ARCHOS has announced its mobile strategy for the remainder of the year, highlighting tablets and smartphones that - hmm, to put this delicately - should appeal to a wide range of users. ARCHOS has been making Android tablets since before most of the major players, so it's typically worth checking out what they have to offer.
At the top of the list, we have the ARCHOS 101 XS 2, the successor to last year's ARCHOS 101 XS.
Archos has been cultivating a reputation for cheap, mostly reliable tablets since long before Android slates were mainstream. Their latest creation isn't all that remarkable: the 80 Xenon is squarely aimed at the iPad Mini, with an 8-inch, 1024x768 IPS screen, a Qualcom 1.2ghz quad-core (Snapdragon S4?) processor, 1GB of RAM, and a price tag of $199.99. Oh, and it comes with unlocked 3G wireless broadband. Wait, what?
Yes indeed, the 80 Xenon is specifically designed and marketed with mobile wireless in mind.
I like to cook, and sometimes I bring my tablet into the kitchen with me to look up a recipe. For some of you, this might not be dedicated enough. You demand a dedicated kitchen tablet, and Archos is ready to deliver. Their new ChefPad is "a tablet for the cooking enthusiast." It comes with a selection of cooking oriented apps and a silicone case that makes it a dream come true for the four of you who could not settle for anything less.
When it comes to buying a new smartphone, Archos generally isn't the first company that crosses ones mind. The company is looking to change that with a new line of highly affordable "3G+" smartphones, which were just unveiled today. Say hello to the 35 Carbon, 50 Platinum, and 53 Platinum.
This trio keeps the somewhat familiar Archos branding – the number indicates the display size, while the suffix alludes to the "quality" of the product (i.e.
Archos may not be the biggest dog on the block, but it does do a good job of supporting the hardware it releases. It's currently sending OTA updates to its 80/101 G9 and the 101XD tablets, which mostly just bring some minor bug fixes to the devices.
For the 80/101 G9, build 4.0.28 mostly brings video tweaks, as well as one small touchscreen optimization:
HDMI: avoid interference of CEC detected as DPAD with some games such as Max Payne
Video: fix playback of some MP4 files
Video: fix aspect ratio on some H264 files
Touchscreen panel: ensure on some devices a proper wakeup when powering screen back on
The 101XS is being bumped to v4.1.2, which delivers some application enhancements, HDMI playback improvements, and a fix for the Google backup manager:
Archos applications: add Archos multimedia server back, update Archos Video, Music, File Manager, GamePad Mapping Tool to be in par with GooglePlay versions.
ARCHOS is not messing around! After releasing the first in its iPad Titanium line of tablets, the 97 Titanium HD, sans price, the company is back for more with three new slates in the family: the 70 (a 7" tablet), the 80 (an 8" tablet), and the 101 (can you guess? can you? I bet you can. Yes, it's a 10.1" tablet!). The company isn't even being shy about its intent.
You're crazy for this one, ARCHOS! Today, the company most known for releasing the best cheap Android tablets before the Nexus 7 swooped in and drove a wedge between the concepts of "cheap" and "inexpensive" announced the TV Connect. This thing is designed to plug into your set and essentially turn it into a giant Android tablet. With a remote control. No, it's not Google TV. What.
The TV Connect will come with a 1.5GHz "Multi Core" processor of indeterminate origin, 1GB RAM, 8GB of storage, and Android 4.1.
You know, if I'm honest, I feel a little sympathy for Archos. While they don't usually stand out as a manufacturer of the best tablets, they've gotten a decent reputation as being good for the low-end. Then the Nexus 7 came out and redefined what "budget tablet" means. Still, the company has to make money somehow, and putting its custom video player on the Play Store is as good a way as any, right?
Back in August, Archos announced its then-upcoming GamePad, a tablet which looks to "revolutionize" gaming on Android. Featuring built-in physical game controls and custom button mapping software, the GamePad removes the need for touch controls, giving mobile gaming a more console-like feel, while its 7" display still keeps it portable enough to toss in your bag and take on-the-go. And now, it's finally available.
The GamePad is on sale in Europe for 149.99€, with North American availability coming in early 2013.