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Quick Look: Hands-on With the Archos 101 XS Tablet

Watch out, folks. Archos is looking to make a blast in the Android tablet market with their new Gen10 lineup of devices. The first to debut is the 101 XS. While it’s a 10.1″ tablet, featuring Ice Cream Sandwich and a pretty beefed up OMAP 4470 processor, it looks to be a direct competitor to ASUS’ Transformer line. I’ve been playing around with it in my day to day routine for almost a week now and have a pretty solid opinion on some of the tablet’s highs and lows. 

Thoughts:

As far as overall specs, the 10.1″ display features a 1280×800 resolution, a 1.5GHz dual-core OMAP chip, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of on-board storage which is expandable to 64GB. The main feature Archos is pushing with the device is the accompanied “Coverboard.” It is a magnetic full keyboard/screen cover that definitely differentiates this device from any other tablet on the market. Sure, others may have keyboard docks, but the only thing making this one different is the fact that it attaches through the magic of magnets.

Archos claims the tablet will receive a Jelly Bean update sometime in Q4, which is fine since market availability in the US doesn’t begin until November. The price is set at $400, and this does include both tablet and coverboard. To help you ease into that price, Archos threw in a copy of OfficeSuite Pro ($15 value) to let you know just how handy this thing can be when editing Word, Excel, and other documents.

Gallery:

Hands-On:

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Conclusion:

So, should you go ahead and spend $400 on this thing? I would have to say “No.” With the selection of Android tablets becoming evermore vast, people looking for a decent and cheaper Android tablet should probably go ahead and check out one of ASUS’ offerings. Better build quality and much better software.

During my time spent with this device, I tried to think of who or what type of user would benefit from this tablet. To this day, I still haven’t answered that question to a degree I am comfortable with. Props to Archos for trying something new, but I just find myself unimpressed with the hardware at that price point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dannyborst Danny Borst

    Very nice

  • chango

    “Watch out, folks. Archos is looking to make a blast in the Android tablet market with their new Gen10 lineup of devices.” – Are you kiddin’? Maybe a blast, because you have to say that in favour of your hands-on opportunity – but honestly, the price for the 101 XS Gen10 is simply ridiculous. Pull 100 bucks off and it is a deal – else /dev/nul

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.haskell.16 Scott Haskell

    After Archos left me in the dust with Android 1.6 on my 5 Internet Tablet, I will never buy from them again. There is no reason at all that device should not have gotten at least a 2.2 upgrade. So stupid.

    • AD

      archos released a statement saying the gen 8 series tablets did not have the power to handle honeycomb or anything above. they take the products as far as they can. You looked at the 5’s specs. i would like an update as i have the tablet

  • Robert Jakiel

    Dual core 4470… nope. Too late to the game with a dual core especially at $400. You can get a Transformer Prime w/ dock for about $175 more if you shop around. Hell you can get the TF300 w/ dock for $500 shopping around. In any case both are quad core and will outperform the Archos and also have EXCELLENT software support from Asus. The TF300 already got its’ official Jellybean update. As for reliability of the Prime I can say that I have never had any problems aside from the GPS being spotty. That was addressed with an add on GPS antenna that Asus had sent me for free. As for the dock I have never had any issues with my Prime or OG Transformer.

    Now with the introduction of the Galaxy Note 10.1, Toshiba Excite 10 and Acer A700 all quad core tablets at or slightly below the $400 price tag I seriously don’t see this tablet as a worthy or justified purchase.

    • serotheo

      There’s no problem with dual-core its that its a 4470, if it was a Snapdragon S4 it’d still be plenty powerful.

      • Robert Jakiel

        Yes there is most definitely a problem. Dual core tablet priced the same as the high end quad cores. Not that it won’t be plenty powerful but from a price and consumer standpoint there is no reason to pay the same for lesser.

        • AD

          look at the galaxy nexus, how fast it became when it got jelly bean, wait when the archos 101 xs gets jelly bean it will be incredibly fast especially when they release the firmware that allows them to bump up the processor to 1.8ghz

  • Robert

    Anything archos puts out has a lifespan of 9months, archos is garbage

  • MKader17

    Awesome Idea, but not quite implemented right

    • paul_cus

      Yeah, Archos should have tried a little harder with the keyboard. The tablet doesn’t lean back nearly enough when it’s docked.

  • itznfb

    @Tim-o-tato, I run with a Transformer Prime and I have a hard time recommending it to people. I’m asked about it constantly and people love it when I let them take it for a test drive. With the WiFi, GPS and screen issues though I can’t in good conscious tell them to run out and get their own. Especially since the Infinity shares the same issues. That coupled with ASUS’s horrific customer service I often tell people to get Galaxy Tab.

    How is the WiFi and GPS performance on the 101XS? Light bleed? Does the cover damage the screen? If the WiFi and GPS are decent and doesn’t have those other two issues I would easily recommend this over an ASUS product.

    • http://AndroidTaskForce.com Timmy

      I love my Transformer Prime. CS has been great for me. Guess I got a lucky batch.

      • itznfb

        I also love my TF Prime. I still can’t recommend one in confidence though.

        • http://AndroidTaskForce.com Timmy

          You shouldn’t recommend it anymore. Infinity or the Tf300 is what you should recommend. Not because they are better, even though opinion varies, but just because they are the newest models.

        • MKader17

          I feel the exact same way. I love my prime but I had way too many issues. My current one has good wifi, but for just surfing around its clear that an ipad is more fluid at it. I love the dock but it just doesn’t perform the way I had wished. I jsut wish I could unlock mine :(

    • MKader17

      After your first sentence I could only think of this with a Prime

      • itznfb

        lol. Well played.

    • Allen Byrd

      Whaaaaaat? The Infinity does NOT have the same issue. I have heard absolutely NO reports of screen problems or Wifi and GPS issues. The plastic strip completely takes care of Wifi and GPS issues, at least for me on my Infinity.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Jason.Sean.Howard Jason Howard

      I have to disagree. I had a prime for a few days and ended up taking it back as the wifi and gps were horrible due to the metal backing. The infinity has corrected all the problems I had with the prime. It is an excellent device and soon will have Jelly Bean on it and then it SHOULD be even faster. I recommend the infinity but I would never recommend the prime.

    • serotheo

      The Infinity doesn’t share the same issues that’s why its not a solid aluminum construction it has a part that’s made of plastic for the radios to get better signal.

  • david p.

    no thanks. Im enjoying my ipad mini. trololololo

    • itznfb

      My condolences.

      • David Partida

        I have it for like a week. Its a game changer!

        • florious80

          You meant to say “It’s magical!!!”