- Jul 9, 2010
While this is probably not the news current Archos 7 Home Tablet owners want to hear, Archos seems to have a fully functional and stable prototype of the next revision of the Archos 7 Home Tablet lined up to succeed the first-generation Android 1.5 device.
This video was posted on CNBeta, and is labeled as a Rockchip RK2818 device running Android 2.1:
The interface is the default Rockchip SDK theme, so this isn't quite ready for release yet on Archos' side. It is missing Archos branded customizations, namely Archos proprietary application configurations as well as Archos icon themes also found in the Archos 7 Home Tablet. However, performance and stability both seem to be ready for primetime. Retaining the tradition of Rockchip RK28XX Android devices, the SDK ships with a functional Android market.
The video demonstrates wifi, USB 3G functionality, Android market, among other things. The exterior of the device seems to be very close to that of the current revision of the Archos 7 Home Tablet.
The Rockhip RK2818 shall support up to 720p video and 256MB RAM. It is rumored to be as fast as 1GHz, but may be missing 3D graphics acceleration altogether. Android 2.1's Gallery 3D was replaced with an alternate version developed by Rockchip, as demonstrated in a previously video released. Like the Rockchip RK2808, it is designed for low end Android tablet devices. New A7HT models should retail for more than the starting price of the old revision.
Google Market and Youtube are present in the firmware of the demonstration prototype. We can't imagine that Google is too happy about this. However, it is not likely that Archos will ship with the Google proprietary applications. Rockchip has not been a part of the Open Handset Alliance, necessary for Google Applications licensing. If the SDK leaks like it did for the Rockchip RK2808, and we do expect that it will, the Archos 7 Home Tablet revision 2 can enjoy working Google applications without any hassles after firmware modifications.
More pictures can be found at Engadget China's picture gallery.
With Rockchip's terrible implementation of Android 1.5 onto its RK2808 chipset, there may be enough reason to stay away from this tablet regardless of the features it promises. However, this does add yet another alternative to the range of Android capable low end tablets.
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