Archos Unveils $170 ArcBook 10-Inch Touchscreen Notebook Powered By Android

In a market where one of Google’s operating systems (Chrome OS) is gobbling up sales from traditional notebooks, another of Google’s operating systems (Android) is getting a new treatment with the Archos ArcBook.

The company is calling the device an Android netbook. It has a 10.1-inch (1024x600) touchscreen, runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, comes preloaded with Office Suite Pro 6, and costs a mere $169.99. The full keyboard features Android shortcuts, and the battery purports to last 10 hours.

Archos ArcBook

The ArcBook runs on a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 (1.2GHz) processor and offers 1GB of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage, and a front-facing camera. Ports include USB 2.0, an audio jack, a microSD slot, and two micro USB. There’s a built-in microphone and a pair of built-in speakers, and it connects via WiFi.

You get 15GB of free Google Drive storage, as well.

Archos ArcBook

This is a bit of a curious device. On the one hand, it makes a lot of sense: It’s an exceedingly inexpensive laptop with a lightweight OS designed to offer basic productivity on the go. It’s essentially a tablet but with an attached keyboard, which is a good thing as so many tablets require expensive detachable keyboards if you want to get any work done.

Archos ArcBook

On the other hand, the above is essentially a description of a chromebook (sans the touchscreen). If Archos wanted to make such a device, it’s odd that they wouldn’t have just made a chromebook, especially given their burgeoning popularity.

Or, perhaps Archos wasn’t interested in acquiescing to Google’s chromebook guidelines (or possibly restrictions, as it were). In any case, Archos now has a chromebook that isn’t a chromebook--it’s an ArcBook, and it runs Android.