Although the Archos 5 and 7 Internet Media Tablets don’t have built-in HSDPA like the modem-toting 5g, they do have the ability to accept a 3.5G/HSDPA dongle through the Mini Dock or Battery Dock USB port with the help of the optional (and unannounced) 3.5G Ready plug-in. The plug-in is not listed on the Archos website, but SlashGear spotted it on the Amazon order page.
From the Archos 5 page:
It isn’t clear whether a specific HSDPA modem needs to be used, but assuming that any one would work, the 3.5G Ready plug-in is excellent news. Although it’s unfortunate that the plug-in and one of the docks must be purchased for the Archos 5 and 7 to hop onto a 3.5G network, it can still be a more cost-effective solution for those who 1) want more storage than the 30GB 5g offers and/or 2) don’t want to wait until December for the 5g’s release.
The least expensive model is the 60GB Archos 5, which retails for $350. Assuming the USB modem you already have is compatible, just add the cost of the plug-in ($30 max?) and either the Mini Dock ($30) or Battery Dock ($50) and you’ve got yourself an HSDPA-enabled Internet Media Tablet with twice the storage of the Archos 5g ($550) for at least $100 less.
A 3.5G dongle and dock aren’t as elegant as a built-in modem, sure, but HSDPA is still HSDPA.