FRENCH TABLET MAKER Archos has unveiled the 101 XS, a 10.1in tablet complete with a protective cover that doubles up as a slim line keyboard dock.
Running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), the Archos 101 XS tablet is the first tablet in the French firm's new tenth generation range (Gen10) and Archos promises to upgrade it to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean sometime in November.
As the name suggests, the 101 XS houses a 10.1in screen boasting 1280x800 resolution.
On its own, the tablet measures 273x170x8mm and weighs 600g, which the firm proudly proclaims is 15 percent lighter and 1.4mm thinner than the new Ipad. When folded up with the protective cover and keyboard dock that is just 5mm thick and 200g in weight, the 101XS tablet measures 13mm thick and weighs 800g.
Archos product manager Phil Geldard told The INQUIRER in a product briefing that the company went through rigorous testing before it managed to design a fully working keyboard with good travel at this thickness.
The unique design point of the 101 XS tablet is that it will always dock into the keyboard correctly due to inbuilt magnets that guide it onto a magnetic kickstand and a proprietry connector. These magnets are so strong that the tablet can also be picked up by the screen while it remains docked.
Under the bonnet, the 101 XS tablet is powered by an ARM Cortex multi-core A9 CPU clocked at 1.5GHz alongside 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Archos said the 101 XS tablet will run for around 10 hours in general day-to-day use including a mixture of video and music playback as well as web browsing.
The 101 XS tablet has a miniHDMI port for HD video out, a MicroSD slot for extended storage and a MicroUSB port that can be extended to a full size USB input port with a dongle accessory sold separately.
Archos said the 101 XS tablet is fully certified by Google and has complete access to the official Play store, has kept Google's default overlay so isn't bogged down by a heavy user interface (UI) skin and includes a free installation of the Office Suite Pro 6 app for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Archos said this addition was mainly to "complement the coverboard" due to the digital touchscreen keyboard taking up half of the screen.
The Archos 101 XS tablet will be available from mid-September across Europe for £299.
Archos said it will announce two other products in the coming months as part of its Gen10 range, including 8in and 9.7in variants of the tablet.