Archos Announces 10-inch Tablet With Keyboard Cover
Third-party wireless keyboards are popular accessories for touchscreen tablet computers, for obvious reasons. A few manufacturers have long been putting out 'hybrid tablets' bundled with custom-designed keyboard docks that also add things like extra battery life or more input/output ports. At long last, French company Archos is preparing to bring their own spin on that formula to the market.
The 101 XS, as the device is dubbed, ships with a device called the Coverboard, which is, essentially, a full QWERTY-layout chiclet keyboard that doubles as a screen cover. The 101 XS slots into the top of the Coverboard using magnetic guides, and a kickstand built into the keyboard props the tablet up like a laptop. A power input on the Coverboard also allows one to charge the tablet while docked. When one wants to transport the machine, the Coverboard simply snaps onto the front of the 101 XS, again with magnets, and serves to protect the screen. Unfortunately, the Coverboard doesn't offer any other extras; spare USB ports for example.
As far as general specifications go, a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 SoC (containing two 1.5Ghz CPU cores and PowerVR SGX544 graphics), 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal flash memory, a MicroSDXC slot for up to an extra 64GB of storage, a Micro USB port, a Mini HDMI video output, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, 720p front camera and the 1280x800-pixel 10.1” display are all crammed inside the 101 XS's 8mm-thick shell. The whole thing weighs 1.3lbs, and with the Coverboard attached, add an extra 5mm and 0.44lbs to those figures, respectively.
On the software side, Archos will load Android 4.0.3 and all of the usual Google apps onto the first bunch of 101 XS tablets. The company is promising a free upgrade to 4.1 sometime during the last quarter of this year. Meanwhile, Archos' own apps, including Media Center, are included, alongside OfficeSuite Pro 6. Battery life weighs in at ten hours for internet browsing and seven for video, while the company also plans to bring out a speaker dock and a 'proper' docking station for the device.
A $399.99 suggested price is what Archos is asking for its 101 XS hybrid tablet. The company names both the middle of September and November as release dates in its press release, so expect the latter for best results.
(Via The Tech Report)
Postscript: Find it at Amazon and other retailers.