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Archos reveals upcoming Gen 9 tablets for summer 2011 release

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Archos has been in the portable media player game for just about the same amount of time as Apple, boasting touchscreen interfaces and tablet-like features in its devices well before the iPhone was even announced. The French company has already gotten in on the ongoing tablet tablet race that is presently unfolding, with the release last year of a line of Android-powered tablets.

With the iPad 2 now out, Archos is looking to step up the competition with the release of its Gen 9 tablets later this year. German tech site tabletblog.de previously reported (via Engadget) that the company would unveil high-end 7- and 10-inch tablets at September’s IFA trade show in Germany. Now French website Le Journal du Geek reports that Archos let details fly on the new tablets during a recent earnings presentation, along with word that an official announcement and launch is coming in June.

We won’t know if it can compete with the latest iPad, or the Xoom and other top-shelf tablets until there’s time to play around with it, but the specs certainly suggest that the Gen 9 is a beast. The tablet will contain a powerful 1.6GHz ARM A9 dual-core CPU and up to either a 250GB HDD or 32GB SSD (solid-state drive, more durable), which it seems will be comparably priced. The device will also sport a patent-pending “disruptive 3G modem” as well as an Android Honeycomb operating system from Google.

We’ll have to wait until June for the full details from Archos, but it looks like the company will be shooting for a price tag that tops out at around €400 (roughly $566). With the 3G modem included, that would make the Gen 9 a cheaper bet — with potentially more storage space as well — than Apple’s $629 16GB iPad 2.