Archos has introduced today two tablets, the eight-inch Archos 80 G9 and the 10.1 inch Archos 101 G9. That in itself wouldn’t blip on our radar if it weren’t for one tiny detail: Both run Honeycomb 3.1, the latest Android version for tablets Google announced at the Google I/O conference last month. What’s interesting about this is that Archos is not in the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), but they still get to build a Honeycomb tablet with Android Market access.

What that means is that either Archos has joined OHA or Google has changed its policies (or someone didn’t update the website). We’ve reached out to Google seeking clarification on whether Archos joined OHA or Google changed policy on allowing market to non-OHA members. We’ll update the article when we hear back from Google. The tablets pack in pretty dog on impressive innards…

Both devices are powered by Texas Instrument’s OMAP4 chip rocking two ARM Cortex-A9 CPU cores clocked at 1.5 GHz each. It loads web pages two times faster than a 1GHz Tegra 2 processor from Nvidia and can decode full HD (1080p) H.264 High Profile video, Archos claims. You can also output video in 1080p via an HDMI port. The eight-inch model has a 4:3 display with a 1024-by-768 resolution, while the 10.1-inch one has a wide 1280 x 800 16:10 screen. Another cool feature: You can add 3G connectivity to both tablets whenever you like, by slipping a $49 3G stick into a concealed USB port on the back. Makes you wonder why other manufacturers force us to pay a hundred extra for 3G. This is absolute awesomeness: You can pick between flash- or hard drive-based models, with the former allowing for 32GB of storage and the latter enabling up to 250GB of Seagate hard drive, which is a first for a consumer tablet, Archos claims. What’s more, hard drive or flash – both are priced the same because “it costs us manufacturers the same price, so why should you have to pay a premium for the extra space”, the company argues. The eight incher will set you back $279, while its bigger brother costs just $349. Both will be available at the end of September and will be shown beginning of September at IFA. [youtube=]

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