Archos Announces “Elements” Tablet Series: Cheap, But At What Cost?


Following the launch of the $200 Nexus 7, and with a cheap iPad Mini sounding like a very real possibility for the fall, budget-priced tablets are all the rage right now. Archos is looking to get in on some of that action, and today announced its entry-level Elements tablet series, along with the first model from it, the 97 Carbon.

Elements will consist of 7, 8, and 9.7-inch models, with the 9.7-inch 97 Carbon leading the pack. Archos will start selling the 97 Carbon later this month for just $250; that’s pretty cheap, but what corners did it have to cut to offer the tablet at that price?

A 9.7-inch screen is nice, big size, but it won’t have the sort of raw pixel count we’d like to see, with only a 1024 x 768 resolution. That also gives it a 4:3 aspect ratio, meaning you’ll be wasting a good number of those already sparse pixels when viewing any widescreen content.

Then there’s the processor, which Archos describes only as a 1GHz Cortex-A8 component; we’re probably looking at an OMAP 3, and any way you slice it, that’s not a very powerful chip anymore.

On-board storage is a decent-enough 16GB, with microSD available for expansion, and the tablet arrives running Ice Cream Sandwich.

The problem with low-end Android tablets right now is that the Nexus 7 is just too formidable a model to be compared against, especially when trying to balance features and price. While Archos probably thinks that users will gladly pay a little extra for a larger screen, the compromises it’s had to make are just really tough to swallow, and it’s difficult to recommend any OMAP 3 device over one running a Tegra 3.

Source: Archos
Via: Android Spin


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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!