The Nintendo games are the best in the world. That is why I’m most excited about playing those on the Archos Gamepad and it’s awesome that most games seem smooth. Although I think the N64 game emulation on Android is still a work in progress. Here I show a bit of Super Mario 64, Wave Race, Wipeout 64, Diddy Kong Racing and also showing that Archos’s button mapping works fine for Angry Birds.
Playing videogames is the top activity that consumers do on tablets. So Archos is releasing this awesome thin, light and very well prices $149 Archos Gamepad. It’s got a 1024×600 capacitive touch screen but more importantly for gaming, it’s got game controller buttons on each side of the screen. This device runs on the Rockchip RK3066 dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor with the quad-core Mali-400MP4 GPU. Thus gameplay support is quite decent, especially considering the $149 retail price of this device. Archos software engineers implement a very innovative mapping software layer solution on top of Android, to map the hardware controls to touch-screen input. Thus a large portion of existing touch-screen optimized games are thus very well playable like this. As a transition until all Android games become fully optimized for normal gamepad input. Not only as portable Android gameplayers come with buttons, but for the Android home consoles, HDMI sticks, Set-top-boxes, Google TV and more, all suggesting that Android is about to become by far the biggest video games platform in the world. In this video, I showcase one N64 emulator that I could find on the Google Play Store, though N64 and Dreamcast emulation is still a work in progress, as many more consumers start getting access to these types of Android gaming devices, hopefully it’ll encourage more game developers to improve emulators and new games support on the platform. There isn’t specifically need for game developers to specifically target the RK3066 and this device, since as I understand a lot of the hardware acceleration happens through standards based Open GL ES 2.0, but for sure as more gamers and developers start using these devices, the optimization level of gaming can reach perfection, or at least a very satisfactory and impressive level at that price.
Archos is launching two more sizes for their Generation 10 Android Tablet series, including the $199 Archos 80 XS and the $299 Archos 97 XS, each with the optional $49 Archos Coverboard Keyboard Dock. I’ve been using my Archos 101 XS every day during these past 45 days, replacing my broken $1000 Intel Ultrabook for all of my on-the-go productivity and 10.1″ Tablet usage. It’s much thinner and lighter than an Intel laptop, the thin and light keyboard dock ads productivity to the already very awesome OMAP4470 tablet. The same priced $299 Archos 97 XS runs on the same OMAP4470 and the $199 Archos 80 XS runs on the Rockchip RK3066 processor to achieve thus a Nexus7-like price point with its own awesome thin and light magnetic Keyboard dock.
In this video, I show web browsing speed on this OMAP4470 ARM Powered Laptop/Tablet convertible. This ARM Powered Laptop loads web pages faster than the Ultrabook, both over the same WiFi home network! I load web pages like Engadget.com, Gizmodo.com and TheVerge.com faster on the $400 Archos 101 XS than on the $1000 Toshiba z830 Ultrabook! And the firmware isn’t even Jelly Bean yet! It’ll get the Jelly Bean firmware by the time Archos starts selling this device next month in Europe or the month after that in the USA! Everyone knows Jelly Bean and Linaro speeds up Android even more!
This Archos 101 XS likely provides one of the industry’s fastest performance for productivity on Android, it’s the first OMAP4470 device announced and demonstrated that I know of. Productivity is in Chrome on Android and a few other productivity apps that can be the Office suite (included for free for word/excell/powerpoint stuff) and that can also be Remote Desktop for enterprise professionals who want productivity that way using Teradici and Citrix on Android stuff. I would like Archos to integrate Ubuntu on Android also, I hope they call Canonical to get that included with the Jelly Bean firmware. Thus you’d click on the Ubuntu icon to switch to Ubuntu in a second, do whatever you want in Ubuntu including run any Ubuntu application, and then have the same icon on Ubuntu to switch back to full Android in a second too.
While we’re waiting and looking forward to even faster ARM Cortex-A15 with Mali-T604, that likely doesn’t reach consumer devices until next year though. Right now, the latest and best class of ARM Cortex-A9 processors, with OMAP4470, with 32nm Exynos 4412, with 28nm Qualcomm S4 Pro Quad-core, with HiSilicon K3V2, i.MX6 Quad, we’re getting some excellent memory bandwidth performance on ARM allowing for fast enough full 720p/800p even 1080p web browsing speeds on Tablet, Laptop screens and on any external monitors as a Desktop/Set-top-box with full fast enough performance for productivity!
The time we’ve been waiting for is here! The ARM Powered Laptop is faster than an Intel Atom Netbook! It’s even faster than an Intel Core i5 Ultrabook!!!
While at $299 and an unlimited amount of cash (think: French/EU Francois Hollande national IT investment project) for mass production, I think Archos can single handedly be able to sell more Android Laptops like this one than all the Intel/Microsoft Ultrabooks/Netbooks and new Windows 8 convertibles put together. At $399 introductory Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price, Archos can still get in there and sell as many as Archos can afford to manufacture, selling easily at 50% cheaper than the iPad3 with keyboard ($598), at 63% cheaper than the Asus Transformer Prime/Infinity with keyboard ($648), this is the thinnest, lightest 10.1″ ARM Powered Laptop/Tablet convertible yet. And it has features other tablet makers don’t have such as full hardware accelerated video and audio codecs support, MicroSD/HDMI and USB Host, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi Direct, 1080p@60fps/3D@1080p@30fps and multimedia streaming features such as Samba/Upnp and DLNA.
I think it’s great value and I’m looking forward to try to use this as my main 10.1″ tablet/laptop instead of my ultrabook for the next few weeks and months. Let me know in the comments what specific features you’d like me to test on this device in my next video of it.
Archos had an investors event in Paris today, they showed a teaser video for the next generation Archos G10 xs series:
The keyboard dock magnetic screen protector is awesome. But I’d like them to use the kick-stand and attach the thin keyboard dock like a Laptop in a way there’s a mouse pad that can be used. Archos has always innovated using Kick-stands, I hope they continue and I think using the kick-stand is the best way to make the thinnest, coolest ARM Powered Tablet/Laptop convertible. If possible the kick-stand angle can be adjustable. If you’re in an airplane and the space is limited, you don’t need to use the kick-stand, the tablet can rest against the seat that is in front of you. I think the keyboard should also fit behind the tablet when the keyboard does not need to be used. Preferably in a way so that the kick-stand can also still be used even when the keyboard dock is magnetically fixed behind the tablet.
Archos claims to have technology that makes G10 the thinnest tablet on the market. Something about patented paper-thin steel assembly technology. Archos has always been good at fitting huge battery capacity in extremely thin designs. I hope that Archos manages to make a deal with Pixel Qi and use the 10.1″ 1280×800 sunlight readable screen on this one. That’d provide for 20+ hours of battery life, sunlight readability, Kindle Reader competitiveness for reading and use for education and work, and it’d use much less power thus enabling a form factor and weight in the ultra-light class of 400-something grams for a 10″ tablet. Perhaps best to use Neonode’s IR touch technology instead of capacitive for least reflections and best readability.
For the processor on Archos G10, I think that one can expect either the OMAP4470 1.8Ghz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 with SGX544 graphics or even the OMAP5430 which can also run upwards 1.8Ghz or more. It depends if Archos plans to release the G10 mid-year or by the end of the year.
I don’t know if Archos will continue to sell that 3G Stick solution in G10. Maybe there is a way to allow for a modem module of any of the 3G/4G/LTE types to be manually added by the user, under full warranty, in some slot on the back of the device without it having to be through a USB host port. Maybe the multi-mode wireless modems are now so cheap, can even be included on the same CPU dye, that maybe they just included it by default even on the cheapest G10 tablet and provide just an unlocked SIM card slot on the side.
Archos did mention making one Windows 8 on ARM based Tablet/Laptop convertible by the end of the year. I hope they make sure to make it dual-boot the latest and greatest Android also.
Archos Elements brings Google Certified tablets at as low as 100€/$100. My guess is that Archos Elements brings the Rockchip RK30 Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 performance and higher capacitive screen resolutions than Arnova at extremely competitive pricing.
The new Arnova with Ice Cream Sandwich are going to be sold for as little as 50€/$50 at retail price!! My guess is 50€/$50 is the 7″ WVGA Dual-touch or single-touch resistive type with an RK2918 512MB RAM and Ice Cream Sandwich. It goes up to 150€/$150 retail price for what I think is probably the 9.7″ IPS capacitive RK2918 1GB RAM and Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. Basically with the new upcoming Arnova G3/G4 you get $49 basic alternative to the Kindle Fire and a $149 better-than-iPad1 tablet. Those are amazing low-priced targets for mass consumer retail Ice Cream Sandwich tablet pricing.
Archos is the top Android tablet seller in the major European markets, about equal to Samsung, in front of Asus, Acer, Motorola, Dell, LG, Toshiba and others. Archos CEO Henri Crohas sees a great opportunity to expand that lead with his company. Archos has announced a 32.9 Million € gross profit margin for 2011 on a yearly revenue of 171.4 Million €. They have announced an agreement to borrow upwards tens of millions of Euros more from one of the leading French banks Societe Generale (in exchange for stock guarantees, probably something similar to a capital increase, basically adding new stocks for cash to be used for the expansion) which Archos can use to further accelerate the mass production and mass distribution of their tablet series in the coming months.
French TV channel BVMTV did this 1-minute French video at the Archos headquarters showing a few seconds of Archos engineers working on source code, on PCB design, on choosing screens, doing industrial designs and more.
This is the first demonstration of the 1.5Ghz OMAP4460 running in a fully optimized Honeycomb Tablet. Archos is releasing the Turbo 1.5Ghz in January 2012 worldwide starting at $399 MSRP (actual retail price may be as low as $369 I guess, based on the 1Ghz Archos 101 G9 being now sold for $339 and the 1Ghz Archos 80 G9 being sold at $269.) The price difference between the 1Ghz and 1.5Ghz Archos G9 tablets is supposed to be about $30.
Archos is showing a preview of Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich running on the OMAP4 based Archos G9 tablets to be finalized during Q1 of 2012. They still have to finish the hardware acceleration for video support, Samba/Upnp, 3G stick support and all of the other specific features that Archos provides on top of Android.
$129 Android webradio alarm clock, this can be a nice to have next to your bed. It can wake you up with your Google Music playlists, with your Spotify favorites, with your Pandora, Last.fm, you can use Tune In webradio tuner. It can display trafic informations on a map for your region, show you news healines, pull RSS feed items etc.