Archos offers up 10.1-inch ArcBook Android laptop for $169.99

Summary:The budget device maker creates a netbook that is even cheaper than competing Chromebooks -- if you're willing to use Android as your notebook OS.

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Archos has tried again and again to stand out in the highly competitive budget Android tablet market -- to little avail. Its new strategy: stick Android into a laptop instead.

The competition for the company's new ArcBook is decidely less intense. Thus far, Lenovo's IdeaPad A10 is probably the highest profile Android notebook, though HP is apparently readying the Slatebook 14 for release soon. Lenovo is selling the A10 directly in the UK for 179 pounds, but it's only available in the U.S. as a pricey import. In comparison, the ArcBook will cost just $169.99, less than the Chromebooks it will ostensibly compete against.

At that price, you shouldn't expect much in the way of specs, though the demands of running Android don't exactly require a beefy processor and copious amounts of RAM. The ArcBook is built around a 10.1-inch touchscreen -- albeit with a mere 1,024x600 resolution -- and powered by a 1.2GHz ARM Cortex A9 dual-core CPU. It comes with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage, a USB 2.0 port, microSD card slot, front-facing camera, and Android function keys as part of the full keyboard. Thanks to a large 8000 mAh battery, the ArcBook can last more than 9 hours on a single charge, according to Archos.

To go along with its humble spec sheet, the ArcBook runs the older Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which the IdeaPad A10 also uses. Archos does throw in the Pro version of OfficeSuite 6 to open and edit Microsoft Office documents, along with 15GB of Google Drive cloud storage.

Whether Archos has better luck with an Android laptop than its bevy of Android tablets remains to be seen, not least because a healthy degree of skepticism surrounds the idea of basing a laptop around Google's mobile OS not named Chrome. Would you take a chance on the ArcBook at its price? Let us know your thoughts in the Talkback section below.

Topics: Laptops, Android, Mobility

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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