I don’t know how you guys feel about Archos as a tablet manufacturer, but I have to say that while the French manufacturer might not be the first company that pops in mind when talking about top-end tablets, the fact is that they’ve been making decent low budget devices for a few years now. As a matter of fact, they have actually released a couple of decent mid-range tablets as well, including the Archos 10.1 G9 Turbo 250 GB that Brandon reviewed earlier this year.
Fortunately, Archos doesn’t seem to have plans to stop building its fan base, as the company has just announced the imminent release of another line of mid-range tablets, this time one that will be all about slimness: the Archos Gen10 XS tablet series. We’ve heard bits and pieces about the Archos G10 XS line of tablets before, but fortunately now we have concrete official information regarding the series.
The first member of the Gen10 XS family is called the Acrhos 101 XS and is bound to be released in November, to be followed later in 2012 by the ARCHOS 97 XS and ARCHOS 80 XS. While Archos has yet to make any announcements regarding the last two devices, it has shared all the specs of the Archos 101 XS. Spoiler: I’m a little bit impressed!
Since the XS in the name stands for extra slim, what better way to start talking about this tab other than mentioning that at 7.8 millimeters, the Archos 101 XS is an impressively 15 percent thinner than the Apple iPad 3. Archos did not mention the exact dimensions, so we’re unable to tell exactly how much space it will take up on your desk, but we do know that the display measures 10.1 inches diagonally and works at a (meh) resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels.
On to the internal specs, the Archos 101 XS will use a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 System On a Chip (SoC), basically an updated version of the TI OMAP 4460 SoC you’ll find inside the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This translates into a 1.5 GHz dual-core A9 processor and a PowerVR SGX544 that, paired with 1GB of RAM, should provide decent performance if you don’t go on an “open app frenzy” of some sorts. Sure, it might not be the quad-core Exynos 4 processor you can find inside the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (and the Galaxy S3), but this is just a mid-range tablet.
Other specs include 16GB of internal storage space, a MicroSD slot (supports cards up to 64GB), MicroUSB slots, a Mini HDMI output, WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.
The Archos 101 XS will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on launch date, but an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is promised for Q4 2012. Judging on the fact that Archos has kept its word regarding OS updates in the past, I would be surprised if Jelly Bean will arrive later than November. Android purists will be very glad to know that Archos has opted for an unskinned version of the Android OS.
Now that you’ve got the specs figured out, you also need to know that the Archos 101 XS comes with a 5mm thick magnetic keyboard / cover, called the Coverboard. The official press release refers to the Coverboard as a unique magnetic keyboard, although I’m sure I’ve seen such a thing before (say… with Microsoft’s Surface). Nonetheless, the Coverboard also has a built-in magnetic kickstand and can act as a charging dock for the tablet when plugged into a power slot. The Coverboard comes bundled in every box, meaning there’s no additional fee to pay for it.
All this will set you back $399,99, not a bad price for such an interesting mid-range tab. The Archos 101 XS will become available online as well as in various North American retail channels starting this November.
The way I see it, the Archos 101 XS is one of the most interesting mid-range Android tablets you can find: ultra slim, decently specced, comes with a magnetic keyboard and runs a vanilla flavored Android OS. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comment section below!
ARCHOS’ new Gen10 XS tablet line offers super-fast web-browsing, an extra slim design, and a unique magnetic Coverboard for protection, docking and easy typing
Denver, CO – (August 22, 2012) – ARCHOS, an award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, is pleased to announce the unveiling of its Gen10 XS tablet line. The ARCHOS 101 XS, a 10.1-inch tablet that weighs only 21 ounces and measures 0.31 of an inch thin, will be the first of this new line of extra slim Android™ tablets to debut mid-September followed by the release of the ARCHOS 97 XS and ARCHOS 80 XS later in 2012.
In addition to creating a new standard of thin for tablets, ARCHOS continues to push the technological boundaries with the innovative Coverboard, a unique magnetic keyboard conceived for each tablet model that will offer protection, a kickstand, docking and easy typing. The Coverboard is included in the box with each tablet.
The entire Gen10 XS line is Google™ certified, features Android 4.0 and allows full access to Google Play™ featuring over 600,000 apps. The range will be upgradable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in Q4 2012.
“As the pioneer in the Android tablet market, we strive to continually push the technological boundaries of tablets and user experience,” says Henri Crohas, ARCHOS Founder and CEO. “We are taking our tablets to the next level by releasing an entirely new design that will redefine thin while providing more functionality and a better price than any current Android tablet in the market.”
Magnetic Coverboard: 4 Steps Ahead
The ultra-thin magnetic Coverboard included with all Gen10 tablets enables users to protect, stand and dock the tablet as well as type with a full-size QWERTY keyboard.
The 0.2” thick protective cover is secured to the tablet with magnets. To open, the Coverboard simply twists to separate and reveal the full keyboard and magnetic kickstand.
The magnetically guided docking system enables perfect alignment on the keyboard, eliminating the need for clips or stands. The integrated magnetic kickstand holds the tablet to the Coverboard as one solid unit, allowing users to sit back and enjoy their music and movies comfortably.
When docked the Coverboard is powered by the tablet providing hours of productivity. The Coverboard also has a DC in, so when it’s plugged into a power outlet the keyboard functions like a dock and charges the tablet.
The Gen10 XS series come fully equipped with a chicklet-style QWERTY keyboard and a complete version of OfficeSuite Pro 6, a $14.99 value. This critically acclaimed application allows you to view, create, edit, print and share Word, Excel and PowerPoint files as well as open attachments and read PDF files. Combine that with a full QWERTY keyboard that also has intergrated Android shortcut keys for direct access to main tablet functions for the ultimate in productivity.
Play Anything and Share Wirelessly with the ARCHOS Media Center
ARCHOS Gen10 XS tablets come with tailor-made Media Center apps for full HD video, complete codec and format support, jackets & meta-data for your music, videos and wireless sharing over your home network. In addition, each tablet features a Video Carousel for a video library experience like no other including automatic jacket download and an easy to use search tool for finding title, series, actor, subtitle or other information. Other media center functions include:
• Wireless streaming, home file sharing and read media from external storage
• ARCHOS remote control app
Pure Android experience
Certified by Google, ARCHOS Gen10 tablets include full access to Google Play™, including DRM support for downloading books, music and movies.
• Play Apps and Games: Over 600,000 apps and games
• Play Music: Access millions of tracks and artists
• Play Books: Over 4 million books to choose from
• Play Movies & TV: Thousands of movies including HD titles, new releases, award-winning films or your favorite classics.
Powered by an unskinned version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, ARCHOS Gen10 tablets deliver a pure Android™ experience and will be upgradable to Android’s next OS, Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean. Additional features include:
• 1.5 GHz smart multi-core processor and 1GB of RAM
• Google’s suite of mobile applications including Gmail™, Google Talk™, YouTube™ and Google+™.
• Google Maps™ with Street View and Navigation
• Google Drive™ with 5GB of free cloud storage
Gen10 XS Series Accessories
The ARCHOS Gen10 XS series has an assortment of designed accessories including a Speaker Dock, Docking Station and protective carrying Pouches.
ARCHOS Speaker Dock: The perfect musical companion for your Gen10 tablet easily combines a sleek design with remarkable sound and quick charging station.
Archos Docking Station: An ingenious little product allows you to charge your tablet while providing a great viewing solution. It also includes USB ports and audio ports for easy connectivity to a hard drives and existing stereo system from your tablet.
ARCHOS Pouches: Provide protection and an easy carrying solution for tablet and Coverboard. They will be available in a large selection of colors and finishes.
The first tablet in the Gen10 series to be released will be the ARCHOS 101 XS. The 101 XS tablet, which is 15 percent thinner than the new iPad3, weighs only 21 ounces and measures 0.31 of an inch thin and will be in stores and online in North America starting in November with a suggested retail price of $399.99.
Additional specs for the ARCHOS 101 XS include:
• OMAP 4470 CPU with PowerVR SGX544 GPU
• 10.1-inch screen with 1280 x 800 resolution
• 16GB Flash Memory
• Micro USB, MicroSD (SDXC up to 64 GB), Mini HDMI
• WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
For more information about the ARCHOS Gen10 XS tablet series and accessories, visit www.ARCHOS.com .
Android, Google Play, Gmail, Google Talk, YouTube, Google+, Google Maps with Street View and Navigation and Google Drive are all trademarks of Google Inc.
Concept of magnetic keyboard is good..but the build quality is where they hit lows.