How low can hi-res go? Less than a year after Apple introduced the 3rd-gen iPad and its eye-searing Retina display, the Google Nexus 10 tablet is already delivering a comparable level of eye-candy for $100 less than Apple's flagship slate, and at CES 2013, Archos is primed to take pixel-packed displays to the masses. The company's new Archos 97 Titanium sports a display that shamelessly apes the iPad's, from its 9.7-inch screen size to its 2048 x 1536-pixel screen resolution—and it manages to do so for just $249, or half the cost of its inspiration.
The iPad isn't the only tablet the newly announced Titanium line is targeting, though. Archos announced a slew of slates across a spectrum of sizes, with each aimed as a low-cost alternative to a current high-profile market leader.
The company even managed to undercut the dirt-cheap Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 tablets with a 7-inch slate priced at just $119, the Archos 70 Titanium. Intrigued by the iPad mini but don't want to pay its $330 premium? The Archos 80 Titanium sports an 8-inch display and the same chunky aspect ratio as the pint-sized iPad for $169. Finally, the company is also offering the Archos 101 Titanium, a tablet built to the same general design as top-tier 10.1-inch Android slates, for $199.
You'll have to be willing to make a few sacrifices in exchange for those low prices, though the Archos slates manage to deliver a fairly solid bang for fairly few bucks. The entire Titanium line sports HD IPS displays and aluminum bodies, both rare finds in budget tablets. The new slates also run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean powered by a 1.6-GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor and a quad-core Mali 400 GPU.
The company didn't provide any additional details about the tablets, but the iPad-miming Archos 97 Titanium is currently up on the Archos website. It packs a pedestrian 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage that can be expanded, thanks to a handy-dandy micro-SD Card slot, which is joined by a microUSB port. The slate packs dual 5-MP/2-MP cameras, stereo speakers and a sleek, iPad-esque 0.4-inch, 1.4-pound build.
All in all, the new Titanium line looks like it'll provide a solid value for budget-minded buyers, though the ho-hum internals may bog down the Archos 97 Titanium if you try to play cutting-edge games on the slate. It takes a lot of power to push that many pixels, and these tablets simply aren't speed freaks—Samsung's high-end Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II smartphones pack more potent punches than these low-cost tablets.