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Archos unveils Android tablets with 250GB storage and optional 3G dongle

New 8in and 10in models run Honeycomb and include standard Android apps

Archos has launched its new range of Android tablets, the Archos 80 G9 and the Archos 101 G9. Both are powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Texas Instruments processor, based on the ARM Cortex A9 architecture, and both run the latest version of Android for tablets, Android 3.1 Honeycomb. The Archos 80 G9 will have an 8in screen with a 1,024×768 resolution, while the larger 10.1in Archos 101 G9 has a 16:10 1,280×800 resolution, which is more suitable for watching widescreen movies. The Archos 101 G9 range will include a model with a 250GB hard disk which is also 2mm thicker than the standard flash drive model.

Archos has a reputation for good multimedia support, including both file format support and audio DSP (digital signal processor) quality. Archos claims the new tablets will be able to decode 1080p H.264 High Profile videos without any lag. Both tablets will include custom Archos apps for music and films, and will include an HDMI output, although knowing Archos we expect the cable to be an optional extra.

One interesting optional extra is a £49 3G dongle that fits into hidden USB slot at the rear of the tablet. It will come with a pay-as-you-go SIM, and it’s not clear whether you’ll be able to swap this for your own SIM. Archos plans to partner with Three and Orange in the UK, but final pricing hasn’t been announced. However it will also work with your laptop, saving you the hassle of having two separate 3G data plans.

Although demonstration units were available to the press, review samples won’t be available until September when both products will be on shelves, so we can’t comment on the hardware itself. Three months is a long time in tech, so we wouldn’t be surprised if some details in the specification change before we actually see the devices. Pricing may also change, but according to Archos the 250GB Archos 101 G9 will cost £399, the Archos 80 G9 will cost £199 and a 16GB flash version of the Archos 101 G9 will cost £279.

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