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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:33 am 
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Watch the video here: http://archosfans.com/2011/02/25/arnova ... id-tablet/

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This may become the worldÔÇÖs cheapest ARM Cortex-A8 1Ghz RK2918, 10.1ÔÇØ capacitive Android tablet on the market (I filmed an early pre-production prototype of it with capacitive/rk29 combo at CES here). Until about April, Arnova 10 is released now as a 10.1ÔÇØ resistive ARM9 600Mhz RK2818 tablet. The price remains $199 in the USA, 199Ôé¼ in Europe (consider all European prices always include ~20% VAT). Look for a slightly different model number once the capacitive/rk29 version starts shipping. They will shift to it as soon as 10.1ÔÇØ capacitive and rk29 components are ready/stable and mass manufactured, the Chinese suppliers are working as fast as they can, this should be in a couple months.

Archos is the second largest tablet maker in France according to GfK sales numbers, having 22% market share, far in front of Samsung with 4%, 67% for iPad. Arnova is a new brand from Archos based in Hong Kong, that uses the design, manufacturing and distribution strengths of ARchos but will remain a separate brand for the cheaper $100-$200 Rockchip based devices (see the press release here). The idea here is to get these excellent valued Rockchip based designs to more people in Europe and the USA. But Arnova is also more extensively going to be promoted for developing countries as people there enjoy cheaper stuff. But people enjoy cheaper stuff everywhere.

Rockchip is doing excellent work optimizing cost in their entry level SoC designs, and are doing stable hardware optimizations with the latest versions of Android that can be adapted for the given ARM architectures that they use. Archos has probably been the top selling Rockchip maker thus far with the Archos 7 Home Tablet massively sold in every major electronics store in the USA and Europe these past 12 months (go check your local Staples, Best Buy, etc.. itÔÇÖs probably there), and they plan to further extend that kind of reach with their new Arnova branding.

As it stands right now with Rockchip, Eclair is the furthest they can go for ARM9 RK2818 based devices (Donut for their older ARM9 RK2808 without graphics acceleration), and Gingerbread is the furthest they can go with ARM Cortex-A8 RK2918 based devices. But who knows, Google may announce tomorrow Honeycomb support for every popular ARM architecture used in any previously certified or not certified Android tablets out there, even including the cheapest Rockchip designs. I asked some Google people at MWC, including in my interview with Honeycomb designer Matias Duarte, they told me Honeycomb has no minimum hardware requirements, which hopefully also means other than opening Honeycomb source code for all to use, that Google will also allow for Google Marketplace on all devices without requiring stuff like compass/gps/3g, and hopefully Google also plans to dedicate resources to help all SoC platform makers and device maker with getting great and fully hardware optimized new firmwares with Honeycomb and Marketplaces onto all these cheaper devices as well (evt with Holographic UI effects disabled on low hardware specs).

$800 for a Honeycomb tablet is a lot of money for some people. Sure enough, the Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 Tegra2 Honeycomb experience is awesome, but a lot of people prefer paying 4x less if they can get a decent ARM Cortex-A8 Honeycomb experience, if Google and companies like Arnova just allow consumers to have that choice.

Specs:
Price: $199 in USA, 199Ôé¼ in Europe (consider all European prices always include ~20% VAT)
Capacity: 4GB (or 8GB) with MicroSD slot
OS: Android 2.1 Eclair (on RK2818), Gingerbread (on RK2918 version available ~April), Honeycomb? (depends on Google/Rockchip)
Display: 10.1" 1024x600 touch screen (resistive now, capacitive version available ~April) , 16 million colors
Video playback (on current RK2818 model): H264 up to 720p 30fps 5mbitps, Mpeg4 30fps 2.5mbitps, RMVB up to 720p 30fps 2.5mbitps, in these extensions: .avi, .mp4, .mkv, .mov, .flv (RK2918 version available ~April may add 1080p and higher bitrates support)
Audio playback: mp3, wav, ape, ogg, flac
Photo: jpeg, bmp, gif, png
Interfaces: USB 2.0 Slave MSC, USB 2.0 Host MSC, MicroSD slot
Wireless: WiFi b/g
Other: built-in speaker, microphone, G-sensor, front-facing VGA camera
Battery runtime: TBC music, up to 6h video
Size: 272x152.3x13.5mm (10.7"x6"x0.5")
Weight: 570gr (20.1oz)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:05 am 
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So, the good news about these devices is that they're crazy-cheap, have decent processors in them (albeit not amazing), seem to have screens comparable (via the video, at least) to Gen8 devices, and have decent feature sets that compete and often defeat the other devices on the "craptablet" market. Lots of good stuff for those (like me) who need to buy inexpensive things because they're bound to get broken.

The downsides I can see from the Arnova line are: No Android 2.2 (it's strange, Charbax says Rockchip locks these off at 2.1 but I'm not sure why?); No Bluetooth; No 802.11n; No HDMI; No kickstand; No guarantee of Honeycomb (we'll see what hackers can do with the v2 models); Slightly heavier (10HT is said to be 570g, 101 was 480g in the specs); Possibly no DNLA (I don't know if that's an Archos-exclusive feature?); No capacitive in v1 and so no multitouch; No 29K Rockchip until at least April.

...And no $700 price tag.

There's still a lot about Arnova to encourage people to pony up that extra $100 for the Gen8 devices, but on their own they appear to be handy devices.


Last edited by camhostage on Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:22 am 
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Today it's RK2818 resistive with Android 2.1 max, but as I say in the video, around April the Arnovas will be upgraded to capacitive and RK2918, then it'll be at minimum Gingerbread, hopefully Honeycomb even by then (Honeycomb depends on what goes on with the source code and Google Marketplace in Honeycomb depends what Google allows companies to do with it, how they upgrade the compliance document...)

RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 1Ghz is about 3x more powerful than the RK2818 ARM9 600Mhz processor. Something like that.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:32 am 
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this is so cool!
especially the 8" devices will be epic for studying (reading pdf or ppt).

is there any info about RAM?
would be nice if they had 512mb.

was going to buy a POV mobii 7" today, but now i wait till april/may and spend 38Ôé¼ more to get something foocking decent ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:09 am 
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how does this compare to the Archos 101?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:20 am 
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InsanityGuy wrote:
how does this compare to the Archos 101?


I did a comparison based on JR's listing of the Arnova 10 -- the Arnova 8 seems pretty similar except for the screen size. It's a similar difference between the Archos 7 v2 and the Archos 70, with lots of little enhancements in the Gen8 device that the HT cannot offer at its lower price tag. Come the 29k Rockchip versions, though, it's a whole different ballpark as far as performance ... same features according to Charbax's report though (aside from a possible swap to capacitive screens.) Here's the comparison as well as the order form for the Arnova 10, I've not seen an Arnova 8 for sale in North America yet. Somebody shout if I've missed details.

http://www.jr.com/archos/pe/AHS_501714/

ÔÇóOperating system: ANDROID 2.1 "Eclair" ~Not 2.2~
ÔÇóDisplay: High resolution screen, 1024 x 600 pixels, 10.1'' TFT LCD, 16 million colors, Touch screen with virtual keyboard ~Breaksheet says Resistive, not Capacitive~
ÔÇóVideo playback: H.264 up to 720p resolution - 30 fps/5 Mbps; MPEG-4 - 30 fps/2.5 Mbps.; Realvideo up to 720p resolution - 30 fps/2.5 Mbps (With the above codecs, the device can play video files with the following extensions: .avi. mp4, .mkv, .mov, and .flv) ~101 says it handles between 5-10Mbps, depending on the codec~
ÔÇóAudio Playback: MP3, WAV, APE, OGG, FLAC ~New format~ ~No AAC~
ÔÇóPhoto viewer: JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG
ÔÇóInterfaces: Micro USB 2.0 slave: Mass Storage Class (MSC); Full size USB 2.0 host: Mass Storage Class (MSC); Micro SD slot (SDHC compatible)
ÔÇóCommunication: Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) ~Not 802.11n~ ~Missing Bluetooth~
ÔÇóMiscellaneous: Built-in speaker, Microphone, G-sensor, Front VGA camera ~No stand~
ÔÇóPower source Internal: Lithium Polymer battery; External: Power adapter/charger
ÔÇóBattery life: Video playback time: up to 6h ~Not 7hrs~
ÔÇóComputer interface: USB 2.0
ÔÇóCompatibility: Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7 or higher, Mac OS or Linux in mass storage mode
ÔÇóDimensions: 10.7 x 6 x 0.5 inches (272 x 152.3 x 13.5 mm) ~1010 is close, 10.6 x 5.9 x 0.47 in. ~
ÔÇóWeight: 20.1 ounces (570 g) ~Not 480g~

NOTE: RAM and Chipset are not described on JR.com spec sheet. Charbax says the model he's demoing uses ARM9 600Mhz RK2818; A101 uses ARM Cortex A8, 1 GHz with DSP & graphic accelerator


Last edited by camhostage on Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:28 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:21 am 
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CHARBAX - Since the announcement of Arnova 8/10 came as a 1-2 punch, can you edit in the Arnova 8 video and info into this thread and thread title? No reason to have two threads if this is going to be the thread that everybody is going to post into about these new devices once they catch the news.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:25 pm 
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i feel ok paying the $250 for my 101 just because of the hard drive size. I couldn't do what I want with only 4gb.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:00 am 
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Release date?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:18 am 
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I REALLY want that 1 GHz 8" one. I just wish it had bluetooth.
I'm in Canada, where would we be able to buy it?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:27 pm 
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I don't get it. The price of the Archos 101 compared to IPAD is what makes it so attractive. You won't compete with the IPAD by offering another 10" with less capability than you already have. You just fragment the market you already have IMO.

The 101 only needs a few items to compete strongly with IPAD as a lower cost option.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:41 pm 
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dejavue wrote:
I don't get it. The price of the Archos 101 compared to IPAD is what makes it so attractive. You won't compete with the IPAD by offering another 10" with less capability than you already have. You just fragment the market you already have IMO.

The 101 only needs a few items to compete strongly with IPAD as a lower cost option.


Well, if the price of 101 competes with iPad, the price of the 10HT really competes with it.

But don't necessarily think of this as Archos competing with itself while competing with others. This is them grabbing common parts to put out a second brand while it (assumedly, this is guesswork) concentrates on making its core brand even more viable for its second round as well as supports its first round products. (I know that calling Gen8 "first round" is unfair, but just currently I mean.) The sub-300 tablet market is one of the fiercest battlegrounds in the tablet market and hasn't really been captured (Nook is the strongest,) and it's always going to be a wild battleground just because of its low-entrypoint appeal, so it makes sense for a company like Archos to explore all of its options.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:57 am 
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FYI, both products (first-gen models) are available on JR in North America. This site had a lot of trouble getting Gen8 devices in stock (they had tons and tons of pre-orders) but maybe they'll have less trouble with the Arnova line.

http://www.jr.com/product/productListing.jsp?Ntt=arnova

I think most people are more concerned with the second-gen versions with the R29k chip, but take note if you will.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:13 pm 
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http://www.linux-magazin.de/NEWS/Cebit- ... angekommen

they say that there will be umts/gsm-chips included in the future...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:42 pm 
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I consider buying archos arnova 8, but he said that a better version is coming soon, does anyone know is it going to be for 1 or 2 months,´╗┐ or a half year? What is Rokchip and what Honeycomb? Is it true that it can't play youtube? Can you go to the regular (normal) Facebook site, like on computer?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:30 pm 
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it is not yet determined WHEN (he said about april but it's not sure)
rockchip is the manufacturer of the chipset/processor
honeycomb is android 3.0 (another name for it)
right now the 2.1 (eclair) is installed on the arnova 7, 8 and 10 but we sure all hope to get honeycomb running on it as it has more and faster features...
and YES you can open the regular facebook site on it.. i don't know however about the youtube... normally it should play it?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:28 am 
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Thank you very much for the fast answer :) I think I will probably wait for the new version.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:57 am 
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i don't know.. i really want the 10 but if nobody can tell us for sure when it releases..

in fact it has allmost the same specs as the 101 internet tablet... why would they sell the v2 of the arnova 10 for the same price they sell the normal arnova
the 101 internet tablet is like 100 euros more.. i don't think the faster arnova 10 will be out soon...


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:21 pm 
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djbenson wrote:
the 101 internet tablet is like 100 euros more.. i don't think the faster arnova 10 will be out soon...


It'll be out as soon as Rockchip can deliver the new rk2918 processor platform in mass volume. At CES in JAnuary, Rockchip told me they planned for it to be mass manufactured by March, that the hardware was stable then already, but that the biggest work might be in software. Not just upper layers of Android, but deep hardware optimization of the kernel or stuff like that. So the rk2918 mass production may already be underway, but, it's normal for a finalized product to be fully mass manufactured, boxed, loaded with stable software, shipped to all resellers, it always has to take at least a couple months. So a guess here might be the rk29/capacitive Arnovas might be ready by the end of April, but I really don't know for sure. In any case, the rk2818/resistive versions have been in mass production for a while and are already on their way to resellers if not there at some of them already. And even if Archos only sells 100 thousand rk2818/resistive versions in those 2 months between the release of the two versions, that would still be a huge deal for a small company like Archos, which is why they decided not to wait and just go ahead and release with the processor and screen available then.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:40 pm 
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but then if they sell these much better products for the same price.. they will be cutting in their own profits because they deliver a system almost as good as the 101 tablet for 100 euros less.. you know what i'm trying to say? i'm having a double feeling about this.. and it's a little bit akward having to wait for something that might not be in stores untill the end of the year for all we know:p


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