Cheap Archos tablets pack mechanical storage

Today's tablets don't have very much storage capacity—typically 8GB to 16GB of flash memory on devices priced south of the $500 mark. Flash is certainly easy to squeeze into a tablet, but Archos thinks good old mechanical hard drives are up to the task. The firm has announced a pair of G9 tablets featuring Seagate's 250GB Momentus Thin hard drives.

The two tablets are the 8" 80 G9 and the 10" 101 G9, and they'll be available at the "end of September." They feature 1.5GHz dual-core processors from Texas Instruments, Android 3.1 software, and 1080p HDMI output capabilities. The Momentus Thin hard drives inside are called "thin" for a reason: they have a thickness of just 7 mm, making them slimmer than most other 2.5" and 1.8" hard drives (which are usually 9.5 and 8 mm thick, respectively). Archos doesn't say what spindle speed it went with, but Seagate offers both 5,400 and 7,200 RPM.

According to Archos, the 101 G9 will be priced at $349, while its 8" sibling will cost $279. Those are impressively low prices, especially considering recent whispers from the rumor mill suggest Asus barely makes a profit on its $399 Eee Pad Transformer. Perhaps Archos' choice of storage device allowed it to save a few bucks. There might be a tradeoff on the battery life front, though... and I don't know how comfortable I would feel throwing around a tablet with a mechanical hard drive in it.

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