This list wasn’t hard to generate because not many people know about Archos, the long-standing French tablet company. And that’s really a shame. Archos consistently puts out quality tech for reasonable prices. Here are 5 things we bet your didn’t know about the new Archos 101 XS tablet coming in November.
1. They’ve Been Around for a Long Time
If you don’t know anything about Archos, its cheap-looking white plastic housing may give the tablet the feel of a product from a fly-by-night company. But Archos has been producing quality tech for a while. In fact, they were several years ahead of Apple. Back in 2008 their “internet media tablets” were delighting tech nerds before anyone had even heard of the iPad. And during its long history, Archos has learned quite a few tricks.
2. It Has Jelly Bean
While you’re friends are waiting for their better-known Android tech to upgrade, your Archos 101 XS will run Jelly Bean right out of the box. And it’s pure Jelly Bean: available completely unskinned for an unadulterated look at Android’s newest OS.
3. It’s All Business
While most keyboards are geared for shenanigans, Archos allows for some serious work breaks. The Archos 101 XS has a full QWERTY keyboard built right into the lid. It has Android shortcut buttons and a stand that allows you to use the tablet like a laptop. And it performs like one too. It even comes equipped with OfficeSuite Pro 6.
Unfortunately, its focus on business is reflected in its looks. It’s white plastic body is sure to turn more aesthetically-minded tablet customers off. But underneath all of that rounded plastic is solid stainless steel that gives the Archos 101 XS a sturdy feel. And the keyboard attaches with a cool magnetic clip which gives it some cache.
The screen has fewer saving graces. It’s sizable at 10.1 inches and workable at 1200×800. But if you’re buying a tablet primarily for movies and games, you may want to look elsewhere. But if you mostly use your tablet for reading on and offline and writing e-mails and documents you’ll be more than happy.
4. It’s More Powerful Than You’d Think
The Archos 101 XS’ dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP-4470 processor (with 1GB of RAM) can’t compete with the likes of Tegra 3 tablets, but you don’t really need the extra power unless you’re looking for a gaming tablet (in which case you’re in the wrong place).
Practically, there’s more than enough power. For example, the Archos cold boots in 42 seconds while the Nexus 7’s Tegra 3 only shaves about 7 seconds off of that time. And that’s the only real deficit. Once it’s up and running everything runs as smooth as pie if not as speedy as the Nexus 7.
5. You Need to Stay Plugged In
After checking out all of the other definite perks of the Archos 101 XS we were surprised to find out it’s battery life is pretty short. The 6800mAH battery only gives you about 5.5 hours of solid video use compared to Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7’s 12 for example. But we guess Archos figured that businessmen are never far from an outlet and will do more doc processing than Avengers watching so it should get them through even a long work weekend just fine.
If you want a no-nonsense tablet that does it’s job like a laptop, we recommend the Archos 101 XS with all thumbs up. And it’s not poorly priced at $400. But if it’s a toy that you want, we recommend the ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 which has a Tegra 3 for the same price. Or for $50 more, try the sharp display of the $450 Tegra 3-powered Acer Iconia Tab A700 or the new iPad.