Monthly Archives: August 2012

Let’s now have a look at the Archos 101 XS battery life, focusing in a video play test. Unlike the Asus Transformer, the keyboard dock / coverboard won’t be of much help to increase the life, as it does not contain any extra battery.

From the Archos specifications

Archos announces in the 101 XS specs on their web site a battery life up to 7 hours of video play using low backlight settings.

On earlier Archos 101 XS pictures at the FCC, it looks like the tablet contains a 3 cell, 6800 mAh battery.

Our battery test video

From a fully charged tablet, we played this video file big_buck_bunny_720p_AAC.mp4 (Big Buck Bunny 720p, stereo sound in AAC format) in loop until the tablet battery gets empty.

More details about the test conditions:
– using latest beta firmware (4.0.23) available on the pre-production device
– machine started after a fresh reboot
– tablet fully charged (lockscreen says “Charged”, Settings / About tablet / Status says Battery level100%)
– media sound volume set to half (Settings/Sound/Volume, set Media bar to middle position)
– brightness set to half (Settings/Display/Brightness)
– Airplane mode (Wi-FI disabled)

During this test, on our pre-production Archos 101 XS, we have measured an effective battery life of 5 hours and 57 minutes.

Here is the full video of the battery test, with a timelapse view (1 frame=60 seconds) to speed things up.

In addition we have also used our ArcTools application to run an extra battery test and see of the details of the discharge curve, see below:

Charging time

Charging the Archos 101 xs can be done thru the supplied power charger that delivers 2000 mA, it should then take about 3 to 4 hours. You can also use the USB cable to charge from a computer, but it will then switch to a slow charge that double or triple the charging time.

Visit us soon for the rest of this Archos 101 XS review or follow us on Google +, Facebook and Twitter for updates on the Archos 101 XS and G10 news. Feel free to use our forum if you have any question on the Archos 101 xs.

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Starting tomorrow August 31st to the September 5th 2012. Archos will be at the IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) in Berlin, one of world’s leading trade shows for consumer electronics and home appliances.
After a busy end of August month revealing the new Archos G10 with the 101 XS, 80 XS, 97 XS, the discovery of the 116 XS and the Archos GamePad press release today, there is probably not much to expect in term of new product announcements, but we should hopefully see some nice demonstrations at the IFA 2012 trade show.

Archos booth is located at the showroom floor in Hall 17 Booth no. 122.

IFA 2012 Picture by The Verge.

Back in April, we mentioned that Archos should soon arrive with a game tablet, next to the already existing ChildPad. In one of the interviews, Henri Crohas, the CEO of Archos, said that he believes that the market for the classic game consoles(like the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP) will eventually be overtaken by tablets. We suggested that this will be an Archos branded game console with relatively high specifications(focussing especially on the GPU). And today, after six months of waiting, the Archos GamePad has been officially announced.

This competitor for the PS Vita(it is a little bit bigger than the gaming device from Sony) and Nintendo 3DS should pack a 7″ screen of currently unknown resolution(we expect 1024×600), Rockchip RK3066 CPU running at 1.5 Ghz and quad-core version of the Mali-400 GPU which can also be found in the last years Samsung Galaxy SII. A single-core of it comes with Allwinner A10 CPU, to be found on many current budget tablets, including the Arnova 7G3. Starting from Android 4.0, Google has integrated support for game controllers and Archos is the first to bring out a Google certified(means it will come with full suit of Google Apps) game console. On top of Android, there should be the smart Archos “game recognition and mapping tools” to ensure the physical buttons are compatible with the android games that use the virtual buttons. 1000 games should already be compatible at launch(including popular titles as Asphalt 7), and if you are a developer, you are welcome to contact Archos to make sure your games make use of the physical buttons too.

And in case you would like to game on even a bigger screen, there is a miniHDMI port to let you connect the GamePad. The GamePad is also fully a tablet which can browse the web and run more than 300.000 of Android apps.

Full device specifications(at the moment):

Operating System Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
CPU ARM Cortex A9
Rockchip RK3066 CPU @ 1.5 Ghz
Integrated GPU: Quad-Core Mali-400
Flash Storage Memory Capacity: 8 GB
System Memory 1024 Mb
Additional storage Micro SD slot (SDXC compatible up to 64GB)
Display 1024×600 Expected (TBC)
Capacitive MultiTouch
Bluetooth No (TBC)
Wifi 802.11 b/g/n (TBC)
Gravity Sensor Yes
Camera 0.3Mp (front facing) (TBC)
GPS No
HDMI Yes
Interfaces MicroSD slot
Android Market / Google Play Yes
Kickstand No
Dimensions TBA
Weight TBA
Official Product page TBA

Let’s hope to see the Archos cobalt 70 and 80(expected to be sold for 129 and 149EUR, respectively) to be also equipped with the RK3066 CPU and the Archos Ludo to be announced before Christmas sales start. The GamePad should hit the stores in two months time and frankly, we hardly can wait for it to arrive. ;)

Android gaming with console controllers (Wii Remote, PS3 Sixaxis…)

If you are into gaming, you may already use game controllers on your favorite tablet. We are demonstrating here an Archos 101 G9 Turbo playing SHADOWGUN with a Wii Remote and Nunchuk attachement. The Android free application Wiimote Controller is used to pair to the Wiimote and setup the control parameters specific to the game.

Sometimes, we get news that we would like to mention and give attention to, but that are not worth writing a whole blog article. So meet here the minor sunday stuff! A weekly(well, we will skip it sometimes ;) ) collection of some minor announcements, FCC revealings, interesting leak outs and other stuff. Written in the same style as currently not that popular Discussing Archos articles, this could actually eventually replace them and we hope you will like them.

Archos 116xs

When the information about the Archos 116xs was kindly leaked out by IDBOOX, we decided to google for competitors. It turned out that Acer also has an 11.6″ FullHD ultrathin touchscreen device coming soon. It is actually a Windows 8 ultrabook. Here is a video with it in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKT1SMZ06VE

From what we saw on google, this and the 116xs are the only devices to include an 11.6″ FullHD screen. It might be so that the screen on both models will be the same. Unfortunately, the viewing angles don’t look too good, so it is probably just an ordinary TN screen. We googled for possible manufacturers of 11.6″ screens and all we could find was from Chi-Mei, a company that produces many screens for Archos. All the offered models had resolution of 1366×768, but after sneaking around a bit, we found the following announcement:

Dual-panel Display with Touch Screen Functionality for Ultrabooks and Tablet PCs
CMI has developed 11.6 inch dual-panel displays with touch screen functionality. The combination of two AAS FHD panels, one on which includes a WIS (Window Integrated Sensor) touch screen module, is ideal for both Ultrabooks and tablet PCs. The display can be used as a laptop PC or separately as a tablet PC. The front and back sides of the display can be activated at the same time, allowing two users to perform different tasks on the display with flexibility.

The announcement should come in the coming week. While Archos doesn’t need a Dual-panel display, Chi-Mei stated they have the 11.6″ FHD panels. Mystery solved. :)

Source

Archos Speaker Dock

Did you know that the Archos Speaker dock will have a remote coming with it? Surprisingly, you don’t get it to see on most press images.

Source

Archos 101xs goes pre-order.

In case you can’t wait to get your hands on the new tablet from Archos, you might want to know it is already up for pre-order on amazon.de.

Want one?

Arnova 7G2 get sweeter with ICS.

A few months ago, we mentioned that the 7G2 ICS models were soon to arrive. And now, according to new posts on the forum, these device are being spotted in the stores. Let’s hope the Arnova 8G2 will also get such an update.

Archos website.

Archos just renewed its website. One of the things we noticed is that the 97 Carbon is getting quite some accessories:

The keyboard case looks quite simillar to the one for Arnova 9G2/G3(the only difference will probably be just the logo) we reviewed not so long ago. The protective case should also fit the Arnova 9G2/G3 models, so that’s good news. :)

A little bit less serious now, do you remember Archos promising us a child-sized robot? Here is a trailer video for ROBOPOCALYPSE the movie, featuring a Robot called Archos ;)

(this trailer might be not official, we don’t know for sure)

That is nearly all for this sunday, just a small secret “code” for the upcoming news:

A7KTABCWM404

What would it be? ;)

On the paper, the Archos 101 XS tablet, powered by a TI OMAP 4470 System on Chip (SoC) still clocked at 1.5 GHz isn’t expected to provide such a performance boost over the previous Archos G9 based on the TI OMAP 4460. We have run several benchmarks to get an idea, you will find the results below.

Archos 101 XS benchmarks

Test conditions:
– all devices were using latest firmware from the manufacturer
– all benchmarks were executed after a fresh reboot or all tasks being killed
– unless specified, tests were run multiple times to check for consistent behaviour, the results shown here correspond to average values

The tablet sample we used for review is a pre-production tablet with a beta firmware. Though some minor things may change, it should give a good idea of the final retail model …

Archos 101 xs vs Archos 101 G9 benchmark results
Archos 101 xs (G10) Archos 101 G9
Turbo model – 512 Mb RAM
Test setup
Firmware version
pre-production device, with beta firmware
Linux kernel version 3.0.21+ built Aug 16 12:50:16 CEST 2012
Android 4.0.4 Build G10A-user 4.0.4 IMM76D 20120809.121151
Archos stock firmware 4.0.7
Linux Kernel 3.0.8+ #4 SMP PREEMPT Thu Jun 7 16:12:27 CEST 2012
Android 4.0.3 Build MR1.20120529.141046
Antutu Benchmark
higher is faster
Total score: 5874
CPU: 2940
GPU: 1387
RAM: 1069
I/O: 478
Total score: 7835
CPU: 4077
GPU: 1552
RAM: 1550
I/O: 656
Linpack Pro v 1.2.9
higher is faster, benchmark run in multi-thread
(we took the best numbers we could achieve, there is a lot of variance on these bench results)
94.9 MFLOPS 82.6 MFLOPS
CF-Bench v 1.1
higher is faster
Native score: 10756
Java Score: 3288
Overall Score: 6275
Native score: 12871
Java Score: 3460
Overall Score: 7224
ArcTools v 0.69
higher is faster
Read: 29842 Kb/s
Write: 13780 Kb/s
Read: 17304 Kb/s
Write: 9674 Kb/s
Smartbench 2011 v 1.2.1
higher is faster
Prod. index: 2816
Games Index: 2810
Prod. index: 2972
Games Index: 1795
Quadrant Advanced 1.1.7
higher is faster
Total: 3557
CPU: 6170
Mem: 3346
I/O: 4671
2D: 1000
3D: 2599
Total: 2622
CPU: 7189
Mem: 2480
I/O: 1123
2D: 997
3D: 1322
Vellamo v 1.0.3
higher is faster
1374 1325
Nenamark v 2.0
higher is faster
55.0 FPS 27.9 FPS
GPUBench v 1.0.0
higher is faster
Absolute: 39195
Relative: 34964
Absolute: 36617
Relative: 25027
GLBenchmark v 2.5
higher is faster
GLBenchmark Egypt HD C24Z16 test
onscreen: 1684 frames, 15 fps
offscreen: 1277 frames, 11 fps
GLBenchmark Egypt HD C24Z16 test
onscreen: 931 frames, 8.2 fps
offscreen: 656 frames, 5.8 fps

Benchmark results interpretation

Comparing benchmarks results between the G9 and the G10 is made easier as both tablets run on a similar plateform (TI OMAP 4) and have the same OS & screen resolution. As you can see looking at these numbers, the 101 G9 and 101 xs (G10) benchmark results aren’t always consistent. Some performance tests even show that the G9 is faster than the G10. While preparing these benchmarks, we noted a lot of variation in the results with the different firmware versions we used on the Archos 101 XS. Looking at the gaming and Graphic Processor Unit (GPU) oriented benchmarks (GLBenchmark, NenaMark, GPUBench) it’s quite clear the performance has well increased in the Archos 101 XS, thanks to the PowerVR SGX544 on the TI OMAP 4470 SoC.
Please check again our benchmarks soon, we should provide an update in the coming weeks with a final production device.

Visit us soon for the rest of this Archos 101 XS review or follow us on Google +, Facebook and Twitter for updates on the Archos 101 XS and G10 news. Feel free to use our forum if you have any question on the Archos 101 xs.

While Archos officially only revealed three tablets in its Gen10xs line-up, thanks to the last years kernel revealings we knew that a ~12″ version was also coming.  And thanks to IDBOOX, we now got a few more details of it.

According to IDBOOX who attended the Archos presentation, the Archos 116 XS, a 11.6″ tablet should be available at the beginning of 2013 and should feature a FullHD 16:10 screen. Archos told that they will do their best for the price not to exceed 500€. IDBOOX also mentioned details for the other models in the line-up. The  Archos 80xs should be available for as low as 200EUR and fully target the Google Nexus 7. Possibly, for this price, the keyboard dock will not be included. The IPS screen equipped Archos 97xs should be available in November for 399€, slightly more than Archos is currently planning to ask for the 101xs.

Missing in the list is the Archos Ludo. Possibly, this device is not really a FullHD tablet aimed at gaming, but more like a game console/settop box which can be connected to a tv.

Via: IDBOOX.

The Archos 101 XS, the first Gen 10 tablet is not yet on the market that Archos is making its firmware available. While the Archos 101 XS tablet we have tested was already very stable, it’s a good sign to see Archos very active is fixing bugs and improving the device firmware before it even hits the shelves.

Release history:

Version 4.0.23 – August 23rd, 2012

  • Media Center: add multi device network bookmark capability
  • Media Center Video: fix video paused sometimes when seeking
  • Media Center Video: fix UPNP playback of large files (>4GB)
  • Media Center Video: fix audio desync for some MPEG4/AVI files
  • Display: add HDCP support on HDMI
  • Camera: disable anti-banding by default to get correct exposure in bright light condition
  • Accessories: for Archos docking station add in accessory notification the possibility to output sound on tablet or on external audio output
  • Accessories: for Archos speaker dock, docking station and keyboard enable to wake up the device by a tap on the touch screen (when the unit is powered)

Version 4.0.22 – June 15th, 2012

  • Initial IceCream Sandwich 4.0.4 firmware release

Via Jbmm.fr (in french)

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The Cube U30GT based on the Rockchip RK3066 processor is a really cheap and powerful slate, currently one of the best value for the money tablet, available at a mere $210 USD / €170 / 135 UKP easily imported from China. It offers the following features: Dual Core Arm Cortex A9 RK3066 CPU running at 1.6 GHz, 1 Gb RAM, 10″ IPS Capacitive Multi-touch 10 Points (1280×800), Bluetooth, HDMI.

Don’t forget to check our Cube firmware page for latest Cube firmware updates

Cube U30GT-H Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with PIP Video Player

The Cube U30GT-H is one of the first tablets based on Rockchip architecture to offer Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (JB), and a great new Picture in Picture (PIP) feature on the Video Player that let you put the playing video in a resizable and movable window, so you can watch a movie while you continue to use the Android tablet for other things.

Cube U30GT-H custom rooted English firmware Android 4.1 firmware

We have built a custom firmware for the Cube U30GT-H model (H only) which provides full root and default language to English rather than Chinese. This firmware is based on the stock firmware 1.06H from Cube.

Firmware download

kasty-cube_u30gt_h-41-106-rooted.zip

This firmware is specific to the Cube U30GT-H and should not be installed on other devices.

WE WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR DEVICE.

THIS FIRMWARE UPDATE IS USED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

WE RECOMMEND TO FLASH THIS FIRMWARE ONLY IF YOU ARE ABLE TO RESCUE A BRICKED DEVICE USING ROCKCHIP FLASHING TOOL 1.5.

You will need Rockchip flasher 1.5 (for RK3066 tablets) to install the firmware, push Power and Volume Up buttons at the same time to put the Cube tablet in flash mode.

Rooted Metro (Win 8) User Interface for the CUBE U30GT-H

Rooted Metro (Win 8) User Interface for the CUBE U30GT-H: kasty-cube_u30gt_h-41-103_win8_metro_ui-rooted.zip

Custom firmware release history

Version 0.3 (2012/08/25)
Based on default Cube U30GT-H firmware version 1.06H, default language set to English, added root & SuperSU, removed Chinese and unnecessary apps.
Version 0.2 (2012/08/24)
Based on default Cube U30GT-H firmware version 1.06H, default language set to English, added root & SuperSU
Version 0.1 (2012/08/23)
Based on default Cube U30GT-H firmware version 1.05H, default language set to English, added root & SuperSU

For any questions or more Cube firmwares, please use our Cube U30 GT tablet forum section (Cube U30 GT-H, Cube U30 GT-W, Cube U30 GT-MINI)

Archos 101 XS has managed to pack a new design and deliver a very thin tablet. Both faces of the device are made of white plastic mixed with metal enclosures light gray colored.

Compared to previous Archos models, it seems there has been a lot of efforts in the tablet build quality, as the pieces are now better adjusted, the whole device seem quite solid, the material feel quite good and does not catch fingerprints.


This video gives a quick overview of the Archos 101 XS tablet and coverboard design.

Connectors

On the left, you can see the 1 Mpixels frontal camera and a tiny hole which should to be dedicated to the microphone. The tablet side holds the connectors, from top to bottom:
micro SD card connector (SDXC compatible)
micro USB connector (host capable)
headphone connector connector, usual 3.5 mm mini-jack format
– the HDMI connector (mini HDMI format, aka HDMI type c connector)

On the tablet’s right side: power and volume (+/-) buttons.

On the bottom side of the tablet: the keyboard/cover connector and 2 magnets to hold it in place.

The tablet speaker is located on the right side, it seems to be a single speaker, don’t expect much for stereo sound. Compared with the 101G9, it is good that the speaker is located on the front and its sound is not attenuated, when the tablet rests on its back.

Xs for eXtra Slim

It’s hard to define what a slim is, but we could say any product thick of 10 millimeters (0.39 inches) or less is a good candidate. Current thinnest 10″ tablet you can buy is the Toshiba Excite 10 LE with 7.7mm (0.3 inches) thick.

Just checking…
We have measured the tablet and the coverboard with a caliper, though our measurements may not be 100% accurate (because it’s not a square box, it is quite difficult to measure), we believe it should give quite a good reading of the tablet thickness. We used a sheet of paper (about 0.11 mm thickness per sheet) to protect the tablet while measuring, so 0.22 mm should be deducted to the caliper reading to get the final numbers. Our pre-production model, this gives a thickness of around 8.55 mm for the tablet and 13.90 mm when the coverboard is installed. These numbers are a bit thicker than initially planned by Archos, but still incredibly thin.


Compared to Archos 101 G9 (Flash memory model, 11.7 mm thick)

The Apple iPAD 2 (8.8 mm) is 1 mm or so thicker.

Compared to Asus Transformer TF101 (first model) with the keyboard dock attached.

Visit us soon for the rest of this Archos 101 XS review or follow us on Google +, Facebook and Twitter for updates on the Archos 101 XS and G10 news. Feel free to use our forum if you have any question on the Archos 101 xs.


A year has passed since Archos released their Gen 9 tablets. A few months ago, Henri Crohas, Archos founder and CEO promised a very innovating superthin tablet with keyboard which can also be used to cover the device. However this is not all, it should be one of the first tablets to run on the TI OMAP 4470 CPU and many other improvements were made over the previous Gen 9 models. The Archos 101xs should be available mid September this year starting at just 379 € / £299.99 / $399.99..

The tablet sample we used for review is a pre-production tablet with a beta firmware. Though some minor things may change, it should give a good idea of the final retail model …

Our review will follow our usual methodology, first presenting the product packaging, the tablet and keyboard design, the device performance, the screen, multimedia and other features. Enjoy ! ;)

Brief Archos tablets history

The history of Android tablets from Archos goes back to 2009. At that time, the company was the first to introduce such a device – more than half a year before the iPad arrived. The OMAP3 powered Archos 5 Internet Tablet had quite impressive specifications for that time – offering up to 500GB of storage, 5″ 800×480 screen, built-in GPS and great video playing software. Also, the patented Archos production method with use of stainless steel was introduced, the same process which now allows the G10 xs devices to be that thin and strong.

In 2010, the Gen8 came on the market. While specswise, it didn’t offer much new over the Gen7 – it had the same OMAP3 processor, it was still quite a revolution. Archos offered 5 different sizes at the start and because of the enhanced molding method, they were one of the lightest and strongest tablets on the market.

With the Archos G9, Archos made a power boost. The updated OMAP4 CPU was times faster, the offered 3G stick was innovative and the operating system was Honeycomb, the first Android OS developed with tablets in mind. While they were great products for the price, these tablets suffered a lot of criticism, regarding the quality of the screen and camera, system instability for the first firmwares, Wi-FI troubles….

Archos is now releasing their 10th generation of tablets with the G10, the Archos 101 xs being the first model. It’s eXtra Slim, many components have been upgraded, and it offers a coverboard which is how Archos calls its keyboard dock that also protects the tablet.

During Archos press conference in March, 2012, Crohas explained some details on how tablet are usually built following the model of Apple Ipad, with an machined aluminium body where a high quality glass is applied. Archos on the other hand has developed their own technology over the past 3 years. The tablet structure is made by highly resistant stainless steel embedded in a plastic enclosure. An extremely thin (about 1/10 mm) metal frame surrounds the screen as you can see on the following pictures.


Archos 101 xs specifications

Operating System Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Linux Kernel Version: 3.0.21+
Build number: IMM76D 20120809
CPU Dual Core Texas Instruments TI OMAP 4470 running at 1.5 GHz
Integrated GPU: Imagination POWERVR SGX 544 (single core)
Flash Storage Memory Capacity 16 GB
Speed: Class 10 range (tested Read: 29842 Kb/s Write: 13780 Kb/s)
System Memory 1024 Mb
Additional storage Micro SD slot (SDHC compatible, up to 64 Gb)
Display 1280×800 10.1 inches LCD screen using MVA technology (Multi-domain vertical alignment)
16/10 aspect ratio
capacitive 5 points multitouch, 160 DPI density
Bluetooth Yes
Wi-FI 802.11 b/g/n
Gravity Sensor Yes
Camera 1 Mpixels (front facing)
Pictures resolution: 1280×960, video: 720p
GPS Yes
HDMI Yes(mini HDMI, aka HDMI type c connector)
Interfaces micro USB Host, Mass Storage Class (MSC)
MicroSD slot
second micro USB connector available on the keyboard
Battery life Video playing: tested 5 hours 56 minutes (continuous video play, brightness at 50%, Wi-FI disabled)
More details on the battery life test will be published on another article.
Google Play Store / Android Market Yes The Archos G10 devices are fully Google Certified
Kickstand No (The supplied keyboard/cover acts as a kickstand)
Dimensions As announced by Archos: tablet: 273 mm x 170 mm x 8mm (10.7’’ x 6.7’’ x 0.31’’)
Coverboard: 273 mm x 170 mm x 5mm (10.7’’ x 6.7’’ x 0.2’’)
Weight tablet alone: 633g

tablet + coverboard: 901g
Official Product page on archos.com

Archos 101 xs tablet packaging

The tablet packaging is actually made of two boxes, one for the tablet and one for the keyboard/cover.

The keyboard should come in a localised key layout for each territority, our test machine had an AZERTY keyboard (french key mapping).


The tablet box contains:
– the Archos 101 xs tablet
– a micro USB cable to connect the tablet to a computer
– a power charger with a micro USB connector to the tablet, it outputs 5 V, 2 A, European sock for the power on the wall.
Using the power charger, the tablet gets fully charged in a few hours, you can also charge from a computer using the micro USB cable, you can then expect a slow charge (USB ports usually have an output of 500 mA on computers).
– booklets: a “need help ?” paper, a warranty/legal and safety notice, a user guide which covers basic topics to get started


The supplied power charger and micro USB cable are all white, matching the tablet color.

Our review follows on part 2 discussing about the Archos 101 xs tablet design.

Visit us soon for the rest of this Archos 101 XS review or follow us on Google +, Facebook and Twitter for updates on the Archos 101 XS and G10 news. Feel free to use our forum if you have any question on the Archos 101 xs.

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