CES: Archos, Coby Bring Sub-$100 Tablets to Market
In our pre-CES cheat sheet, we predicted we would see a $100 tablet before the year was out, significantly bolstering the number of tablet users and supercharging mobile media-consumption models. Just two weeks into January, two companies are already flirting with that price point: Archos and Coby both came to CES packing lines of very aggressively priced Android tablets.
Coby has been a low-end leader for more than 20 years, originally making their name in cheap headphones and cassette players. In recent years they have shifted with the rest of the entertainment hardware industry into high-tech devices including portable DVD players, MP3 players, and digital photo frames. They introduced their KYROS line of Android tablets last year, and this year, with the kinks worked out, we’re seeing the extreme price-to-features ratio the company is known for. Their 7-inch tablet goes for $130, the 8-inch is $150 and their 9.7-inch model is just $200.
Archos, an early player in the MP3 and portable media player markets is pushing prices even lower. They offer a 7-inch for just $120, and a 10-inch for $200. They also unveiled the followup to their behemoth 13-inch tablet, the FamilyPad, which released two months ago in the UK. The FamilyPad 2 has the same giant screen with a slightly improved processor and 16GB storage. It will go for $300.
For comparison, Apple’s 7-inch iPad mini starts at $330 for the 16GB WiFi-only model. Their 10.1-inch 4th generation iPad with Retina display starts at $500 for the 16GB WiFi-only model
Low price comes with tradeoffs of course. Where higher-end tablets may feature HD screens and quad-core processors, low-end models typically feature lower resolutions and processing power. “We all want the 8-cylinder engine in our car, but a 6-cylinder will still get you from point A to point B,” says Ian Kolker, Product Manager for Coby's tablet line. “These devices have access to the same apps and the same store as the high end models, but aggressive pricing allows more consumers to enjoy the tablet experience.”