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Archos iPad 2 Competitor Goes On Preorder

The Archos 101 G9 tablet, probably one of the most intriguing rivals to the iPad 2, has gone on preorder at UK-based The MP3 Company, with an estimated release date of October 2011.

The tablet comes with a dual core TI OMAP4460 SoC clocked at 1.5GHz, which makes it in theory by far the fastest tablet on the market until the arrival of future quad core models later this year.

It also features a 250GB traditional hard disk drive, the only one on the market to do so; there will be two other 8GB and 16GB models, with both costing less than the suggested retail price of £329 that Archos is charging.

Another distinguishing feature is the ability to convert the Wi-Fi only tablet into a 3G model just by plugging in a 3G stick; the dongle is proprietary but can be used on a normal PC; the chances are that it will be unlocked as well.

Interestingly, unlike the 8-inch tablet, the 10.1-inch one has a 1280x800 pixel resolution. As with other G9 tablets, it comes with an HDMI port, GPS, Wi-Fi, a front-facing camera (but nothing at the back) and Bluetooth.

Unfortunately, the G9 hard drive tablet is not that slim. At 15.6mm and weighing 755g, it is twice as thick as the Toshiba Excite and almost 50 per cent heavier; still the fact that it has a massive 250GB hard disk and costs only £329 (possibly less) makes it an attractive device.