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Archos Unveil $170 Android Laptop — Could it Dent Chromebook Sales?

Could cheap Android notebooks eat into Chromebook marketshare?

Archos Arcbook

Archos Arcbook Overview

The French consumer electronics company Archos is launching a cheap Android laptop later this summer — but could it threaten sales of Chromebooks? 

That’s a question that will be answered by consumers this June, when the 10.1″ Arcbook goes on sale.

The company describes their $170 clamshell as an ‘Affordable Mobile Productivity Enhancer‘. We like to call a spade a spade around these parts, so this is a netbook running Android (4.2, to be exact).

Known For Leading The Pack

The name ‘Archos’ may not be synonymous with innovation, but the company does have a solid track record in delivering affordable technology (if not cutting edge).

Over the years they have produced a range of devices, spanning everything from MP3 and portable media players to Windows 7 netbooks. Archos is often credited with producing the first consumer-grade tablets running Android.

The company also recently began producing smartphones (e.g., the Archos 50 Oxygen).

Now they’re adding an affordable Android-based netbook to that list.

Arcbook Is Android

To answer the question posited at the start of this article one only needs to look at the hardware powering the ArcBook. Its dual-core A9 CPU is ‘decent’ enough, but the low resolution (just 1024×600) and 1GB RAM could make multitasking (surely key to ‘productivity’) a touch frustrating.

Specs

  • RK3168 Dual-Core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.2 GHz
  • 10.1 inch capacitive multitouch screen (1024 x 600)
  • Running Android 4.2
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB SSD
  • Full-sized USB Port
  • MicroSD Card Slot
  • Full-sized keyboard

Archos say the device has “enough battery power for more than 10 hours of continuous use”.

Like the HP Slatebook 14 revealed earlier this month, the ArcBook is Google Certified so buyers will have full access to the Google Play Store and find Chrome for Android preloaded on first boot.

Archos is shipping the mini laptop with 15GB of free Google Drive storage and Office Suite Pro 6 preinstalled. This latter app, which supports creating and editing Microsoft Office files, normally costs around $10 on the Google Play Store, so it’s a nice addition.

Pricing and Availability

The device is to retail at £139.99 in the UK, €149.99 in Europe and $169.99 in the US. Expect to see it pop up in the usual outlets sometime this June.

Do you think Android laptops have the potential to disrupt the success of Chrome OS? Would you choose a similar device over a Chromebook?

  • Alex Pawlowski

    Well with the official Office 365 App for Android, you can actually have full (official) editing capabilities of Office documents with an ArcBook over the light editing capability (through OneDrive) with a Chromebook… I guess the same would go with having the 3rd party Office Suite Pro 6. That is, of course, if the Arcbook doesn’t freeze while doing it… ;)

    • Efjay

      I’m not too sure on the full-featured abilities of Office on Android, the version I tried certainly was very Spartan and optimised for phone use. But I can see this being used by people who want something that isn’t a PC, but more than a tablet and not as dependant on the internet as Chrome OS. Then again, I’ve been seeing Android laptops for ages, so this is nothing revolutionary or new.

      • Guest

        Office

      • Roland

        Office on Android & iOS is exactly the same as Office on Windows Phone, Office Online is like having the full versions of PowerPoint, Excel & Word but with all the benifits of Google Docs, Google Sheets & Google Slides.

        On this thing you’d have to use Office Online & unless the Keyboard has a built in Touchpad it’s going to be frustrating without an external Mouse.

    • Boothy

      No you don’t. Office mobile which is free for phones and not officially supported for tablets doesn’t have half the functions that Office online has.
      There is no official Office 365 app suite for Android yet, only iOS.

    • Guest

      Office on Android & iOS is exactly the same as Office on Windows Phone, Office Online is like having the full versions of PowerPoint, Excel & Word but with all the benifits of Google Docs, Google Sheets & Google Slides.

      On this thing you’d have to use Office Online & unless the Keyboard has a built in Touchpad it’s going to be frustrating without an external Mouse.

  • hugo venhorst

    is that a tablet with a keyboard that doesn’t come off?

    how quaint.

    • http://drgeorge.org/ ricegf

      That sums it up nicely.

      While I love my Nexus 4, I prefer web apps on my laptop. Different form factor, different OS. The age of the one-OS-fits-all OS has passed.

  • mediumsizedrob

    exactly, this thing is basically an oversized/underpowered tablet. I’m not sure what the intention is.

    • Nelson

      For lightweight and portable productivity. A keyboard makes things more productive. Though they should do multiwindow feature like samsung… …

  • Boothy

    Nope. Nuff said

  • joe

    junk. Not a chance it harms sales.

  • KC69

    Dual core Cortex A9s? I doubt this will be anything near a pleasurable experience.

  • SlobJunkie

    15Gb of free Google drive? So what you get when you sign up for Gmail.

    I remember using one of their 10 inch tablets, and screen was lousy. It might be ok, but I’ll stick to my chromebook

    • Roland

      That could be on top of the 15GB you get free with a Google Account, Why they couldn’t stretch to 100GB free for one year.

      Think I’ll stick to my Chromebook 15GB of Google Drive as part of the Google Account, 10GB free for using Quick Office for Android & my 2 years worth of 100GB form my Chromebook = a whopping 125GB of Google Drive Storage.

      Does anyone know if paying for the 100GB of Google Drive Storage adds on to the 15GB or 25GB from Quck Office or if it replaces it?

  • Speerdo

    Eventually an Android laptop will take a bite from the Chromebook market share. There are people that want that light laptop form factor, and the idea of Android apps will be too appealing to pass up. This is not that laptop though. A dual-core 1.2 ghz w/ 1GB RAM…that would not be a fun experience.

  • Cristian Otegui

    ¿Quién va a actualizar la versión de Android de este tipo de laptop? Si se queda en Jelly Bean en pocos años será obsoleta. Esto no ocurre con las chromebooks.

  • Dan Jodzio

    I don’t think this will hurt Chromebook sales just yet, but I do know that I would definitely buy one of these as an extra, side-by-side laptop. I hate using apps on my small android and would love this larger touchscreen with android. But the 1GB thing might be frustrating.

  • Curtis Mitchell

    A “touch” frustrating, eh?

  • ForSquirel

    Considering some android apps can’t be run on certain devices just because of DPI/resolution this might be a touch frustrating. I have apps on my phone I’d love to run on a tablet but can’t. Right now I don’t see this as much of a competitor.

  • June

    I remember the first Archos Android tablets running Eclair and Froyo. They were BRUTAL. Awful viewing angles, slow, strange aspect ratio. This product won’t be much of a threat to the Chromebook.

  • Justin

    nope… fail!

  • Charlie Du

    No. It’s not even 720p and running an A9 dual…That’s slower than a lot of phones today.

  • Joaquin Padilla Rivero

    This thing is so hideously underpowered, with an SoC 2 years old, a puny GB of RAM, a terrible screen resolution, a keyboard too small to be comfortable… this screams “2009 netbook” and the price is not even good.

    Archos has been doing terrible things lately like that Quechua phone which wasn’t waterproof yet the CEO sank in a glass of water anyways, very low-end tablets and piss-poor phones, and they’ve been trying to get away with it. I’m not sure they’re faring well.

  • Wesley Files

    Too many compromises compared to a chromebook.
    I think user reviews will speak for themselves, with an average under 3.7/5.0 or so.

  • Kenny Strawn

    Nothing can rival Chromebooks with JB MR1 instead of KitKat… A Chromebook actually gets timely software updates/upgrades, just like a Nexus device. This piece of crap doesn’t.

  • https://fossreviews.wordpress.com/ Ads20000

    Those specs are almost as bad as my old 10ish-year-old laptop and that couldn’t even run anything more powerful than Xfce…

    I got a tablet like that and it was very painfully slow indeed.

  • Misfit410

    I don’t believe it will, Chromebooks biggest move is in education, I’m IT in a school system and literally 30 seconds worth of work has a chromebook ready to roll, it can then be passed around between hundreds of people over a school year with zero headaches. Android is still not ready for primetime in education, while it’s easy to set up in a 1:1 scenario they have literally no options for a device that gets checked out and used by a lot of people.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Lol, rival Chromebooks? With outdated android version? I don’t think so

  • http://roiikkata.wix.com/roiikka-ta Roi’ikka-Ta Globetrotter

    and android 4.4 is out right now .. ?

  • David Li

    I hate POS android devices that give Android a bad reputation. Every ARM Chromebook outspecs this (minus touchscreen). If I really wanted an Android laptop, I would purchase a real android device such as the TF701 and a compatible dock.

  • Dennis

    I’ve been running android-x86 KK RC 2 (RC1 before it) on my laptop for a while and love it. I’m messing with Chromium OS on the same hardware and honestly, I like Chrom*OS more.

  • eb

    Nope. Not even a bit. Android laptops have a bad reputation with users. That’s why people get Android tablets or phones or Nvidia Shield. *hint* *hint*