The line between portable media devices and traditional Netbooks just got a little more blurred, thanks to this morning's announcement of the Archos 9PCtablet. According to the company, this is a 9-inch touchscreen Atom-powered PC, in a form factor much closer to Archos' line of portable media players (or older UMPCs) than, say, an Eee PC.
Using a touchscreen interface and an optical trackball, the Archos 9PCtablet looks at first glance like a Netbook that's had its screen and keyboard halves forcibly separated. Probably the closest thing we've seen recently is the import-only Viliv S5, which also had an Atom processor and a touch screen -- but that display was only 4.8 inches.
The Archos 9 won't be out until fall, so the company is wisely sticking with Windows 7 as its operating system choice. Taking a look at the rest of the specs, it seems very Netbook-like, although it has the new 1.2GHz Z515 version of Intel's Atom processer, specifically designed for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs). We'll have to wait and see how that stacks up against the much more common 1.6GHz N270 version of that chip found in the vast majority of Netbooks.
Here are some specs, courtesy of Archos:
Processor: Intel Atom Z515 1.2 GHz
Video Chipset: Integrated US15W
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7
System Memory: 1GB (DDR2 400/533)
Display: 8.9'' touch screen - 1024 x 600 pixels
HDD: 60GB or 120GB
Communication: Ethernet 10/100
WiFi: PCI-E interface, 2 Antennas, Support IEEE 802.11b/g
Optional 3.5G HSUPA - Huawei EM750M 7.2Mbts module
Audio: 2 stereo speakers
Optical Finger Navigation System with Right and Left click buttons
1 USB 2.0 port
Web cam: Built-in 1.3MP camera
No price info yet, or a specific release date beyond fall 2009, but it does look like Archos will offer both black and white versions, with your choice of 60 or 120GB hard drives, and an optional 3.5G HSUPA antenna.