Archos 101 in the flesh, first impressions
So we finally got our hands on the new Android tablet of Archos. First up is the flagship model, the Archos 101.
For only Php19,990, you get a 10.1″ capacitive touch screen display running Android 2.1 (upgraded to 2.2 Froyo before it hits the stores) on a 1GHz chip with 16GB storage.
10.1 inch display @ 1024Ã—600 pixel capacitive screen
1GHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU
16GB internal storage
720p HD video playback
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
The capacitive screen is now more responsive and the system feels much faster than the old versions we reviewed here. The form factor makes it more usable in landscape orientation although the portrait mode is better when browsing the web.
Compared to the previous tablet of Archos, the Archos 101 is thinner and lighter for its size. It’s got the same genetic look as the older ones with a matte and brushed-metal finish but with much less metal parts.
The front-facing VGA camera is sub-par and is very grainy under low-light conditions.
The TFT screen is good enough but as always, it’s very prone to glare (which is why we’re having problems taking good photos of the unit).
The plastic body tapers towards the sides giving it an impression that it’s much slimmer than it actually is. It’s got a kickstand at the back middle part which is good for when you’re watching movies.
The back panel also has a couple of small protruding pimples and another pair of small rubber pads that protects the unit from scratches when you put it down on its back. It also helps it set in place especially on slippery surfaces so it won’t slip off and fall over.
There’s no Android Market pre-installed here (they’ll probably fix that on the Froyo 2.2 upgrade or maybe there’s a hack for that?) but the unit has an AppsLib which is also an apps directory/repository.
HD movie playback is smooth and great; viewing angle is wide enough, maybe around 120 degrees across. Sound quality is good and volume is decent though the speakers are all at the back panel.
Found a bug in the system though — the navigational buttons would not work if it’s placed on the right side of the screen. Works fine if you rotate it around to the other sides except the right side. Looks like an OS issue on the screen size.
All-in-all, it’s a great device and I hope they finish the Froyo update, add the Android Market and do some bug fixes before finally releasing it out to the market. At Php19,990, it’s one of the most afforable tablets around and a good alternative to the Galaxy Tab and Apple iPad. Since there’s no 3G model for this, you’ll have to opt for a MiFi solution for connectivity.