Hands-On With the Archos 10 Netbook

archosleadThese days it seems no matter what type of consumer electronics you manufacture you’ve bound to bring a netbook to market. Just take Archos, maker of portable media players like the Archos 5,  who announced today its largest device ever with its first 10-inch netbook (that is right, Archos maintains that this isn’t the last netbook you will see from them, they plan to release more mini-notebooks in the coming months). Weighing 2.8 pounds, the starting at $399 Archos 10 features just about all the specs you’ve come to expect from a 10 inch netbook, including a 160GB hard drive, 1GB RAM of memory, an Intel Atom N270 processor and Microsoft Windows XP. It also boasts 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and a 1.3 megapixel webcam. By leveraging its multimedia partnerships, Archos may just stand out in the netbook crowd with its preloaded software stack which will include $100 worth of  multimedia and productivity applications. We got some hands-on time with the Archos 10 while we were in Vegas; check out our impressions and video below. Standard Hardware The black matte chassis of the Archos 10 isn’t going to win any design awards, but it is reassuringly simple. Its lid adorns the Archos emblem and that is about it.  In fact, we are fairly certain that Archos is the ECS G10IL or Hasee MJ125 (and since ECS is an ODM it would make complete sense if Archos decided to go with their design). Under the lid is a fairly decent-sized keyboard. And as we noted with the ECS G10IL, the keys are wider and flatter than most netbook keys. While we like the interesting font on the keys, our one peeve is the placement of the small sized shift key to the right of the up arrow button. The trackpad is decent sized with dedicated right and left mouse buttons.The 10.2 inch 1024 x 600 resolution, matte display is surrounded by a black bezel and should be plenty bright.

Different Software

While the Archos 10’s hardware is nothing to write home about the software stack on the netbook is a different than you’ll find on its competitors. The 10 comes loaded with $100 worth of applications including Lotus Symphony Working Suite (which includes word processor and spreadsheet applications), XnView photo editor, Vtuner Web Radio & TV Player as well as BitDefender Antivirus 2009 and Parental Filter. Leveraging its multimedia roots, the Archos 10 comes with $50 credit towards Archos Media Club which gives users a head start on downloading movies and television shows through Archos’s Media Club Website. To boot there are options for the non-paying multimedia fan with Archos’ Free V-Tuner player (usually $29.95) which allows for streaming of thousands of Web TV channels, over 10,000 radio stations and podcasts. We got a look at the program and while the UI wasn’t complete we were able to click on the different tabs – TV, radio – and see some listings of Internet stations. archos13 Lastly, for the music lover, Archos packages the system with 50 free songs (though you have to sign up and provide a credit card) through eMusic. This is not particularly unique as any Internet user can get 25 free downloads from eMusic when signing up for a trail subscription. More to Come The Archos 10 will be available from select retailers and the Archos Web site in February for  $399 with a 3 cell battery and $449 with a 6 cell. While many won’t see the benefit of choosing Archos’ hardware over netbooks made by leading notebook manufacturers like HP or Dell, its software perks make the Archos 10 somewhat more enticing for the  netbook buyer. With a $50 coupon to its Media Club store and preloaded software like its V-Tuner, the Archos 10 may be the first netbook that hits the market that really takes aim at the multimedia maven, or more pessimistically, the bloatware lover. [flq:e2db6362458d953544dcd5ac77d20bb1]

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  1. C.B. Says:

    I have no faith in archos. I bought a archos 605 wifi and it has a web browser. Archos stop supplying updates to it so now flash does not work on most web sites. they do not care about products that are less than a year old. see their update history as they abandon their hardware firmware updates.

  2. Doris A. Shutko Says:

    I agree with C.B. I enjoy using my 605-4 Gb SD slot unit I bought Christmas 2007. By June 2008, tech support was saying Archos would not be providing any more updates (last one was May 28, 2008). I spent the equivalent of the cost of SRP the 6 cell Archos 10 in accessories and software to make the Archos 605 work as they advertised. They did not learn from their missteps when they intoduced the Archos 5 and 7 IMT’s. I do not trust them that their units will work out of box as they promise. Heck, the whole reason I bought the 605 is its size and I didn’ t need a telephone, chief cook and dish washer bundled in one machine.. A 10 in. machine will not fit in my pocket. What does it mean buy a 3 cell or 6 cell unit? Right now I am typing this message on my 605, desperate to complete my message before the battery dies. Does it mean the Archos 10 will last 1 hour vs. 2 hours?

  3. rob enderle Says:

    Archos has been heavily involved with Linux on their devices (I bought the Archos PMA400 in 2005) so its a little disappointing that they couldnt roll out their own distro or partner up with one that is strong on user experience.I know the meme du jour benefits from great marketing/money but Id go with a Mandriva that has been doing the user desktop for a decade and is a publicly held company that has found a way to make money selling Linux. For all its hype, Ubuntu claims that there will never be a way to make money on the desktop and is not a credible business option as it relies on the generosity of a sugar daddy and not a viable business plan.

    Both the GNOME interface on Ubuntu and the Windows centric KDE desktop on Mandriva are great with multimedia. its a shame that this marriage didnt happen.

  4. C.B. Says:

    As a side note. Archos does have a great video player. The best in the market today. plays divix out of the box.

  5. chris Says:

    hey, i got an archos 605 wifi also, but didnt really like the internet. anyyyy wayyy!, what is gaming like for this laptop. if you were to rate it out of 10?. im looking for a small light nice looking lap top that works well with games. I also dont no very much about them. So yea if you no anything about what the gaming is like for this leave some feed back or a diff brand that is what im looking for…..an something with a loud speaker, thanks

  6. Cameron Says:

    chris, you will not be gaming with this system.
    with not much video specs and only 1.6 GHz processor, dont bother buying that new CoD:MW2 for this netbook

  7. Sandra Ramm Says:

    I Bought an Archs 10 in May of 2009, less that 6months later the hard drive went on it!! I sent a copy of the receipt, with the Netbook, they had the cheek to send me a bill for £113, for a 6 month old netbook!!!It is now Nearly Jan 2010, have not seen my laptop since the first week in November, no one wants to know anything, the customer services of Archos is non existant. I have been using computors for many years, but this has got to be biggest piece of rubbish I have ever had the misfortune to purchase!!

  8. J. R.S. Says:

    I totally agree with Sanra Ramm. I bought this archos 10 in june 2009, the speakers stopped working properly in the 8th month as well as the video was shotty before a year & no custumer service to speak of. A piece of rubbish it surely is. total. also the keyboard keys get stuck. what more can I say? I can surf & do email in the silence of the archos 10 netbook. Luckily I own other computers that work!!!

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