Friday, June 24, 2011

Archos G9: the shelves at 1.5 GHz

Archos yesterday presented its new range of shelves, with three generation models 9. Four models will be part of the two models and two 8-inch by 10.1 inches. While all manufacturers today (almost) use a chip Tegra 2-1 GHz in their Tablet, Archos highlights the fact that it uses a Texas Instrument OMAP4, which can reach 1.5 GHz.

The data sheet is not very clear on speed, but obviously the entry-level models will just 1 GHz. The GPU used is the classic PowerVR SGX540, level of ULP GeForce Tegra 2 and about four times slower than the iPad SGX543MP2 2. Good news, Archos will integrate Android 3.1 (or 3.2, it is not clear) and the shelves will have access to the Android Market.

Bad news, Android Honeycomb is currently not approved for Texas Instrument chips and will therefore have to wait until Google approves the chip, which is why the shelves are scheduled for September. Where Archos has a trump to play, it's the video: the company has historically been very gifted in this area and shelves read most formats, only the MPEG-2 is optional, as usual.

Better still, the company provides tablets with a 250 GB hard drive integrated model from Seagate Momentus Thin, which is only 7 mm thick. Conventional models will just 8 or 16 GB flash memory with a microSD slot. In the video, the chip Texas Instruments has an advantage: it reads the H.264 High Profile, which allows to decode the majority of videos on the market, while the Tegra chips 2 do not support this profile.

720p webcam, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the usual components are present. It has a GPS, an accelerometer, a digital compass, and a microphone - Archos specificity - the classic crutch. Autonomy announced is average, 7 hours video and 10 hours of surfing. For 3G, the solution is unique: there are no choices to make, the tablets include a slot for a 3G modem external USB.

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