News | View Comments