Archos' Android tablets tend to be pretty generic, but its latest 7-inch tablet has one big distinction: a 250 GB hard disk drive.
Yup, that's a good old-fashioned spinning disk -- the first to appear in an Android tablet. Picking up the Archos 70 at the company's CES booth, the hard drive's presence was obvious. The tablet was warm to touch, particularly on its bottom half, and it's noticeably heavier and chunkier than Archos' 7-inch tablet with flash storage.
To be more specific, it weighs 14 ounces and measures 0.55 inches thick, compared to 11 ounces and 0.43 inches for the A70 with 8 GB flash drive.
Still, the use of a hard drive wasn't a serious detriment to the tablet's performance. The HDD-equipped A70, which runs Android 2.2 with a 1 GHz processor, was pleasantly responsive, and the video game Real Racing ran without a hiccup. Previously-opened apps resumed immediately, and freshly-executed ones lagged just slightly behind Archos' solid state A70. Same goes for video files.
Of course, Archos' demo unit wasn't brimming with stored data. I'd be interested to see how the A70 holds up with 200 GB of video on board. But for now, if you've got that much multimedia to put on a tablet, Archos has the only solution. It's available now from major online retailers for $350.
Check out our complete coverage of CES 2011.