Archos recently dropped a few hints about a Gen 10 tablet, and, just as promised, three weeks later the device is getting its official unveiling. Meet the Archos 101 XS, a 10-inch slate running Ice Cream Sandwich and a dual-core TI OMAP-4470 processor.
Staying true to the company’s budget-friendly rep, the 101 XS will go for $400 when it drops in November, and that includes the tablet’s main attraction: a keyboard dock that also acts as a cover to protect the 1,280 x 800 display. The so-called Coverboard attaches to the tablet’s body magnetically, and there’s a dock for securing the device when you want to type. The Coverboard sports a full QWERTY layout along with home, back and recently open buttons for navigating the Android OS. Speaking of which, Archos says the XS will be upgradeable to Jelly Bean in October. Other key specs include 16GB of internal storage, a 1.3-megapixel, 720p webcam and a 1.3-pound, 0.31-inch-thick design.
To complement its new slab, Archos has also announced several new docks and covers. The Boombox speaker dock will charge your 101 XS while you soak up 32 watts of music playback. If you’d prefer to hook it up to your existing system, the Cradle dock has audio-out ports alongside a pair of USB sockets that can be connected to portable hard drives — and more music. A selection of pouches and sleeves will also be up for grabs for anyone who’s willing to leave that Coverboard behind. Pricing info for these accessories is yet to come.
It seems like every ARM chip manufacturer wants a piece of Windows 8 here at Computex 2012 — and for good reason. Hot on the heels of Asus’ Tegra 3-equipped Tablet 600 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4-based development tablet, Texas Instruments is showing Windows RT on its very own OMAP 4470-based system. The 1.5GHz dual-core SoC features a PowerVR SGX544 GPU and leads the competition with a dual-channel memory interface. We chatted with Bill Crean, Product Manager of the OMAP Processor Business Unit who showed us Microsoft’s latest OS running on TI’s development tablet. The demo looked snappy enough, providing some insight about what to expect from some of Toshiba’s upcoming devices. No word yet on a quad-core version. Enjoy our hands-on gallery below and take a peek after the break for our demo video.
Each year, several dozen smartphones land on our collective desks. They come in different shapes and sizes, boast different features and sell at different price points. We take each of them for a spin and review most of them, but only a handful really stand out. This is especially true with Android handsets, where incremental updates appear to be the modus operandi. Every now and then a device comes along that we really look forward to getting our hands on. Google’s line of Nexus smartphones falls into this category, setting the new standard for Android each year.
In early 2010, the Nexus One became the yardstick for all future Android handsets and, later that year, the launch vehicle for FroYo. A year ago, the Nexus S introduced us to Gingerbread on the popular Galaxy S platform. Now, a few weeks after being unveiled with much fanfare, we’re finally able to sink our teeth into Ice Cream Sandwich with the Galaxy Nexus, arguably the latest addition to Samsung’s critically acclaimed Galaxy S II family. So, does this highly anticipated device live up to our expectations? Is the Galaxy Nexus the smartphone to beat? Most importantly, is Ice Cream Sandwich ready to take Android to the next level? In a word, yes. Read on for our full review.
It’s taken a long time for Nokia’s MeeGo-packing N9 to make its way into our top secret labs (the N9 moniker was first applied to early E7 prototypes), but it’s here in our dirty little hands, at last, and it’s glorious — well, as glorious as a stillborn product can be, anyway. The N9 is the latest and greatest in a long line of quirky, interesting, yet ultimately flawed touchscreen experiments from Nokia that includes the Hildon-sporting 7710, a series of Maemo-based “internet tablets” (770, N800, N810, N900) and most recently, the N950 MeeGo handset for developers. What makes the N9 special is that it represents Nokia’s last flagship phone as an independent player. MeeGo is already dead, and future high-end devices from the manufacturer will run Windows Phone and use Microsoft’s services. So, is this the company’s final bittersweet hurray? Did MeeGo ever stand a chance against Android, iOS and Mango? In its attempt to stay relevant, is Nokia throwing out the baby with the bathwater? Most importantly, how does the N9 fare in today’s merciless dual-core world? Find out after the break.
Motorola and AT&T are at it again with their Android shenanigans, this time following up the Atrix 4G with something a tad more… Atrix-y. Indeed, we’re referring to the sequel of February’s smash hit, honorably called the Motorola Atrix 2, announced at this week’s CTIA Enterprise & Applications. We had the opportunity to get some brief time with it, and it’s a fair device worthy of the family name: the 4.3-inch device feels good in the hand, and closely resembles the Photon 4G, only without the cutout corners. The sequel swaps processors, trading the 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU for a TI OMAP model with the same clock speed, and offers a full gigabyte of RAM to go along with it. Fortunately, the qHD 960 x 540 display looks gorgeous without its predecessor’s Pentile clothes. Also gone? The fingerprint sensor. Oh, and don’t be fooled by the missing “4G” moniker in the title; this little ditty packs a 21Mbps HSPA+ radio, up from 14Mbps in the first version. All in all, we like what we see here — we enjoyed the brief time we had with the sequel. It seems as though Motorola learned some important lessons from the original device, but we’ll reserve total judgement until our forthcoming review. Check out the full gallery and hands-on video (complete with bonus psychedelic carpet!) below.
It’s been said that absence makes a heart grow fonder, so it was with very willing and eager hands this week that we received the Droid Bionic, Motorola’s latest high-octane, robot-themed assault on Verizon Wireless subscribers. The phone was first announced at CES in the beginning of 2011 and we got to see it in the flesh just an hour later… but then the story took a tragic turn. The Bionic was attacked, killed and then reborn with all new internals.
Phoenix-like, the thing is now available for purchase on Verizon Wireless, $300 for a supposedly top-shelf device that packs both LTE connectivity and a dual-core processor. That makes it a first for Verizon, and it also happens to be the thinnest LTE handset yet to cross that carrier’s airwaves. Oh, and it has the biggest battery yet, too. Was it was worth the wait, then? Maybe.
The long wait is finally over! Joining the likes of HTC EVO 3D and Sharp SH-12C is LG’s very own Optimus 3D aka Thrill 4G for AT&T, which we first got our hands on back in February and again in March. The specs for this Android 2.2 device (yeah, we know) have remained untouched since we last checked: here we have a 4.3-inch glassessless 3D LCD with 800 x 480 resolution, a 1GHz dual core TI OMAP4430 processor, 512MB of speedy dual channel RAM, a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, and a couple of 5 megapixel cameras on the back that can capture 3D 1080p video at 24fps, or 3D 720p at 30fps. Other tidbits include 14.4Mbps HSPA+ connection, an HDMI-out port, and a removable 1500mAh battery, all inside a 5.93 ounce package. Alas, no date’s been mentioned for the phone’s US launch, but the lucky Europeans will get to pick up this phone first, followed by the rest of the world “over the next several weeks.” Stay tuned while we keep our eyes peeled open for further news.