A few days ago, Archos unveiled the TV Connect, an Android Jelly Bean set-top box powered by TI OMAP4470 that can be placed on top of the TV, and controlled by a Bluetooth game controller/keyboard. Archos is now at CES 2013, and Brad Linder of Liliputing has had a closer look at the device.
In the first part of the video, they give an overview of the device and the controller, and have some problems with the Bluetooth connection probably because of the spectrum might be saturated at the conference. Brad mentions the controller may be a bit awkward to use, but the Archos guy explains you could also use your TV remote control since it is HDMI CEC compatible, or alternatively your Android smartphone/tablet connected with Bluetooth (or Wi-Fi).
At some point, they discuss about all the Chinese mini PCs that have similar functionalities, and the advantages Archos TV Connect has over those:
The device can be placed on top of the TV and features a camera that can be used with
Bluetooth (Although many mini PCs already have this feature)
The TV Connect is the very first Android TV box that is certified by Google (CTS).
Finally, they launch Google maps and demo pinch and zoom, rotate and tilt with the Bluetooth controller, which is something I doubt you can do with most mini PCs, even if you use a Fly Mouse.
Many android games now use virtual buttons on the touchscreen for control, but this may not be optimal for all types of games, which is probably why Archos announced the launch a new type of tablet called the Archos GamePad just before IFA 2012. This device would just be like any 7″ Android 4.0 tablets were it not for the control buttons and analog stick on both sides of the screen.
The GamePad is powered by a dual core processor @ 1.5 GHz with a quad core Mali-400 GPU (most likely Rockchip RK3066) with 1GB RAM and 8GB Flash.
Rockchip RK3066 CPU @ 1.5 Ghz
Integrated GPU: Quad-Core Mali-400
Flash Storage Memory
Micro SD slot (SDXC compatible up to 64GB)
1024×600 Expected (TBC)
802.11 b/g/n (TBC)
0.3Mp (front facing) (TBC)
Android Market / Google Play
Android 4.0 supports game controllers within its framework, and by making use of this framework, the GamePad can support many games. However, lots of games still do not include physical control mapping, so Archos developed their own mapping and game recognition tool, which allows any virtual controls to be mapped to the GamePad physical control buttons. This currently allows the GamePad to be supported by thousands of games, according to Archos.
The company has been discussing GamePad game development with “leading games developers”, and is now invite all Android game developers to make their games compatible with the GamePad. If you’re such a developer, you can contact Archos by email: [email protected]
Archos GamePad will be available by the end of October for 130 GBP or less than 150 Euros depending on which press release you read…
After teasing us last March, Archos officially launched their new Gen10 XS tablet line, and specifically announced the Archos 101 XS, a 10.1-inch Android 4.0.3 tablet powered by Texas Instruments OMAP4470 (Dual core Cortex A9) @ 1.5 GHz that features a detachable magnetic keyboard called the CoverBoard which also serves as a protective cover when not in use. Here are the specs for this new tablet:
Texas Instruments OMAP4470 @ 1.5GHz with SGX544 GPU
16 GB Flash Memory + microSD Slot (up to 128GB)
Video codecs and containers
• H.264 HD ([email protected], up to 1080p@30 fps and 1080i/720p@60 fps)
• MPEG-42 HD (SP/ASP@L6, up to 1080p@30 fps)
• With optional plug-in: MPEG2 HD (MP/HL, 1080p@30 fps)
• With the above codecs, the device can play video files with the following extensions: AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, MPG, PS, TS, VOB, MKV, FLV, RM, RMVB, ASF
• Micro USB 2.0: Mobile Transfer Protocol (MTP)
• USB host: Mass Storage Class (MSC) (USB 2.0/USB Host cable sold separately)
• Proprietary USB docking connector
• microSD (SDXC compatible)
• mini HDMI output (mini HDMI / HDMI cable sold separately)
• Tablet: 273 mm x 170 mm x 8mm
• Coverboard: 273 mm x 170 mm x 5mm
• Tablet: 600g
• Coverboard: 200g
• Music playback time: up to 40 hrs
• Video playback time: up to 7 hrs
• Internet navigation time: up to 10 hrs
All Archos Gen10 XS tablets are Google certified (with official Google Play), currently feature Android 4.0, and will be upgradable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in Q4 2012.
AFAIK, this is the first tablet where the keyboard is fully part of the design (and not simply an accessory). Archos 101 XS can be used without the keyboard just as a normal tablet, or with the keyboard to turn it into an Android netbook (and I’m pretty sure Ubuntu will run on that thing), and the keyboard can be used to as a cover when the device is not in use. Watch the video below to see how the keyboard and tablet fit together.
The 101 XS tablet will be available in November and sell for $399.99 US (Suggested retail price) in the US and 379 Euros in Europe.
Archos has announced (actually just listed them on their website) the third generation low cost Arnova tablets based on Rockchip RK2918 (Cortex A8 @ 1GHz) with 1 GB RAM and running Android 4.0 (ICS) with Arnova 10b G3 and Arnova 9 G3
Here are the specifications of the devices:
• Rockchip RK2918 (Cortex A8) @ 1 GHz
• 1GB RAM
• ANDROID 4.0
• Flash memory: 8 GB or 4 GB
• Extendable via micro SDHC Slot
• 720p camera
• Built-in speaker
• Internal: Lithium Polymer battery
• USB Power adapter/charger
Dimensions & weight
• Arnova 10b G3 – 270 mm x 150 mm x 12 mm – 630 g
• Arnova 9 G3 – 239 mm x 184 mm x 12.5 mm – 630 g
• Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7 or higher, Mac OS or Linux in mass storage mode
Arnova 10b G3 is expected to cost around 200 USD (It can be pre-ordered for 199.99 USD) and Arnova 9 G3 will probably be slightly more expensive because it features a capacitive touchscreen. Although they can’t beat the prices of the 7″ Android tablets produced by Chinese manufacturers, the new Archos Arnova tablets are still relatively price competitive for Android 4 tablets with 10″ screens.
Archos has just released a teaser video for its next generation Android tablet, the Archos G10 xs (xs stands for extra small). The video does not show much, except the concept of the new tablet which features a sliding keyboard where the tablet can be docked.
Archos has not released the specifications for the G10 XS yet, but we do know the casing is made of stainless steel, is 7.6mm thick (12mm with the keyboard) and Archos has worked for 3 years on this design. There will be several models whose retail price should be between 200 and 300 Euros (Which would be between 200 and 300 USD in the US thanks to lower taxes). The new tablets will be powered by a Texas Instruments processor (probably OMAP 4) like the Archos G9 tablets and run Android 4.0 and Windows 8 depending on the model.