French portable media players maker Archos introduced last night the Archos 9, a Windows 7 powered touchscreen-only Internet tablet. Calling it a MiniPC, the Archos 9 is not exactly the Google Android-touting Archos MID everybody was expecting.
The skinny Archos 9 (0.63 inch thick) weighs just under 1.8 pounds and features a 8.9-inch resistive touchscreen display (1024 by 600 pixels resolution). The company also managed to pack inside a 80GB hard drive and to antennas for DVB-T broadcasts (for viewing a channel and recording another one at the same time).
Archos 9 is powered by an Intel Atom Z515 processors clocked at 1.2 GHz and runs with 1GB of DDR2 RAM. In terms of connectivity, the tablet can satisfy most modern needs with Wi-FI (802.11 b/g), Bluetooth 2.1, a 10/100 Ethernet port and two USB 2.0 ports.
Keeping consistent with its PMP siblings, the Archos 9 has an audio and video output (VGA), two stereo speakers and can easily place Skype calls with its integrated 1.3-megapixel camera and microphone. An optical trackpad and an on-screen keyboard can be used for navigation and data input.
The surprise with the new Archos 9 is the operating system. For a few months now, the French company was expected to launch a Google Android-based mobile Internet device (see "11 Cool Android Prototypes We'd Like to See"), but Windows 7 has now replaced it in this line-up.
Of course, having Windows 7 on board means that the Archos 9 will only be available in late October, when Microsoft will introduce the final version of the OS on the market. The target pricing for the Archos 9 is around $635, and exact availability dates are yet to be announced.