Well, now that T-Mobile's G1 has had plenty of time to rest on its Android laurels, it's apparently coming out season for the rest of the pack. The just-unveiled Archos 5 Internet Tablet mixes one part Archos with one part Android and seasons with some great GPS features to create a multi-function power-player.
I got a chance to take a hands-on tour of the Archos 5 last week, and the performance of its 32GB flash model made my iPod touch feel a little uneasy. The first thing I noticed was its five inches of touchscreen real estate. After that, was the speed: Its processor streamed 720p video to an HDTV (with the help of a docking accessory) without a blip and rendered four Web pages simultaneously.
Then on to the features: Archos devices have always had great media players, so rather than simply running a device solely on Android (whose media player ain't exactly the cat's pajamas) they've offered a hybrid. The 5's home screen keeps Archos' media playing menu (video, music, photos) on the bottom of the screen, and groups all your Android apps up top.
The device comes pre-loaded with 10 of Archos' AppsLib store's more handy tools, like the Twitroid client or Thinksfree MS Office app. What's really cool, though, is how the Archos 5 can morph into a fully functional 5-inch GPS device. Powered by TeleAtlas maps with 3D landmarks and a cool 3D "photorealistic" in-city view with multiple angles. I watched the device depict a route on the streets of Paris (North American cities aren't supported quite yet, but are expected in early 2010).
The Archos 5 will be available in the next two weeks in both flash- and hard-drive-based models running from %250 to $440 for 500GB.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.