Well lookie here: Archos isn't letting anyone beat it to the Ice Cream Sandwich party. The French hardware company showed off an early build of Android 4.0 running on its economical 101 G9 tablet. The latest build from earlier today is demonstrated on what looks like a retail unit. Archos is planning on releasing the update sometime in Q1 2012.
From the demonstration, it looks like Ice Cream Sandwich is running extremely well on the 10-inch tablet, with nary a stutter or hiccup in its performance. By now we're pretty familiar with the ICS tablet interface (basically a cleaner, faster version of Honeycomb) but this is a nice confirmation of other sources, like Nvidia's demonstration of the Transformer Prime. It still needs a little work to get to a lag free experience, but you can see that Archos is well on its way.For the most part, ICS seems to be clean and free of bloatware.
For Ice Cream and French accents, check out the video below:
If you're tempted by new software on current hardware, the 10-inch G9 tablet is currently going for about $350 at most retail locations. Extensive codec support and low price makes Archos a favorite among Android enthusiasts, so you're likely to see a lot of community-authored ICS builds both before and after the official release. If you don't already have one, check out this hands-on before making your final decision.