Archos 5 Internet Tablet: Small Package, Lots Of Uses

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Cyberspace may be buzzing with Apple tablet rumors, but Archos actually debuted a device Tuesday that surfs the Net, downloads and plays back video in high-def and provides 3-D GPS navigation.

The next-generation Archos 5 Internet Tablet runs the Android OS, which handles all functions except media playback, which is still a Linux responsibility. Running at 720p resolution, the Archos 5 offers HD video quality. The resolution standard, however, is not approved for Android's latest version (1.5), so the selection of apps will be limited right now to roughly 300, but that number should increase to 1,000 at minimum by year's end. Apps are only accessible via the Archos app store.

"Android offers to the consumer unlimited ways to customize the tablet with thousands of apps, all easily available on the device or through the AppsLib Store," said Archos CEO Henri Crohas in a release.

The AppsLib Store also made its debut Tuesday, offering apps that are developed specifically for the 5-inch touch screen display of the Archos 5 Internet Tablet. Users can access Android applications from the AppsLib Store through the Archos 5 device and download with one click.

In addition to accessing applications through the AppsLib Store, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet will include several pre-installed Android apps, including the popular eBuddy instant messaging app, Twidroid for sending and receiving Tweets and Craigsphone for posting or accessing classified ads.

The device aims to provide mobile users with the same visual experience they would have using their home computers.

The Archos 5 is built on Texas Instruments' OMAP 3 processor, which is optimized for low power usage and high performance.

The Archos 5 can store up to 710 full-length, HD-quality movies, 3.2 million photos or 190,000 songs. Users can stream thousands of Web TV channels and more than 10,000 radio stations directly to the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, and with the optional DVR station accessory, they can record live TV and play back HD movies directly on the tablet or TV.

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