When you talk about tablet manufacturers, you might mention names like Apple, Samsung, Asus, and Amazon. Once you get past the big names, though, there is another – oft-forgotten – tier of businesses battling for your dollars. One of those is Archos. Its new line of tablets takes some cues from the iPad, though its pricing is more akin to budget tablets.
Meet the Archos Platinum series. Experiencing deja vu? That’s because the Platinum tablets are remarkably similar to the Archos Titanium tablets. With identical displays and near-identical designs, the big difference is that the Platinum slates rock quad core processors and have more RAM.
The Archos 97 Platinum HD is a pretty blatant iPad dupe, sporting a matching 9.7-inch, 2,048 x 1,536 4:3 IPS display. The 80 Platinum is similarly – ahem – "inspired by" the iPad mini, with an 8-inch, 1,024 x 768 display.
A third device, the 116 Platinum, goes in a more original direction – sporting an 11.6-inch, 16:9 IPS display.
All three tablets pack 1.2 GHz quad-core processors, with 8-core graphics. They also tote 2 GB of RAM across the board, and ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Unlike Archos tablets from years past, these devices include all of the standard Google apps (Gmail, Google Maps, etc.).
Pricing, releaseIf Archos’ new tablets tickle your fancy, they can potentially save you a few bucks. The 97 Platinum HD will ring up for US$299, while the 80 Platinum will cost $199. They’ll both ship later this month. The 116 Platinum won’t launch until April, and will set you back $349.
On paper, these don’t look like bad deals. But Archos’ tablets have historically had some big Achilles' heels (poor viewing angles, buggy software, cheap build quality, etc.). So we’d recommend waiting for reviews – or your own hands-on time – before getting too excited.