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Archos 101 Internet Tablet - Battery Life, Value and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams


Our Score


User Score

Review Price £234.56

Archos claims that the 101's battery will last for seven hours when playing video, or up to 36 hours for music. This is significantly below the iPad's rock-solid 10 hours of battery, but Archos's figures aren't too far off the real-life results. It managed between six and six and a half hours of video playback, with Wi-Fi enabled. It's enough for two or three movies, and this was just off the tablet's highest brightness setting - although this is what you'll want to use for movie playback anyway.

The Archos 101 arrives at a tricky time. Not only are the first waves of Android 2.3 Gingerbread and 3.0 Honeycomb tablets about to arrive, the first iPad has also been given a price cut ahead of the iPad 2's arrival.

Now £329, the iPad retails for just £50 more than the recommended retail price of the 8GB Archos 101, and just £30 more than the 16GB version. This makes the Archos a tough sell. It offers greater flexibility than the iPad, with expandable memory, a built-in miniHDMI slot and virtually all of the customisation available to a vanilla Android device. However, in the trade-off you also get an inferior screen, equipped with a much less responsive touchscreen, a less attractive design and more problematic performance.

It's also stymied by its video-playing issues. When video-watching is one of the key functions of this device, why is its playback quality so mediocre? We can't think of a decent excuse - while this is an early tablet, it's also part of a wider Archos video-player series that has been about for years.

Now is not a great time to buy a tablet, but even with its array of problems the Archos 101 is a reasonable, if lesser, alternative to the first-gen Apple iPad and one of the best 10in Android tablets available. If you can stand to wait a couple of months before buying a tablet, though, do.


The Archos 101 is a little unwieldy for one-handed use, has an average screen and slightly unresponsive touchscreen, for a capacitive model, but with a tweak or two it's a very versatile and useful entertainment device. We'd recommend waiting for the next generation of tablets to arrive before making a buying decision though, especially when the first-gen iPad's price drop shows that prices could tumble significantly.

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March 21, 2011, 6:31 pm

Archos have been making tablets (or PMPs) for years, before the iPad was even a glint in Steve Jobs' eye. I've liked their ideals, they've been going somewhere nobody else really had, but their products just didn't quite manage to tempt me into a purchase; there's always been something about them that's held me back either with the software or the hardware.

Here we are now firmly into the world of the tablet, and I'm sad to say they've been lept over by Apple (and soon HP, RIM & many other Google Android devices). I'd love to fly the flag for Europe (Archos are French), but they just haven't been able to keep up, let alone take the lead with all their years of experience. Like the article says, now isn't the time to buy a tablet, come Autumn when it's a better time I'll give their next tablet a chance and hope for the best, but unless they can raise their game, I'll be looking past them yet again.


March 21, 2011, 8:27 pm

Reviews of these devices just glaze over the fact that installing Android Market (and the other Google closed apps) is actually against the license of said programs. This is effectively software piracy, not unlike claiming that installing a pirate copy of Microsoft Office is fine because the computer came with Windows.

CyanogenMod already got in legal trouble with Google in the past and were forced to remove these apps from their distribution.

Google is probably just tolerating it while illegal usage numbers are low, but surely companies cannot depend on this method being around for very long, including the possibility of Google activating their remote delete and removing the lot.


March 22, 2011, 12:46 am

I think the problem with this device is that the 16:9 aspect ratio and 1024x600 resolution, makes for a good video playing device but not so good at browsing. 600 pixels isn't a lot of vertical space in landscape mode and I'm guessing it's useless in portrait mode.

If it serves no purpose in portrait mode, you might as well get a netbook with the same resolution and higher specification for only slightly more cost (and with a keyboard, trackpad, built-in screen cover and adjustable screen stand to boot).


March 22, 2011, 12:58 am

Have one of these as i wanted to try an Android tablet without to much of an outlay.
Maybe Andrew had a dodgy unit or is just a fruit fanboi ;-) because i find it performs very well and the touchscreen is fine with just the right amount of sensitivity.
The connectivity options are excellent, had both a 16GB MicroSD card in and also a 16GB USB flash drive.
There are a large number of accessories including a leather case with a keyboard which turns it into an android netbook.
Installed a matt screen protector on it from Folix, would not recommend this as its a nightmare to get it installed without any dust underneath and the matt finish makes the display very grainy and reflections are as bad as a glossy screen when outside. The touch sensitivity though was only slighlty less.
I would give the design and performance an extra mark and agree with the overall mark of 7.
With a bit of work Archos could nail this as an iPad alternative or an alternative to any tablet because it is different.

mr dollars

March 22, 2011, 6:32 am

Whilst it's nice to see something that dares to be different, in reality I can't see this form factor catching on. Surely Honeycomb is the minimum spec for a 2011 Android based tablet?


March 22, 2011, 2:21 pm

"An acquired taste, it demands some nerve if you're going to take it on a morning commute stuffed full of iPad users"

Are they really that common? I've seen loads of kindles but its quite rare to encounter an ipad on way to work... maybe they're just too bulky?


March 22, 2011, 3:23 pm

@GT I find it depends a lot on the train line you're on. Loads of iPads and Kindles on my current commute! Probably fewer iPads on buses too I'd guess.


March 23, 2011, 4:07 pm

I thought the screen wasnt very bright and crisp. and when I had 6 aps open for more than 20 minutes I got a low memory warning. welcome to 1992.
Matt~ http://www.webmatic247.com


July 28, 2011, 6:44 am

i had the archos 101 for 3 months and these are the problems i observed :

- device freezes sudenly ( even after full reinitialization )
- battery takes 4 days or more to fully charge
- keyboard hard to use because of the time between typing a character and appearing
on the screen
- camera has horrible imaging quality
- after installing some apps it became extremely slow .... impossible to use
- operating system become unstable after using youtube ( even after full
reinitialization )
- non-responsive touch screen ( really exasperating )
- grid lines in screen
- high glossy screen , is hard to see anything with or without light ( the viewing
angle is too narrow )
- sometimes unit reboot by itself
- bad memory configuration , with 256 mb will never work fine ( is like having a pc
i7 with 1gb ram ).

conclusion :

bad engineering design, it can be a good toy for a children under 3 years old .... i
lost 373 bucks


December 25, 2011, 2:41 am

je peux pas voir les vedio ni les telecharger comment faire

Fernando Hidalgo Marchione

August 27, 2013, 8:51 am

Are really comparing a 150 pounds tablet against a 300-400 pounds iPad?

Your comments about it totally discredit your review.


June 10, 2014, 7:34 pm

there is problem about read arabic language??

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