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$299/299€ Arnova FamilyPad launched

Posted by Charbax on December 4th, 2012

Archos releases the worlds largest tablet at an affordable $299/299€ price. Right now available in Europe for 299€ with the Allwinner A10 processor and with a 1280×800 wide view capacitive screen.

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Android 4.1 firmware on Archos 101 XS

Posted by Charbax on December 4th, 2012

Archos updates the firmware (in the next few days) on their latest high-end $299/299€ Archos 101 XS Tablet to 4.1 Jelly Bean, fully using hardware acceleration, integrating Google’s Project Butter, now with Google Now support, Archos also has upgraded some of the web-based meta-data functionalities in their Video Player application, it automatically detects videos that need meta data, posters and fan arts loaded in so that you can have a more interesting way to browse through your movies and tv shows library. This video also features the $49 Keyboard Coverboard Dock and the new $149/149€ dual-25W stereo Archos Speaker Dock.

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Archos Gamepad N64 emulation

Posted by Charbax on October 16th, 2012

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.

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Archos Gamepad, gameplay demo including the N64/NES emulator

Posted by Charbax on October 14th, 2012

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.

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Archos 80 XS and Archos 97 XS

Posted by Charbax on October 13th, 2012

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.

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Arnova Familypad

Posted by Charbax on October 13th, 2012

13.1″ 1280×800 Allwinner A10 Tablet from Archos, probably to be released at an attractive price.

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Archos 101 XS review, Ultrabook-killing machine

Posted by Charbax on August 25th, 2012

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.

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Archos 101 XS launched, check back for my video-review tomorrow

Posted by Charbax on August 22nd, 2012

Sure $299 with keyboard would have been nicest, but even at $399 it’s a no-brainer:

Archos 101 XS with keyboard: $399
Asus Transformer Pad TF300 with keyboard: $528 (+33%)
Acer Iconia Tab A700 with keyboard: $598 (+50%)
Asus Transformer Prime with keyboard: $648 (+63%)
iPad3 with keyboard: $598 (+50%)
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with keyboard: $598 (+50%)
Microsoft Surface with keyboard: $599 (likely) (+50%)

Archos 101 XS is the thinnest, the lightest, has better performance than Tegra3, offers fastest GPU and memory bandwidth on the market (the 32nm Exynos4412 probably beats or equals though), offers features none of those more expensive devices have.

Check back for my initial extensive video-review of Archos 101 XS Gen10 tomorrow!! I expect to use this as my favorite 10″ device to replace all other 10″ tablets, Netbooks and Ultrabooks in the months to come.

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FCC does it again, leaks Archos new generation

Posted by Charbax on July 29th, 2012

Another year, another Generation of Archos tablets is leaked exclusively through blurry pictures on the FCC leaking machine. Same happened with G5 in 2007, G7 in 2009, Home Tablet in 2010, G8 in 2010 (2). Here’s the Archos G10 XS (all FCC documents):


Rumored or confirmed:

TI OMAP4470 ARM Cortex-A9 processor
New Proprietary Dock for the included Keyboard Dock (maybe something else too)
Kick-stand (called Tablet Stand) is on the Keyboard Dock
Keyboard doubles as thin screen protector and seems to use a new twist function (with or without magnets) to attach and detach from the tablet.
Micro-SD, Mini-HDMI, Micro-USB (dunno if doubles as host)

Is there some kind of conspiracy? Why does the US FCC always leak Archos new devices before Archos decides to unveil those products to the press officially?

Consider some reasons why Archos Generation 10 can be very attractive to massive audiences:

- Price can start $299 for 10.1″ with the included Keyboard Dock.
- That can be $200 to $300 cheaper than Microsoft Surface.
- No technical reason that Archos G10 can’t also dual-boot into Chrome OS for ARM and even triple-boot into Windows 8 for ARM, Windows RT, if Microsoft simply allows Archos have a triple-boot on it (give the option to the consumer to pay for the Windows RT licence if they want to be able to triple-boot into it).
- This at $299 can be a very attractive ARM Powered Laptop/Tablet combo. Why not triple-boot Ubuntu, or Archos pick up the phone and talk with Canonical to ship it with the Ubuntu on Android app.
- This is the first TI OMAP4470 Tablet that I hear leaked and talked about. Texas Instruments dominated the market by the end of 2011, they can do it again and Archos has a long relationship with TI always shipping TI’s latest most advanced processors early. Expect a wide range of smartphones and tablets other than Archos to also use OMAP4470 before the end of the year, that helps provide a foundation for good software support, such as Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean using the OMAP4460 Powered Samsung Galaxy Nexus as the reference design. That makes it easier for Archos to always stay up to date on the latest version of Android.
- OMAP4470 uses the SGX544 GPU, pretty powerful, maybe the most powerful GPU on the market yet.
- OMAP4470 increases memory bandwidth further from OMAP4460, memory bandwidth is one of the most important functions of a powerful ARM Powered device, often more so than Ghz, number of cores and other.
- Consider this ARM Powered Laptop/Tablet combo can weight less than 500 grams. When productivity proves itself sublime on Android, Ubuntu on Android, Chrome OS dual-boot and an eventual Windows RT triple-boot, this form factor can prove itself to be one of the most demanded by consumers.

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Archos announces $90 Million revenues for 1st half of 2012, here are my expectations for the second half

Posted by Charbax on July 20th, 2012

Archos just announced a $90 Million revenue for the first half of the year. It’s decent considering Archos is a 150-employee Tablet company based in France. But it’s only a 3.5% increase of the first half of 2011. The slow growth is mostly due to unstable slowing sales for Archos in the USA (-39% over 2nd quarter 2011). But that is understandable, the US market is very volatile for a small French company to influence in a stable way.

Even as the prices for the Archos 101 G9 Turbo ICS 8GB is at an amazing low $219 it should be a no-brainer for all US consumers to buy that Archos G9 Turbo tablet now if they are looking for the best possible value in 10.1″ 1280×800 ICS (and likely JB soon) tablet.

Anyways, going forward, as I expect Archos can break the $300 Million in yearly revenues, here are some of the expectations that I have for Archos introducing new products in the next 6 months:

1. Archos G10 XS: OMAP4470 1.5Ghz with SGX544 GPU, likely one of the highest memory bandwidth and most powerful GPU on the market at possibly sub-$300 possibly 1920×1200 10.1″ launch price.
- Expect it to be among the thinnest and lightest tablets on the market of the category.
- For sub-$300 it hopefully even includes a super thin Microsoft Surface like Keyboard screen cover. Thus turning Archos G10 XS into the ultimate sub-$300 ARM Powered Laptop also.
- Tripe-booting from Android into Chrome OS and Windows RT would be nice. The hardware should officially allow/enable that.
- It’d be nice to see G10 in 7″ (optimal for jacket pockets) and 5″ (optimal for pants pockets) also.

2. Archos Elements: The initial Carbon is being shown off with a single-core Rockchip RK2918 inside and running a Google Certified Android ICS. I expect the Archos Elements line to be upgraded to Archos Nitrogen (or some other element) with a Dual-core Rockchip RK3066 and running Jelly Bean at launch. How soon for RK3066? I think as soon as next month is a possibility. The retail price for 10.1″ 1280×800 and 9.7″ RK3066 Elements should be sub-$200.
- Archos 7″ Elements should also reach sub-$100 even for a RK3066 Dual-core type. Thus nicely out-competing Google’s Nexus7 at half the price.
- I expect the Archos Elements to also work with the Keyboard screen cover also.

3. Arnova G3 and G4: Here we’re talking about the cheapest usable tablets in the world. All the way down to sub-$50 for a 7″ capacitive tablet using Rockchip RK2906 or Allwinner A13 without a HDMI output.

As I write in this thread in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=92&t=65894

I think Archos should venture into making these new products:

- Archos Google TV, compete with all of Vizio Co-Star Google TV, LG Google TV, Samsung Google TV and devices like the Nexus Q, Roku and Apple TV. The genius of Archos would be to hub tablets to the HDTV, but focus on using Google TV software if possible. Or else plain Android but aiming it towards Google TV UI when Google can provide it. $99.

- Archos Chromebook, same OMAP4470 as rest of the range. This one should be simple, but use a 13.3″ screen and full sized keyboard and mousepad as good quality as on the Ultrabooks of the market. Price it $199 and Archos becomes the number 1 most wanted Laptop brand in the world. That easy. Just make sure it runs Chrome OS or Chromium OS, whichever Google can provide for OMAP4470 today. Ingenious would be an empty 2.5″ hard drive slot for optional storage expansion but otherwise 8GB built-in Flash to run the Chrome OS is enough, 2GB RAM maybe.

I’ll add one more:

- Archos or Arnova Game Player. Around 5″ to 7″ Android tablets with gamepad buttons on each side of the screen. Optimally there should be an add-on for all Archos tablets transforming any into game players by adding gamepad buttons as a snap-on to each side of the screen, but alternatively, Archos can also sell some gameplayer devices that have those buttons integrated as core part of the product.

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