On Friday Archos finally introduced its Platinum line of tablets featuring a sleek aluminum design, high-definition IPS displays and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but at a fraction of the cost.
We first saw these tablets last month at CES 2013 in Las Vegas alongside the company's Titanium tablets, sporting a similar white bezel. The difference between the two lines seemed to be in the SoCs, as the Titanium used dual-core and the Platinum used quad-core. Pricing for the 8-inch Archos 80 Platinum was expected to be $199 whereas the larger 9.7-inch 97 Platinum would cost a heftier $299.
The models we saw on display were supposedly prototypes, so hands-on was limited. The big selling point was that the 9.7-inch model had a display comparable to Apple's Retina screen in the iPad, but a 40-percent reduction in price. What wasn't on display was the 11.6-inch model, the Archos 116 Platinum, revealed on Friday.
The company confirmed that all three will indeed sport a 1.2 GHz quad-core SoC with eight GPU cores, 1080p video decoding, 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage. Also on the hardware list is a front-facing webcam and a rear-facing 2MP camera, mini-HDMI and microSD ports for video output and expanding the storage (up to 64 GB), and Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS (probably waiting on a stable 4.2).
Naturally that's where the general Platinum specs end. The Archos 80 Platinum has a 1024 x 768 resolution IPS screen, and when compared to Amazon's similar Kindle Fire HD 8.9 tablet, it has double the RAM and a rear-facing 2MP camera (in addition to the front-facing one). The larger 97 Platinum HD tablet has a 2048 x 1536 resolution IPS screen, and the 11.6-inch 116 Platinum tablet has a 1920 x 1080 resolution IPS screen.
The biggest drawback to these tablets, based on the specs alone, is the internal capacity. Android will consume a chunk of that space right out of the box, but that's the sacrifice Archos had to make in order to keep the prices super-competitive. Customers will likely soon find themselves purchasing a microSD card for shifting apps and media once the tablet quickly fills up and performance degrades (it's an Android thing, not Archos).
Archos said the 80 Platinum and 97 Platinum HD tablets will arrive this month, costing $199 and $299 respectively.The 116 Platinum will be available in April for $349.