It's safe to say that back when the Archos 7 Home Tablet first appeared in March, it wasn't the powerful next generation Android tablet we were hoping for. Nevertheless, the Archos 7 HT is still a competitive value-oriented device with impressive media functions and adequate online capabilities, with its out-of-date operating system and lack of overall performance being the main drawbacks.
In an interesting twist, however, what appears to be a new Archos 7 HT prototype has surfaced in China utilizing Rockchip's 1GHz RK2818 processor and running Android 2.1. With the original using the older 600MHz RK2808 and running Android 1.5, this would be a welcome upgrade. What is uncertain is whether this prototype is an official Archos development or a hacked/customized device from Rockchip in order to demonstrate the new RK2818 chipset. The Rockchip branding shown in the OS seems to indicate the latter.
It is also uncertain whether this has any bearing on the possibility of existing A7 HTs getting upgraded to Android 2.1, but with Rockchip stating that the RK2808 only supports up to 1.5, this is unlikely. One also has to wonder whether it's worth upgrading the A7 HT in light of the upcoming Archos 70 Internet Tablet with its 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU and Android 2.2 Froyo. But with the 70 costing around $275, there may still be a place for the cheaper Archos 7 HT at the lower end of the market. A demo video (in Mandarin) after the break shows the device in action, demonstrating the UI, internet connectivity using a USB 3G dongle, web browsing, and accessing Android Market.
[Android Tablets.net | Engadget China]