Archos has three new affordable tablets that, on paper, actually sound quite excellent. If you’re in the market and want alternatives to devices like the Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, iPad mini, or even then Nexus 10, Archos’s new “Platinum Range” might be something to consider. Archos isn’t the most recognizable name, but that doesn’t mean it can’t offer quality products.
All three tablets, 80 (8.0-inch), 97 HD (9.7-inch) and 116 (11.6-inch) all share a common traits, including a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, front and rear cameras, and mini HDMI and MicroSD ports. But they differ in their own way, in size and price.
The Archos 80 Platinum features a 8-inch (1024×768) display that the company says is twice as fast as Amazon’s 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD with much better value at $199. RAM is doubled, and Android 4.1 is onboard, which is a huge plus even though Archos does add some bloatware.
The 97 Platinum falls inline with a 9.7-inch display (2048×1536), which is comparable to Apple’s iPad with Retina—but at 40 percent of the cost at $299. Whether someone will jump off the iPad train to snuggle up to Archos remains to be seen. The device certainly sounds tough on paper, but who knows if it can back it up with significant sales. Unlikely with something like the Nexus 10 around in the Android world.
The last of the trio is the 116 Platinum, which sports an 11.6-inch (1920×1080) screen and, as Archos puts it, is “unlike anything currently on the market.” A nice high resolution screen is great, but what else can the 116 say for itself that makes it unlike anything we’ve seen? This one will be available in April, a relatively long time from now, at $349.
The devices sound pretty legit, but low prices don’t automatically equal amazing sales. Plus, with Google I/O coming up in a few months, who knows how relevant Archos’s Platinum Range can stay once new Nexus devices are on the market. Mind share is an enormous advantage, and Archos just doesn’t have that.
Maybe its Platinum Range will change that.