On the heels of the Nexus 7 from Google, Archos announced today the debut of a new line of entry-level tablets. The Elements line will eventually include 7- and 8-inch models, but is kicking off with a larger 9.7-inch model.
The 97 Carbon is the first Elements tablet out of the gate, featuring a 9.7-inch IPS multi-touch screen. The 97 Carbon features an aluminum finish, and a sleek design that's .45 inches thick. The 21.8 ounce tablet is powered by a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and 1GB of RAM.
Archos' 97 Carbon supports playback of HD video, and can send a full 1080p HD signal to your HD TV via the onboard HDMI port. The 97 Carbon ships with 16GB of storage onboard, which can be expanded via a microSD card, or with a USB flash drive. It also features a pair of built in speakers, and front- and rear-facing cameras.
The 97 Carbon is Google certified, and ships with access to the Google Play store and support for the myriad of Google apps. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Archos has not yet announced plans for an upgrade to 4.1 Jelly Bean, which Google announced last week at Google I/O in San Francisco.
Hitting stores at $249.99, Archos' 97 Carbon will face some stiff competition in the entry-level tablet market from Google's 7-inch Nexus 7, as well as a rumored update to the Kindle Fire next month, which may include as many as four different models.