In mid-September, ARHOS will debut a new line of Gen10 XS tablets with the launch of its 10.1-inch ARCHOS 101 XS Android-powered tablet over in Europe. Weighing only 21 ounces and measuring 0.31-inches thin, it will be followed by the release of the ARCHOS 97 XS and ARCHOS 80 XS later in 2012. Each tablet will come packed with a magnetic Coverboard which serves as a protective cover, kickstand, docking station and full-size QWERTY keyboard.
"As the pioneer in the Android tablet market, we strive to continually push the technological boundaries of tablets and user experience," says Henri Crohas, ARCHOS Founder and CEO. “We are taking our tablets to the next level by releasing an entirely new design that will redefine thin while providing more functionality and a better price than any current Android tablet in the market."
The ARCHOS 101 XS will sport a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 resolution screen, 16 GB of internal storage, a Texas Instruments OMAP4470 dual-core SoC (with a PowerVR SGX544 GPU) clocked at 1.5 GHz, and 1 GB of RAM. Also included will be a microUSB port, a USB 2.0 host port, a microSD card slot for adding an additional 128 GB (SDXC), a front-facing camera for recording 720p video, miniHDMI output, Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. The OS of choice will be Android 4.0.3 "Ice Cream Sandwich," upgradable to 4.1 "Jelly Bean" in Q4 2012.
As for the included Coverboard, it will measure just 0.2-inches and secure itself to the tablet with magnets. To remove it as a protective cover, the Coverboard simply twists to separate and reveal the full keyboard and magnetic kickstand.
"The magnetically guided docking system enables perfect alignment on the keyboard, eliminating the need for clips or stands," the company said on Wednesday. "The integrated magnetic kickstand holds the tablet to the Coverboard as one solid unit, allowing users to sit back and enjoy their music and movies comfortably."
When docked, the tablet powers the Coverboard via a proprietary USB docking connector. However the peripheral also has a DC input jack, so when it’s plugged into a power outlet, the chicklet-style QWERTY keyboard functions like a dock and charges the tablet. To compliment the accessory, ARCHOS has thrown in OfficeSuite Pro 6, a $14.99 value, for free, allowing users to view, create, edit, print and share Word, Excel and PowerPoint files as well as open attachments and read PDF files.
This first tablet won't land in North America until November with a retail price of $399.99 USD -- just in time to compete with Amazon's updated Kindle line and the rumored Apple iPad Mini (or iPod Touch Max). So far the specs and pricing for the ARCHOS 97 XS and ARCHOS 80 XS are unavailable, so stay tuned.