Do you like the idea of a coffee table tablet PC, but can't imagine shelling out $500 for an iPad? If so, perhaps you'd be interested in paying half as much for half the functionality at half the speed.
The smaller of the two new tablets is the Archos 7, which sports a design similar to the Archos 5, but uses a larger 7-inch touch screen. Internally, the Archos 7 takes a big step back from the Archos 5, running its system on a basic 600MHz ARM 9 processor. You can connect over Wi-Fi to check e-mail and browse the Web, but Archos 5 features such as Bluetooth and GPS are a no-go.
The Archos 7 also includes a microSD memory slot, which is a good thing considering the device will only come in 2GB and 8GB capacities. Multimedia playback is mentioned in the press release (including Flash video), but no detailed format support is given. The device is rated for 7 hours of video playback, or 44 hours of music.
If you like your tablets extra "tablet-y," the Archos 8 packs many of the same features into an 8-inch screen surrounded by a gigantic photo frame bezel. The tablet/photo frame offers 4GB of storage and what could be a video camera integrated into the top of the frame bezel.
Both models of the announced Home Tablets are priced at 149 euros (approximately $200), with the 8GB Archos 7 going for 179 euros (approximately $250). Europe can expect to see the tablets in April or May. As for American availability, don't hold your breath.
On a lighter note, Archos used this same press release to tease plans for "...a completely new series that is based on ARM Cortex with up to 1 GHz and will offer a large selection of different screen sizes - 3 to 10 inches."
I'll keep hope alive, Archos.