Editors' note: This post was updated with new pricing information.
Today, Archos officially announced its new Honeycomb 3.1-based tablets, the Archos G9 series. The G9 series will come in both 8-inch and 10.1-inch sizes, named simply the 80 G9 and 101 G9, respectively. Rather than designing yet another cookie-cutter Honeycomb tablet, though, Archos has decided to change things up a bit.
The company forgoes the obligatory inclusion of the Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU and has instead included the Ice Cream Sandwich-approved 1.5GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4 processor. According to Archos, the OMAP 4 reduces Web browsing speed over the 1GHz Tegra 2 by up to 50 percent.
Each tablet will also come stocked with 250GB of storage via a built-in 250GB HDD from Seagate. The 8-inch G9 has a 4:3 aspect ratio screen at 1,024x768-pixel resolution, while the larger 10.1-incher provides a full 16:10 1,280x800-pixel screen.
Archos boasts that its tablets will be the only ones on the market able to decode 1080p H264 High Profile videos, and I for one can't wait to get review units to put that claim to the test.
For an extra $49 users can purchase a 3G USB stick that when plugged in to the tablet enables 3G functionality. 3G service will be offered as a pay-as-you-go data plan with no subscription required. Archos says the stick can be stored within the tablets in a built-in compartment.
While the tablets will run Honeycomb, they won't purely be Google Experience tablets. Each will include "Archos boosted" apps for video and music with unique user interfaces. Also, video files of TV and movies on your G9 will automatically download metadata for the content. Then, you can also play said content on your TV via the G9's HDMI out port at 1080p.
Update: Unfortunately, due to a miscommunication with Archos the prices we were originally given were incorrect. We originally listed the prices for the 80 G9 and 101 G9 at $279 and $349 respectively. Below is the updated and correct info. We apologize for any confusion this has caused.
The detail most likely to excite most potential buyers, however, is price. The 8-inch 80 G9 will be offered in three flavors: an 8GB version running with a downgraded 1GHz OMAP 4 processor for $299. A 16GB version with a 1.5GHz CPU for $329 and the 250GB model will be available for $369.
For the 10-inch 101 G9, two versions will be available. The 16GB will run $399, while the 250GB will be available for $469.
By offering tablets with a relatively low price barrier of entry, Archos is sure to get some attention from potential tablet buyers. It remains to be seen however if it'll be enough in a post-TouchPad, pre-Amazon-tablet world.
Launching later this month, the G9s should be some of the cheapest Honeycomb-based tablets on the market when they debut.