In our review of the Kindle Fire, we called it the best $199 tablet on the market, but Archos has given us a reason to reconsider that statement with their new 70b IT, the first Honeycomb tablet with an MSRP of less than $200. The IT stands for "Internet Tablet", and this is Archos' 8th generation internet tablet device.

The 70b IT is comes relatively feature packed, with your two Benjamins buying a 7" 1024x600 capacitive touch screen, 8GB of NAND storage on board, Honeycomb 3.2, 512MB RAM, an HDMI out, and Archos' multimedia suite. Conspicuously absent from the press blast is any mention of the SoC, with the Archos spec sheet only telling us that there's a 1.2GHz processor under hood. Archos' larger G9 Turbo tablets are running TI's OMAP 4 SoCs clocked at 1.2GHz as well (interestingly enough, the Kindle Fire also runs OMAP 4), so that's a distinct possibility, but without more details (core count, GPU?) it's pointless to speculate. The display can't match the 1280x800 resolution of the Toshiba Thrive 7", but given the targeted price point, it's an understandable concession to make.

We haven't gotten an opportunity to take a thorough look at Archos tablets in the past, but that should change at CES next week when we'll go hands on with Archos entire tablet lineup, including the 70b IT, the G9 Turbo 80 and 101, as well as the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich update for the G9. Post-CES, we'll follow up with full review on the 70b IT, which looks to push Honeycomb into the mainstream.

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  • MonkeyPaw - Wednesday, January 04, 2012 - link

    This is where I really get frustrated with the Android system. There is no continuity or sense of urgency to keep devices running on the current version of the OS. I know ICS is new, but right now new Android devices are being sold running anything from 2.1 to 4.0. While it doesn't seem like that big of an issue for general use, it has to be very discouraging for developers wanting to sell apps in the market. Too much fragmentation to ensure quality testing and decent compatibility. Read any app review in the market and you'll hear "doesn't work on my EVO" or "FCs on my Droid X." Despite Android's millions of users, some mainstream apps seem less than stellar compared to iOS versions (ahem, Facebook). As much as I loathe Apple at times, their iDevice scheme has considerably more consistency.

    The big vendors are all guilty of the no update path, where a $400 phone from 2010 is stuck on 2.2. It's really sad when the best work on Android can be found not in released-from-manufacturer devices, but on root-and-ROM distros like CM7. That sort of thing is fun for enthusiasts, but not for those that have no idea what "rooting" can do.

    I guess it's just the way it is. :(
    Reply
  • Belard - Wednesday, January 04, 2012 - link

    You got that right! And if people check out the reviews of Archos and other budget tablets, the ratings are very poor. Short battery life, high failure rates, old old androids that have no business running on a tablets. They are having crashing and connectivity issues, the touch screens not working properly, etc.

    Many of these low end devices will never be able to run ICS properly... Think slow mo and even more crashing, not enough memory, etc.

    This is understandable with a 2-3 year old product, but many of these devices are sold today. I don't expect my iPad to run iOS 6.0, whichs runs 5.0 beautifully... It's well over a year old, and maybe 3 years old by the time that comes out.

    Apple owns the tablet market today because nobody has made a better tablet all around as of yet. I'm not thrilled with my froyo android phone... Running wp7 launcher on it makes it very usable. I think win8 will do better than android. I'll go with such a device or an ipad3 , depending on what I think is better.

    ~ typed from my iPad, on a couch.
    Reply
  • Charbax - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Android daily tablet shipments have now overtaken iPad.

    Archos tablets are far better value for money than you Apple iPad. Archos tablets don't have any of the bugs you talk about. And 95% of the online reviews of Archos products over overly positive. Only the Apple fanboys write negative reviews of Android tablets, but that's just pure fanboyism.

    $199 you get portable pocketable tablet, I've been using the previous Archos 70 Internet Tablet every day for 14 months and I know for a fact that I've been much more productive than you on my tablet. 7" Android tablets have a useful jacket pocketable size, unlike your ipad that is so bulky, big, expensive and heavy you can only use it on your couch.
    Reply
  • JohnJackson - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Domination by 1 brand, 1 OS: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/dec/25/i...

    If any tablet is to undue the iPad it will be the likes of the Kindle Fire and Nook Color/Tablet, NOT some Archos tablet that's for sure. 95% of online reviews of Archos products are overly positive? Tell that to these Apple "fanboys":

    http://www.amazon.com/Archos-Home-Tablet-Android-B...

    http://www.amazon.com/Archos-3-2-Inch-Internet-Tab...

    http://www.amazon.com/Archos-28-Internet-Tablet-Bl...

    http://www.amazon.com/Archos-501598-500-Internet-T...

    You only need to read your own post to realize your own bias: "Only the Apple fanboys write negative reviews of Android tablets.." There are some unfavorable reviews of Android products on this site, does that make the authors Apple fanboys? Also why the personal jab? Who cares who's more productive on their tablet. We're discussing tablets and he brought up valid points.
    Reply
  • Subzero0000 - Friday, January 06, 2012 - link

    > ipad that is so bulky, big, expensive and heavy you can only use it on your couch.

    Everytime I see these kind of comments, I wonder what is happening to the human race.
    Are people really getting so weak now? iPad is considered heavy ? Seriously ?
    Reply
  • Belard - Sunday, January 08, 2012 - link

    You don't Know ANY FACTS about how much more productive you are over me. That's a rather stupid thing to say. There are uses for 7 and 10" tablets. Not everyone lugs around a 17" notebook. I thought I wanted o e until I borrowed one... Then I went with a 15" model. But for some, a 17" is a must. For some of clients, they send $1500 for a 12" Thinkpad that's 3 lbs.

    Try using a 7" tablet to show case tech to 3-4 people on a convention floor... Which a 10" does a better job. A 7" is more personal... So what.

    Oh, I'm on my bed on my iPad typing this because of an injury... Meanwhile my quad core desktop with a 24" monitor is 4 feet away turned off. Each their own.

    And my android with a 4" screen generally sucks compared to my iPad for web browsing... Which I do with the phone when I'm away.

    Sorry, the cheap quality of today's $100-200 tablets are sub standard to a quality tablet. In a few years, I'm betting the quality of today's best will be about $50-100, with top end models still costing $200-300.
    Reply
  • coder543 - Wednesday, January 04, 2012 - link

    complete and udder junk. You think you know what you're talking about, but I can't see that. Those numbers, 2.1 to 4.0, they could easily be 2.3.3, 2.3.4, and 2.3.5, and it would seem less scary. Numbers like those don't matter. And if you target the latest 2.2.x platform when you're developing, it'll run on all 2.2.x, 2.3.x, 3.x.x, and 4.0.x devices. How's that for fragmentation. The facebook app has had a major overhaul lately, and is quite awesome, thank you very much. Developing an iPhone app is discouraging. I hated those APIs. Android app development is logical. CM7 may be the best version, but the stock versions, on anything but cheapo phones, are great too.. even if slightly subpar. Sure, some apps may not work on some platforms. Same with Windows computers. Some computers don't have bluetooth, most don't have GPS, some don't have superfast graphics cards. With Android, you have different sets of hardware, and some things (mostly games) won't work perfectly on some pieces of hardware, but for most users, most of the time, they work. And that's why you have a trial period on apps, so you don't get ripped off by it not working on your hardware.
    It is the way it is :) and it isn't sad.
    Reply
  • JohnJackson - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Are you really a developer? You can't simply target 2.2.x and expect it to work in newer versions of Android. There are a lot of 2.x and some Honeycomb apps that currently have incompatibility issues with ICS. It's up to developers to update their apps for 4.0 support and it sucks waiting.

    A common issue in the Marketplace you can easily look up is that some apps have issues with certain phones. Happens all too much if you ask me. This sucks for both developers and end users. To get around such issues developers such Gameloft end up releasing multiple builds of their games for devices with different GPUs. If this isn't fragmentation I don't know what is..
    Reply
  • Subzero0000 - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Agree with your comments, pretty much nailed it.

    > Read any app review in the market and you'll hear "doesn't work on my EVO" or "FCs on my Droid X."
    So true.

    > Despite Android's millions of users, some mainstream apps seem less than stellar compared to iOS versions (ahem, Facebook).
    Facebook updated recently on Android. A bit late, but updated. But the UI is still not as smooth as iOS version.

    > The big vendors are all guilty of the no update path, where a $400 phone from 2010 is stuck on 2.2.
    Sad but true. Android phones get abandoned really quick.

    > root-and-ROM distros like CM7. That sort of thing is fun for enthusiasts, but not for those that have no idea what "rooting" can do.
    So true. The average consumer doesn't know / doesn't want to mess with their phones like that. All they need to find out is some apps works and some suddenly don't, which is very discouraging.
    Reply
  • Bateluer - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    What current shipping phones are still using 2.1? Pretty much all 2.2 phones have been EoL'd now too. Most new phones are shipping with 2.3.x, with ICS updates in the pipeline.

    You can also blame manufacturer skins and carrier bloat for premature obsoleteness. The SGS1s, for example, are perfectly capable of running ICS. Just not with Samsung's TouchWiz and the carrier bloat at the same time.
    Reply

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