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Archos Reveals 97 Carbon Tablet to Offer Cheaper iPad Alternative

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Despite Google stamping its authority on the Android tablet market last week, French manufacturer Archos has shown no fear, announcing a new range of ‘Elements’ tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich.

Succeeding the current G9 range of tablets, the new Elements range will feature 7, 8, and 9.7-inch tablets. The first to become official is the largest in the range; the 97 Carbon. Archos say this model offers “the latest mobile technology with a new slim and light design”, meaning Android 4.0 and a more premium design.

Straightaway we can see that this tablet looks to be made of stronger stuff than its predecessors, which tended to be made of light plastic. The design shows curved edges and corners, and coupled with the 9.7-inch screen size, it seems Archos is trying to emulate the iPad closely.

Speaking of the screen, it’s a multi-touch IPS display, which means it will be bright and feature great viewing angles, as well as performing well in sunlight. Inside you’ll find a 1GHz single core processor with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a micro SD card slot, a Mini HDMI-out port for Full HD 1080p output to your telly, and both front (0.3MP) and rear (2.0MP) cameras.

Wi-Fi connectivity is on board, and 3G is an optional extra thanks to an Archos dongle which connects to the full-sized USB port on the device. Strangely, Bluetooth is missing from the device.

One killer feature is the USB port with USB Host capabilities. This means that a regular PC mouse, keyboard, Gamepad or other can be connected to the tablet to use with most functions.

The 97 Carbon tablet is 11.4mm thick and weighs a pretty hefty 618g. It will launch later this month starting at £219.99 for the 9.7-inch version.

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