While Chrome OS continues to be Google’s OS of choice for laptops, we’ve seen several device manufacturers push out laptops and laptop-tablet hybrids running on the power of Android. Depending on their form factor, some of these devices have come with price tags well over $400, while others like the Lenovo A10 aimed for Chromebook-like pricing at $250. Now Archos is getting into the Android laptop game as well, with its $169.99 ArcBook.
As you’d expect from Archos, the specs here leave a lot to be desired. On the processor front we have a 1.2GHz RK3168 dual-core ARM Cortex A9 with a piddly 1GB of RAM. Other specs include a 10.1-inch multi-touch display with a 1024×600 resolution, 8GB storage, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and an 8000 mAh battery.
So who would buy a laptop with just 1GB RAM, a dual-core CPU and such a low resolution? That’s a good question. While the ArcBook has multi-touch support and is a whole $50 cheaper than the entry-level Acer C720 Chromebook, it’s hard to see why anyone would choose this Archos laptop over the Acer when it comes to actual productivity.
On the positive side, the ArcBook does provide access to Google Play and therefore has many more traditional apps than you’ll find on a Chromebook — even if the laptop’s specs mean it will probably struggle to use many of them. In addition to Google Play apps and Jelly Bean, the laptop also includes OfficeSuite Pro 6 for all your document writing needs. While we’d personally rather get a Chromebook, we admit this could be of value for younger students looking for a basic and extremely affordable netbook-like device that can also play Angry Birds and other basic Android games.
What do you think, can you think of any scenarios where such a device would come in handy? If you’re at all interested in the device, you’ll be able to pick it up online starting in June.