Honeycomb Archos G9 Tablets To Include Hard Drives

Archos is launching eight-inch and 10-inch versions of its G9 tablet line, starting at £240 and £300 respectively

Consumer electronics maker Archos will begin selling two new tablet computers based on Google’s freshest Android “Honeycomb” operating system.

Archos will sell the eight-inch, 8GB, 80 G9 tablet (pictured) for £230 according to pre-order pricing from HMV, with other shops to follow. The device, powered by a 1GHz, dual-core Cortex A9 processor, runs Android 3.2. That is the new Honeycomb build that has screen compatibility modes to run Android Market smartphone applications more effectively on larger tablet displays.

Bigger And Better To Come

October could be more noteworthy for Archos. The company will sell a version of the 80 G9, as well as a 10.1-inch model with a 1280 x 800 resolution, dubbed the 101 G9. Both machines are powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core Cortex A9 processor running in an OMAP 4 chipset and will support 1080p high-definition video.

The slates also have storage capacity up to 250GB, courtesy of the Seagate Momentus Thin hard drives, in addition to 4GB of flash storage. Archos said it designed these tablets “to limit spinning and to keep the drive powered down when not in use, which will protect it when on-the-go as well as preserve battery life”.

The machines are WiFi and can be 3G-enabled via 3G dongles. Archos offers 3G sticks for £50 a pop plus pay as you go data rates, which will boost the cost of ownership for some tablet buyers.

Speaking of costs, how much are those 1.5GHz chip tablets? As mentioned, HMV has disclosed pricing of £230 for the Archos 80 G9 16GB model and £300 for the Archos 10 G9 with 16GB.

The low-cost tablets come at an interesting time in the tablet market. While the heavily discounted, HP TouchPad is on pace to sell a million units, the rest of the mobile sector is waiting for Amazon.com’s Kindle Tablet.

In the US, the word is that it will be launched in November for between $250 and $300 (£158 to £190) – and that is $200 (£127) less than the Apple iPad. The specs are said to be a seven-inch display with custom Android build.

If the rumours prove true, Archos could find itself challenged . However, the hard drive and removable 3G sticks could provide some competitive differentiation.