Archos Lays Out Netbook Plans

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Archos might be best-known for its line of well-specced media players, but the company is not standing idly by while the computing industry sinks its teeth into netbooks. Earlier this year, Archos introduced the Archos 10, a slim Atom-powered netbook. Today, the company not only took the wraps off its followup, the Archos 10s, but announced (PDF) it plans to roll out a 9-inch MiniPC Tablet in 2010 based on Intel’s forthcoming “Moorestown” platform.

First up, Archos’s second netbook PC will measure just 20 mm thick, making it one of the thinnest netbooks on the market. The unit will integrate 3.5G wireless broadband and Wi-Fi connectivity, and sport an Intel Atom processor, 1 GB of RAM, Windows XP, and from 60 to 160 GB of hard drive storage. The Archos 10s should start shipping in April; no pricing information has been released.

However, Archos’s future plans might be a little more interesting: the company has also announced it plans a 9-inch MiniPC Tablet based on Intel’s forthcoming “Moorestown” platform. The devices will measure just 17mm thick, sport Intel’s Z5xx Atom family of processors, and feature hard drives from 60 to 160 GB in capacity. The 9-inch MIniPCs will include all of Archos’s media features, including high-def video playback, video-on-demand, and digital TV reception—and, the MiniPCs won’t have a keyboard or a mouse, instead opting for an on-screen keyboard and a trackpoint mouse. Archos didn’t release any information about operating systems or pricing, and is only promising to launch the 9-inch MiniPC “by 2010.” Although an onscreen keyboard won’t appeal to folks who rely on nettops for email and messaging, the system could offer a compelling Internet and media experience…and I’m sure we all know people who can’t bear to be away from their media and television for more than a few minutes at a time.

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