Archos Ushers in Five Android Tablets to Battle iPad

Archos said it is launching five Android-based tablets priced from $99 to $349 to challenge Apple's iPad and other Android tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Samsung has nothing on rival gadget maker Archos when it comes to building Android tablets to challenge Apple's popular iPad.

While Samsung has captured headlines with its Galaxy Tab Android tablet, Archos said Aug. 31 it is launching five Android-based tablets priced from $99 to $349.

The devices, which come more than four months after Apple shook up the computing world with its popular iPad tablet computer, target the same activity the iPad made enjoyable for a few million users.

That is, the Archos tablets enable easy Web browsing and access to online games, music, HD video, electronic books, social networking and other apps. All five gadgets employ a 1 GHz processor, Archos said in a statement.

Available in September at 4GB of storage, at a recommended retail price of $99.99, the Archos 28 device is almost more smartphone than it is tablet, albeit without the calling capabilities.

The gadget sports a 2.8 inch touch screen, along with video, Internet browsing, 3D games and music apps. Archos bills it as "the first WiFi-connected Android device below the psychological $100 or 100?ö?®?? price point."

The Archos 32, available later this month with 8GB of storage for a suggested retail price of $149.99, is a cut above the Archos 28.

The WiFi-enabled device sports a 3.2-inch touch-screen connected Android player and is geared for video and music playback (including HD video at 720p). A built-in camera lets users shoot video.

Marching on, the Archos 43 is coming this fall with a suggested price of $199 for 8GB. The device enables full Web browsing on a 4.3-inch screen, comparable to the Motorola Droid X or HTC Evo 4G.

This unit sports a 2 megapixel HD camcorder to capture video and photos that users can share on the Web or on a HD-TV screen.

Edging into the higher end of the new Archos Android line, the Archos 70 has a built-in Webcam to enable video calls, filling a major gap that stuck in the craw of many early iPad users.

This device sports a 7-inch touch screen and will be available this fall for $274.99 with 8GB of storage and $349.99 for 250GB of storage.

Finally, the Archos 101 has a 10.1-inch touch screen yet only weighs just over 1 pound. Archos expects this gadget to be popular among consumers who want a complete Web application experience.

The Archos 101 will start at $299.99 for 8GB, with a 16GB version available for $349.99.

Offering devices with touch screens ranging from a tiny 2.8 inches to 10.1 inches shows that Archos is trying to cover all its bases.

Engadget, which tested all the devices, said the units will ship with Android 2.2.

This, of course, means the devices will support Adobe Flash content, something the iPad neglects to do.

With Samsung's Galaxy Tab slated to be unveiled Sept. 2 in Berlin and other tablets on the way, Archos is making its presence felt in a market that is heating up ahead of the holiday season.