Back in June, Archos amazed us introducing its two ninth-generation tablets (G9), the 80 and the 101. These will be the first Android-powered tablets made by Archos to come with the full Google apps package, Android Market included. They will also be the first Archos tablets to run Android Honeycomb, the tablet-optimized version of Google’s mobile operating system. One of the strong points of Archos tablets in the past has been the pricing, so obviously we were expecting the G9 tablets to be priced competitively.
As a matter of fact, we did hear some mumblings about pricing during the original announcement, pointing to $279 for the 8-inch tablet, and $349 for the 101. Since then, things have apparently changed a bit, since Archos has now published official pricing information on its website.
The cheapest model of each tablet is exactly $20 more expensive than those prices that were rumored last month. That’s not a lot, and third-party retailers may just have great deals on these tablets that will mitigate the price increase.
So, let’s see. The cheapest you will be able to get the Archos 80 G9 tablet will be $299.99. For that amount of dough, you’ll get 8 GB of integrated storage space, and a 1 GHz processor – not the 1.5 GHz dual-core behemoth announced last month. If you want that processor in your 80 G9, you’ll have to shell out either $329.99 for a version that also comes with 16 GB of storage, or $369.99, in which case you’ll get a whopping 250 GB of storage (courtesy of a Seagate spinning hard drive).
The cheapest version of the 10-inch 101 G9 tablet will go for $369.99. Again, this will come with 8 GB of storage and a 1 GHz processor. For $399.99 you’ll get double that storage, so 16 GB, but unfortunately the same measly processor. If you want the dual-core 1.5 GHz CPU, you’ll have to shell out no less than $469.99 for the version with 250 GB of storage.
Let me just say this outright: Archos is shooting itself in the foot here. I get the fact that the 1 GHz processor option is there to make things cheaper, but announcing one thing (tablets with a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor), and only delivering that on a limited number of SKUs isn’t nice in my book. Sure, the situation with the 8-inch tablet is fairly okay, after all for $30 more than the base model you get double the storage plus the faster processor.
But selling the 101 G9 with the dual-core 1.5 GHz processor only if paired with the spinning 250 GB hard drive is not a smart move at all. While many people may appreciate having that much storage space on a tablet, many other people wouldn’t like having an actual spinning drive in their tablet and would be very happy with 16 GB of flash storage (expandable anyway). Those people only deserve a 1 GHz processor on their 10-inch tablet, according to Archos.
This is so ridiculous that I’m hoping it’s just a mistake in presenting things on Archos’ website and it will get fixed. Otherwise, one of the most interesting tablets to ever run Android has just instantly turned into a niche device that few people will actually buy despite its reasonable price.