French electronics powerhouse, Archos, has long proven that it can consistently build quality Android tablets at affordable prices, but this time around it appears as though the company has gone too far. The manufacturer announced today a brand new entrant into its luscious tablet offering, effectively bringing its portfolio full circle.
Despite just being announced, the Archos 97 Premium is nothing new. The device’s sole purpose is undoubtedly to compete head-to-head with Apple’s popular iPad. And while competition is a good thing, the 97 Premium is almost a direct copy of Cupertino’s slate, something you could only expect from a Chinese manufacturer selling $50 tablets on eBay.
Interestingly, as the name suggests, the device sports a 9.7-inch display–the same as the iPad. What’s more is that both tablets share the same “Retina” display resolution of 1536×2048. Sure, these things may not be enough to qualify the 97 Premium as a direct copy, but let’s take a look at the all-too-familiar design. Like the iPad, Archos has outfitted the 97 Premium with an unpainted, anodized aluminum backing, as well as curvaceous, protruding metallic edges.
I’m not saying that Apple should be allowed to hold a patent on rounded corners, but it’s time for companies to start becoming more innovative. Archos’ GamePad is a prime example of innovation at its best. It may not be the sleekest or sexiest device on the market, but boy does it function.
In all fairness, Archos has made a few subtle changes to deter Apple lawyers. The front-facing camera has been allocated to the top left-hand corner, while the company has tatted its own name in the center above the display. The corners are also slightly more rounded, though we all know this probably won’t make a difference when Apple inevitably takes it to the courtroom.