Archos Tuesday announced the first Android Honeycomb tablet for less than $200--the Archos 70b Internet Tablet. Priced at just $199.99, the Archos 70b may be the best tablet alternative to the Amazon Kindle Fire and other cheap tablets, which run older non-tablet optimized versions of Android.
Archos 70b vs. the Kindle Fire
The Archos 70b is a 7-inch tablet, like the Kindle Fire. Unlike Amazon's tablet, which features a modified version of Android 2.3 with a custom interface, the Archos 70b runs the stock version of Android 3.2 and offers full access to all 200,000+ apps in the Android Market.
Storage and Connectivity Options
Two other notable features of the 70b (compared to the Kindle Fire) include HDMI output for streaming high-def content, as well as expandable memory via a micro SD card. Both the 70b and the Kindle Fire have 8GB of built-in flash storage, but the Kindle Fire's storage cannot be expanded.
An Updated, Cheaper Version of the Archos 70 Internet Tablet
The flash memory is just one of the big improvements the 70b offers to the previous-generation Archos 70 tablet, which came, oddly, with a 250GB traditional hard disk drive. The Archos 70b also has a higher resolution screen: 1024 by 600 pixels (rather than 800 by 480 pixels), twice the built-in memory (1GB instead of 512MB), and a 1.2GHz processor (instead of a 1GHz chip).
Perhaps most notable: the Archos 70 launched in January for nearly twice the price, at $350.
A Cheap Tablet
You might be able to find lower-priced, $99 Android tablets online, but there are some caveats you should be aware of before you jump on those tablets just because they claim to run Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Archos 70b, on the other hand, comes from a well-known manufacturer who makes inexpensive tablets and media players. Though Archos doesn't mention it in its press release for the 70b, this tablet may even see the upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich. Even if it doesn't, the Archos 70b is currently the cheapest Honeycomb tablet, and you'll be able to pick it up when it heads to market in January.