Archos is probably well known for its almost endless list of budget smartphones and tablets, and even odd ones like a gaming handheld or a kid’s ablet. Now the French manufacturer is trying its hands at a slightly different market. The company has just announced its first ever formal venture into the world of the academia, revealing tablets and notbeooks of varying sizes, as well as varying operating systems, that are specifically designed and priced to cater to the younger crowd, particularly students.
Appealing to the education sector with cheaper, more rugged, and more streamlined devices is nothing new and is in fact the focus of endeavors like Google’s Chromebooks. To that extent, Archos’ new attempt is no different, but it’s appeal will mostly like in the variety of options it is putting on the table. Of the four devices, two are your regular laptop form while the other two are tablets that come with detachable keyboards. And not all of them come with the OS that you expect.
The two tablets come in 9 and 10.1 inch forms. Either can run Android or Windows 8.1 Pro. They have 2 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. The tablets have a 2 megapixel rear camera and a VGA front camera for video chats. The smaller tablet is priced at 200€ while the 10.1-inch version is a higher 250€.
Perhaps the odd one in the list is the 11.6-inch Chromebook, the only one to bear Google’s Chrome OS. It has pretty much the same specs as the tablet, save for the lack of a rear camera. The price for this Chromebook is 250€.
At the highest end of the spectrum is a 14-inch notebook that runs only Windows 8.1 Pro. This has some beefier specs like 4 GB of RAM and a 250 GB storage space. That said, the front camera is the still low VGA resolution. Naturally, it has the highest price tag of 300€.
All four contraptions share a few traits in common. For example, they are powered by a quad-core Intel processor running at 1.8 GHz, probably from a slightly older Bay Trail family. They all also have the same 8 hours or so of battery life, just enough for a single day of classes, or so Archos claims. These devices will be outfitted with rugged features to withstand the wear and tear of school life, as well as additional software for managing multiple devices in one. Unlike Archos’ other products, these won’t be directly available from retail shops as they are marketed directly to schools.