The Archos 5 tablet sure is a cool Internet media device, but could it have broad appeal in a business environment? Here are four ways businesses could productively use the gizmo, which is priced at a budget-conscious $249.99 to start.
1. It's a more handy form factor than a netbook. The screen is 4.5 inches -- a bit too big for a pocket, but a decent, handy size slipped into a briefcase or bag. The 720p resolution displays typical Web pages with less need for magnification than other devices, such as a cell phone. So, say a solution provider's customer is a pharmaceutical company. If a salesperson equipped with the device is faced with a doctor's question about a particular drug, he or she can log on to the manufacturer's Web site and read off the drug's spec sheet.
2. It offers business apps. Through its new store, AppsLib, Archos is offering apps customized for the device's screen size. ThinkFree is one of the first office suites it has made available. The Archos 5 supports a wireless keyboard and can be connected to a monitor via HDMI and an optional dock, so it can function like a desktop PC when needed. There are Archos 5 versions with up to 32 GB of flash memory and hard-drive based ones offer up to 500 GB of disk space.
3. 3-D GPS in the palm of your hand. 3-D GPS means even the employee with the worst sense of direction has a fighting chance to get to his or her destination. Remember, this is not tethered to the car, so even a walker can more easily get around town. Through voice assistance, 3-D landmarks, multiple view angles, four zoom levels and digital compass, the Archos 5 could be especially handy for customers with traveling salespeople or real estate agencies. There is a subscription for the service after the seven-day trial period.
4. It has high-def video. Its ability to play back high-def video could be helpful for companies providing online training and Webinars to employees. And the optional dock mentioned earlier facilitates viewing on a monitor or television.