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Archos launches affordable 9.7-inch ICS tablet with periodic table nomenclature

Archos on Thursday introduced the first in its new Elements line of Google Android-based consumer tablets, a 9.7-inch device priced at $250 that will be made available this month.

The 16GB Archos 97 Carbon running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich sports a 5x multi-touch screen, front-facing and rear-facing camera, expandable storage up to 32GB courtesy of its microSD card slot, and a graphics engine capable of decoding full 1080p HD video and playing it on an HDTV via an HDMI port, the company said in a statement [PDF].

"We wanted to introduce a new series that not only combines affordability with a new slim design, but features the best that Google has to offer. With the Elements series we have done just that. It's the perfect balance of hardware, software optimization, and content through the Google Play ecosystem," Archos founder and chief executive Henri Crohas said.

The 97 Carbon is the first in an Elements lineup that will also include a 7-inch and 8-inch tablet in the future, Archos said.

The company is billing its Elements line of devices as "entry level" and marketing the new tablets as gateways to Google's cloud-delivered apps, services, and media content properties like Google Play and Google Drive. Archos is bundling 5GB of free Google Drive storage space in with the 97 Carbon, for example.

The new tablet also comes pre-loaded with Office Suite Viewer document-reading software, a demo of the puzzle game World of Goo, and news and social media management tools News Republic and Brief Me.

The 97 Carbon has an aluminum finish, is 11mm thick, and tips the scales at 620g.

Archos isn't serving up precise hardware specs but did say the tablet is powered by a 1GHz processor and has 1GB of RAM. The company made no mention of battery life or connectivity capabilities in its press release.

The Elements line isn't the French consumer electronics company's first device running Android 4.0. Earlier this year, Archos introduced a $130, 7-inch ICS tablet aimed at kids dubbed the Child Pad.