With Archos, when it rains, it pours. We popped by the company's booth at IFA this morning to take a peek at its customary deluge of devices. In addition to a number of handsets, Archos was showcasing a whole pile of tablets -- though we've opted to focus on some of the more interesting ones, namely the 101 XS, ChefPad and ChildPad. And we have to say, while the company hasn't always been known for sexy devices, all of the tablets we looked at had surprisingly nice builds. The company also gets some credit for seeking out some interesting niches within the tablet space.
The 101 XS 2 is certainly the most mainstream of the three. The Gen11 device is probably most notable for its included keyboard dock, which magnetically attaches to the front of the slate, protecting its screen when not in use. When you're ready to go, pull off the thin cover, unfold the stand on the dock and stick the tablet into its port, propping it up in landscape mode.
Archos 101 XS, ChefPad and ChildPad tablets hands-onSee all photos
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The slate also has two front-facing speaker grilles on either side of the 10.1-inch display -- the sound isn't great, but it's fairly clear and gets pretty loud. The tablet is thin, but feels fairly solid. The rear of the device is a brushed metal that's become a hallmark of the line. Inside the Android 4.2 slate, you get a quad-core 1.6GHz processor and 2GB of RAM.
The ChefPad, meanwhile, is a fairly interesting device. Announced a while back, the tablet has a 9.7-inch display, 1.6GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. It's also got its own bendable stand and a red silicone case, which promises to make it a bit easier to clean off all of those kitchen spills. Slip that off, however, and it starts to look a fair deal like the 101 XS 2. And like that device, the ChefPad keeps with Archos' non-skinning policy, instead relying on cooking apps within a vanilla Android UI.
Same goes with the ChildPad, which bucks the trend of kid-specific interfaces. The device is designed to be a bit more rugged than Archos' other tablets, however, with a more plasticky design. Archos also sells a separate silicon bumper case for the slate, which is likely necessary for clumsy little hands.