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Archos 101 Android Tablet: Something to Smile About?

Archos goes monumental. Again.archos 101 review

The French always liked big things. Look at the Eiffel Tower. Now that’s big. Now it wouldn’t so surprising that France would then release one of the largest internet tablets around. It’s the Archos 101.
But while Archos goes big and heavy, it maintains its prices light and easy. After all, it’s the only way to compete against the likes of Ipad and Samsung. Why pay top dollar from a relatively new player when the Ipad offers a lower price, right?

Yesterday, on a whim I picked up the Archos 101. On first review, I find it is sleek and slim and comes in tad black matte finish. More PVC parts than metallic parts grace this baby all over. all over. There are less metallic parts and more hard plastic polymers for the body, making it lighter and easier to handle. It’s ideally constructed, allowing me to deftly flip it over while watching movies and surfing the web. It’s far lighter than the ipad!

One of the important characteristics for me is the screen. Most android tablets use the resistive screen which relies on pressure. That makes navigation a chore! Pressing down hard WAS mandatory to get any response. But thank God. This new offering now boasts a capacitative screen which allows the device to react more rapidly. No longer did I have to wait before an icon actually activated. Yes!

There is a problem, though. The screen is still TFT, meaning its next to useless under bright sunlight.

Let’s dive into the internals.

The Archos 101 is powered by a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU boasting the latest Android 2.2 Froyo. Like entry level Ipads, it’s got a 16GB internal memory which you can expand via the microSD slot on the side. The clerk told me it can accommodate cards up to 32GB. Now that’s a lot of movies this baby can handle!
I watched 300 and Underworld in HD. The playback was superb and enough screen elements were displayed. I give this an A+ for entertainment. Audio is subpar though. I felt like I was hearing sounds from the bottom of a trashcan by using the built in speakers. Best to use a headset.

The Archos 101 throws in more ports than an Asian throws arrows in a Chinese movie. There’s HDMI, USB and micro USB. That definitely allows meto hook the Archos 101 to almost any USB-capable device.

Many of the apps I downloaded from the app store work on this baby. The system is beefy enough, and the processor fast enough to handle perhaps 90% of the apps out there. I can’t say the same for the trashy chinese units like HappyMe which I tried in the past. Scrolling, launching, closing- all rapid. Not as smooth as that on an ipad, but definitely sufficient enough to get work done.

Would I recommend the Archos 101 after this review? You bet. It’s cheap and works better than 70% of the android tablets I’ve handled. It’s no Ipad, but it holds its own against the second best tablet out there: the Samsung Galaxy Tab

Try it out!

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