French tablet maker Archos announced a new e-reader today, but it looks a lot more like a full-fledged Android tablet. The Arnova Gbook has a 7″, 800×480 capacitive touchscreen, and runs Android 4.0. On the other hand, it won’t have access to the Google Play store and packs a relatively slugglish 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor. It will have access the Appslib, the Archos market place, and will come with a few e-reading apps pre-installed. It’s main strength should be its affordable price: the specs resemble the Arnova 7 G3, which sells for about $100 online. Considering that this tablet has significantly worse specs than the Nexus 7, for instance, it will need to be sell for significantly less than $200 to be a real option for many buyers. And considering that e-ink readers like the Kindle retail for $70 and below, there’s a very small pricing sweet spot. We haven’t heard pricing or availability yet, but it should be “soon” and “cheap.” We’re so close to commoditized tablet hardware that actual full-blown tablets with capacitive touchscreens are pretending to be e-readers.
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