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Archos 101 Internet Tablet review

Andrew Williams



Our Score


User Score


  • Large screen
  • Can access Android Market
  • Slim


  • Unresponsive touchscreen
  • Patchy performance
  • Utilitarian design

Review Price £234.56

Key Features: 10.1in 1,024x600 pixel screen; Android 2.2 OS; 8GB internal memory; miniHDMI output; Capacitive touchscreen

Manufacturer: Archos

The Archos 101 Internet Tablet is one of the largest tablets currently available. With a 10.1in display its screen is technically larger than the 9.7in Apple iPad 2, but thanks to its widescreen aspect ratio, the difference in design is much greater than a simple size bump.

The tablet's 16:9 aspect ratio makes the Archos 101's body very long - a whopping 270mm. That's 30mm longer than the iPad 2 and 20mm longer than the Motorola Xoom. The pay-off is that it's narrower, but this only serves to emphasise quite how odd this tablet feels to hold upright. Holding it this way feels more like grasping a small app-ridden skateboard than the virtual book or magazine that the tablet form factor essentially emulates.

At 480g, it's much lighter than the 600+g iPad series devices but the odd weight distribution of its elongated rectangular design makes one-handed operation uncomfortable. The Archos 101 wants to be primarily held as a landscape device, with two hands, and it's not afraid to make that clear.

It's made of both metal and plastic, using a process that Archos calls its patented plastic overmoulding technique. The screen surround and two plates on the Archos 101's back are made of brushed metal, while the rest is plastic. With the seams of these different sections very visible, this tablet's not the best-looking slab of gadgetry currently available, though there is a certain charm. It is slim as well - at 12mm thick, it has the same chunk factor as the Samsung Galaxy Tab. There are two models available, coming with either 8GB or 16GB of flash storage on-board.

Only one side of the Archos 101 has any ports or sockets on it. This leaves the left side (assuming it's held lengthways) crammed with buttons and holes, including the power button, volume control, headphone jack, full-size USB port, microUSB port, microSD slot, miniHDMI and power socket. There are no plastic covers for any of these, further adding to the slightly utilitarian vibe supplied by the two-tone look of the metal-and-plastic design.

There are benefits to a largely function-led approach to design though. On the back of the tablet there's a metal flip-out kickstand that's sturdy enough to hold the Archos 101 up at an angle, rather like an oversized photo frame. You wouldn't see something like this adulterating the beautiful lines of an iPad - not when Apple could sell you an accessory to do the same thing for £30 - but then you also miss out on this useful function.

It's a strange combination, the rather practical approach married with the non-straightforward shape. An acquired taste, it demands some nerve if you're going to take it on a morning commute stuffed full of iPad users, sure to throw the occasional condescending glance your way.

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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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