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Archos 101 Internet Tablet review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £240
inc VAT

The Archos 101 has impressive battery life and supports external storage, but it doesn’t feel as tough as its rivals and doesn't come with the standard Google apps and account support.


10.1 in 1,024×600 display, 480g, 1GHz ARM Cortex A8, 256MB RAM, 8GB disk, Android 2.2

You’ll get through plenty of content, though. In our smartphone battery test – which plays a single MP3 file with the screen turned off – the 101 lasted for three and a half days, so it’ll happily stay on standby for a whole weekend and still have plenty of juice left over. It’s the screen that drains the power the most, of course, but even when we played a video on repeat the 101 lasted for seven and a half hours.

The screen’s glossy finish can reflect bright overhead lights, but it adds punch to colours. In landscape mode, the vertical viewing angle is awkward, in that you have to tilt the 101 away from you to get the best results – if it’s angled towards you it loses contrast almost immediately and almost goes into negative. This also poses problems when viewing in portrait mode – you’ll need to angle it slightly to one side to get the best image quality.

The capacitive touchscreen is responsive, although sometimes a light touch is best – if you press too hard on an icon on the home screen when trying to drag it, for example, it’ll open the app. It’s also extremely sensitive to orientation, and it’ll flip into portrait mode, or even upside down, if you tilt it about 20 degrees beyond the horizontal.

All the ports and controls are on the left-hand edge. From the top, there’s a small volume rocker, the power button, and then the headphone socket. This is so close to the power button that it’s easy to confuse for the power socket, especially as the plug fits both sockets comfortably. A USB “A” port lets you read files from any external USB drive, while a micro USB port lets you mount the 101 as mass storage on your PC. There’s also a microSDHC card slot and a mini-HDMI port, although the 101 doesn’t come with a suitable cable.

Archos 101 Internet Tablet edge

There’s a 0.3-megapixel camera to the left of the screen. This is angled inwards so that it captures your face if you’re holding the 101 in front of you. Image quality is awful, with blocky photos and videos showing excessive amounts of noise. There’s no video-calling app installed to make full use of it either, and although some video call software is available on the Market (see FAQ) we couldn’t get it to work on the 101.

At £240 the Archos 101 seems like great value, with a 16GB version available for £270. With ArcTools installed, it becomes a semi-functional Android 2.2 tablet. However, Archos doesn’t officially support ArcTools or the market, so you install it at your own risk. Despite the clever manufacturing process, we felt the case had too much flex in it, and it doesn’t feel as solidly built as the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab. The interface also suffered from pauses. As there’s a rash of new tablets on the horizon, these niggles are enough to stop us recommending the 101 unconditionally.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor ARM Cortex A8
Processor clock speed 1GHz
Memory 256MB
Maximum memory 16GB
Size 150x270x12mm
Weight 480g
Sound N/A
Pointing device touchscreen


Viewable size 10.1 in
Native resolution 1,024×600
Graphics Processor N/A
Graphics/video ports mini-HDMI
Graphics Memory N/A


Total storage capacity 8GB
Optical drive type N/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 1
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports none
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g/n
PC Card slots none
Supported memory cards microSDHC
Other ports 1x 3.5mm headphone, 1x microUSB


Carrying case No
Operating system Android 2.2
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included none
Optional extras £20

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £240