Archos unveils Gen10 XS Android tablets with Surface-style keyboard

Archos unveils Gen10 XS Android tablets with Surface-style keyboard

Summary: Like Microsoft's Surface, Archos's upcoming Android tablets come with magnetic covers that have a keyboard and dock stand integrated inside. Here's a hands-on look at the 10.1-inch model.

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  • One of the most interesting features of the Gen10 tablet is the magnetic cover — the 'coverboard' — which doubles up as the keyboard and dock for the device.

    In quick hands-on use, removing the cover from the device was easy enough and best achieved with a little twist. A triangular section on the rear provides a guide for docking the tablet with the coverboard.

    The coverboard is not a standard PC keyboard either, as it contains dedicated buttons for Android functions. For example, it has a shortcut to the Home screen, much like the Windows button on PC keyboards. It also has a DC input, which means the tablet can be charged while docked.

    "We were really happy when Microsoft announced the Surface, because they took the route of not making clickable keys," the Archos spokesman told ZDNet.

    "We spent ages on the coverboard working out how thin we could make it and still have the sensation of pushing down, which is what's important typing on keyboards on laptops," he added.

    Image credit: Ben Woods

  • When the coverboard is in place, the combined depth of the 101 XS is just 13mm, making it about 1mm thicker than Apple's iPad plus cover.

    The coverboard on its own is 5mm thick, and is secured firmly in place by its magnets. The tablet on its own is 8mm in depth.

    Image credit: Archos

  • While there is no camera on the rear of the device (the Archos spokesman suggested no one liked using a camera on the rear of a 10-inch tablet) there is a front-facing 720p camera for video calling.

    Colour options for the 101 XS are limited to just 'Iced Steel'.

    Image credit: Ben Woods

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Topics: Tablets, Android, Mobility

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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21 comments
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  • Surface style??

    Surface has a flexible magnetically attached keyboard that is pressure sensitive. this is a chunky mini keyboard that has a craptastic plastic tablet holder that looks like it will break two weeks into ownership.
    B_Manx
    • Surface is a concept. This is real.

      Surface:
      No ship date.
      No price.
      Can't be had for review.

      Archos:
      Has a firm ship date
      Has a price
      Is in reviewers hands
      AnalogJoystick
      • surface

        surface DOES have a release date, the RT version is october 26th, the same day as windows 8 and whats your point? the archos looks like a piece of shit anyway, all of their products are
        fundomation
        • Archos

          Archos is thinner, lighter, has more features, runs a better OS in Android Jelly Bean with 600 thousand compatible apps, has more video codecs/streaming support and it's likely 50% cheaper than the likely $599 Microsoft Surface.
          charbax@...
          • Calm down

            the guy was just saying the keyboard looks cheap, which it does.
            Michael Alan Goff
    • Absolutely

      To be safe, everyone should buy and install Microsoft Windows(tm).
      Robert Hahn
      • Notice how nobody is responding to your silly sarcastic post?

        Only me, if you want to consider this a response.

        Posting the same in every discussion won't get you any brownie points.

        Do something more worthwhile with your life.
        adornoe
        • Boors on parade

          I'll not be following your advice.

          Did you notice the first comment? It's a highly critical, mean-spirited posting that gratuitously calls the product in question "craptastic" and further asserts that it will break within two weeks, on the basis of no data. He is then assisted by a sock puppet who defends him and further states that the product "looks like a piece of shit."

          This is exactly the sort of rude, boorish behavior we have all come to expect from fans of the, erm, Surface. The corporate culture of that place is that of a neighborhood thug, and you can see it on display every day, right here.
          Robert Hahn
          • A bit trigger happy?

            Maybe I'm missing something, but the reply says the archos tablet is poor, but nothing about the microsoft keyboard being better. Just that the surface keyboard is magnetic, nothing more nothing less.

            So somone doesn't like the archos tablet, does that mean they are trying to promote microsoft?
            Emacho
  • Well consider that "droidheads" heads out there

    Must sting a little to have a statment "Surface Style"...
    TheBottomLineIsAllThatMatters
    • Archos announced the keyboard before Surface

      Archos announced this keyboard design back in March, before the initial Microsoft Surface rumors and announcement.
      charbax@...
  • Gen10 XS or Windows ReTard ?

    I would go with the Gen10 with a mature OS and well oiled, Android, supported by hundred of thousand apps and an active developer ecosystem.
    theo_durcan
    • At the end of the day and at the end of the year, you'll still have a loser

      with an Android tablet, which are still handicapped by being, well..., Android tablets, which not too many people find desirable or even useful.
      adornoe
      • at the end of 10 years

        Windows tablets market share: around 0,00028%
        Android market share in the meantime soared to around 50% (counting kindles and other android based tablets).
        Give me a loser Android any day over a Windows ReTard
        theo_durcan
        • Hoping is not going to make it happen, and, your boorish and fanboyish

          behavior is not going to make it happen either.

          MS has designed and produced some very great products over time, and there have always been detractors, like you, who, no matter how successful MS has been, in the past or in current history, always continue predicting and hoping for failure with anything that MS does. No doubt you had the same predictions and the same hate for anything Microsoft for many years, and, if you were to have been correct in any way, Microsoft would have been dead some 10 or 15 years ago. Guess what, they're still with us, and far stronger than ever, and in your face. ;)
          adornoe
          • are you a psychoanalyst?

            there is no hate; fact that MS went, from being the leader in both markets -tablets and smartphones, to oblivion, in the short span of few years is a statement of MS product quality. How happens that rival products came and captured in a few years the markets where MS was the big dog?
            Better products are wining, there is nothing wrong, Adorno, get over it. Is just a competitive market in motion. As I said, Microsoft is not used to compete based on quality. Their strategy is based on market control. They took the desktop, but is not happening in the mobile space. Frankly, this is good news.
            theo_durcan
          • You're still in denial about the marketplace,

            and, that Apple has a bigger market-cap is no indication that their products are better than any others'.

            In fact, when it comes to product lines, Microsoft is much better positioned for the future, and even the short-term future. Apple still has the basic 3 products in its line-up, and, if any one of them falters, then, it's taps for the market-cap and the illusion that is Apple. If any one service or product from Microsoft were to fail, Microsoft would just get a sore throat and recover from it quickly, whereas, with Apple, if the iPhone were to start losing big marketshare, Apple would become what they were 10-15 years ago, basically, irrelevant.

            There is no need to psychoanalyze anything, since, you and others like you are simple to predict with your unending pronouncements of Microsoft's failures and Microsoft being a dinosaur, and Microsoft becoming irrelevant and dying. Yet, they remain the most significant tech company in the world, by far. If Apple were to suddenly disappear from the tech world, people would notice, but, they'd easily continue with their merry lives. If MS disappeared, economies all over the world would feel huge hits and IT heads all over, would have to reconstruct their departments, and consumers would feel very lost. With Apple, most of what would happen, is people shrugging their shoulders. Apple is in a far more risky situation than even Google or the likes of HP and Dell and other tech companies. Just one product failure by Apple, would send the stock tumbling, and the company would soon after have to stop stockholders from breaking down the doors.
            adornoe
    • Hundreds of thousands of apps!

      The average person will have less than a hundred, I don't even have over one hundred if you combine my phone and tablet. You can throw in my iPad, and I probably break one hundred right then.
      Michael Alan Goff
  • 1280x800

    Am I the only one who sees a 1280x800 resolution screen as somewhat perfect for 7" screens, but as a severe compromise in a 10" device? I certainly wouldn't want to buy a 10" tab with anything less then 1920x1200 and anytime I see a tab with 1280x800 I just think, get with the times.
    5th element
    • Honestly, this is an expensive Toy! Skip it

      299 pound sterling equates to approx US$450. Truth be told, this is an expensive toy that can technically serve well specific business needs, internet surfing, occasional movie watch (does not appear to have IPS panel), music playing, and occasional book reading (doesn't look very light and thin and energy-zipping). I can buy the Asus Transformer at far lower price while with better features. In terms of capabilities, it is below the class of Surface, and far far below the Surface Pro. Perhaps this Archos is good for those who have a lot of disposable income, a lot of free money. But then, should those people donate the money (or part of it) to better means yet with better satisfaction. Save the money, skip this toy (I very much want to say "Junk" but hesitate to say so because of the fear of backlash :) and use the money for dinner out or movie times with love ones and family!
      WW_Thinker