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
|Camera||1 Mpixels (front facing)
Pictures resolution: 1280×960, video: 720p
|HDMI||Yes(mini HDMI, aka HDMI type c connector)|
|Interfaces||micro USB Host, Mass Storage Class (MSC)
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 packagingThe 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.