New Archos 101 XS Tablet Similar to Transformer; Comes With Keyboard Dock & More


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It looks like the little upstart Android Tablet company, Archos, is doing their best top climb to a higher tier. They just announced their newest product, and it doesn't look too bad. It's called the Archos 101 XS, and it will be their first "higher-end" device. It actually includes a keyboard dock, that also magnetically attaches to the display of the tablet serving as a screen protector when not being used. Archos calles it the Coverboard. (Now, that's a brilliant idea!) The tablet is 8mm thin, and the Coverboard is 5mm thin. The tablet will hit European shelves first (starting with the UK) in mid-September for £299.99. It will then come to the U.S. in November for $399.99. The internal specs aren't too spectacular, but they aren't too bad either:
  • TI OMAP 4470 which comes with a much improved PowerVR SGX544 GPU clocked at 1.5 GHz
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 10.1-inch 1280×800 touchscreen
  • 16 GB of built-in storage space
  • A microSD slot
  • A micro USB
  • A mini HDMI
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • HD front-facing camera
  • Will come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in Q4 this year
It seems pretty solid, and might be worth a second look. Could Archos grow enough to become one of the bigger Android tablet competitors. Share your thoughts.

Source: via Archos
Engadget review doesn't end on a very uplifting note:

Sure, we docked the Archos 101 XS for a few key issues -- the uncomfortable keyboard being the primary one -- but you know us: we only gripe because we love. The fact is we got a bit starry-eyed when we first met this tablet. The Coverboard design is smart, even if the plastic feels cheap, and we can't give Archos enough kudos for taking the keyboard beyond accessory status to an important part of the device. The layout isn't the most ergonomically sound, which defeats the purpose of having a built-in keyboard in the first place, but we hope the company can refine this concept to get better results.

Is that an endorsement of any kind? Not exactly. If you have a $400 tablet budget, there's a wealth of smarter choices out there and many comparably priced options provide better performance and a superior display to the 101 XS. For the time being, we'd say if you want a productivity-minded slate, the best option is still to buy a Bluetooth keyboard case.

Good to know. Thanks for the info!