Archos 101 Internet Media Tablet Review

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Media Review

After finally getting my hands on the highly talked about “iPad Killer” I have came to the conclusion that if I were to buy an Internet Media Tablet then I would definitely go with the Archos 101. I have yet to review an iPad, However, I have used one and can honestly say there is no difference between the two, apart from the price tag! I Feel that the Archos player could have been made a bit more robust, as I feel that if i drop this system then there are going to be problems. Overall, the Archos 101 is a truly great device and could easily compete with the iPad. The price ranges from £254.99 to £329.99.

This review looks at the Archos Android Internet Media Tablet. This is the latest system released by Archos along with the smaller Archos 70. The Archos 101 comes with two different storage options. An 8GB and 16GB, the 8GB is aimed at people who will be using it for social networking and basically just keeping up to date with current affairs, whereas the 16GB is aimed at you Gamers/Video fans. The Archos 101 has a nice wood effect to it with a metallic frame. Very business like…

Archos are fairly small in the Consumer Electronics world but they are on a mission! I think that this latest system is a serious contender, maybe even better than the iPad itself? Once again given to me by Lemon Digital to review. If anyone else would like a product to be reviewed let me know.

Whats in the Box

Here is what you get in the Box:-

Archos 101 16GB (Also available in the 8GB Version)
Mains Charger with Adapters
USB Cable for File Sharing
Instructions Manual as well as a built in Electronic Manual

After opening the package i was shocked that it didn’t come standard with a case or a screen protector. I searched the web for these accessories and found that New MP3 Technology were the best place to buy a case. They sold a Genuine Leather case with the stand for £25.63 along with the Screen Protectors that were £8.33. Still, quite pricey considering the price of an Internet Media Tablet. In the long run i think that the best thing to do would be to buy a case and screen protector as well.

First Impressions

Upon receiving the Archos 101 I was shocked by how big the package was, just 2 Inches thin but about 14 Inches wide. Covered in glossy images and footage of using the devices features such as:-

3D Games
Internet
E-Book and Comics
Webcam and Instant Messaging
Webcam/Camera Internet with HD Video Playback
The device itself is very classy looking. A lot like the iPad, however, instead of being square it has a 10.1 inch HD display. This display would be great if you were to watch videos or play a lot of games. Believe me, I downloaded Angry Birds and was stuck playing it for 4 hours straight! The unit is very thin and considerably light for what it actually is. The package comes with a standard USB cable, a Mains Charger with 3 Adapters and a Small Instructions Manual.

The Archos 101, just like the systems prior to it has a very flimsy stand built into the back. It wont break off but just looks too weak for my liking. I have been using this system for a few weeks now and it does the job but i feel as if it does need to be a bit more robust. This is pretty critical from me as it has done the job so far without any problems whatsoever.


Ease of Use

I first started off using the Archos 101 without using Wi-Fi, just to see what it was like without the Internet. I got bored very quickly until I came across the Games and Application store. I then got stuck into some games for a few hours including a racing car game and of course Angry Birds. After a few hours I decided to explore the rest of the system and its features.

To be honest I didn’t feel the need to even look at the instruction manual, might be worth keeping hold of in the long run mind. Everything was straight forward just like it is on any other Android device like my Samsung Galaxy. The Archos boasts simple to use applications and icons for everything that is possibly needed including E-Mails.

The Archos 101 seems to be a lot more responsive and have a higher refresh rate than its predecessor (Archos 5 and Archos 7). Especially online, each page only takes a matter of seconds to load.

Once you have configured your E-Mail, every time you receive a message your Archos unit will alert you with a message tone of your choice. I found this very useful as my line of business is based mainly around E-Mails and most of them need to be answered right away.

Features

Just as I expected the Archos 101 is packed with hundred of different features including:-

3D Games in High Definition
E-Mail
Instant Messenger
Maps
BBC iPlayer
iReader
Traffic
Video
Film
Camera
Picture Frame (Turns your Archos into a Digital Photo Frame)
Quick Office (Equivalent to Microsoft Office)
Plus a lot more but I could be here for a while just listing its features. One feature in particular that I caught my eye was BBC iPlayer. I put Match of the Day on to see what the picture quality was like. It was crystal clear. However, when i made it fit the whole screen it seemed a bit blurry. The normal size looked just as it would on television however. Being a Media Player I didn’t think the screen would go like that? I then tried YouTube and the picture quality on there seemed to be perfect even in full sized mode. Usually if you watch something on the computer and stretch the picture it does go fuzzy so I cant really fault Archos for that as its fine when watching the video in normal size.

The games were free to download from the Applications store, Its a toss of a coin whether or not you download a good game, but I do recommend all of the Racing games and Classics such as Pacman, Sonic etc…

Above is some footage of the free download Raging Thunder Light. I played this game for ages and its just like playing the Nintendo Wii but with Playstation graphics. The Archos player turns into a steering wheel, slightly more sensitive than your usual steering wheel.

The Archos 101 also turns into a Digital Photo Frame. Most Photo Frames cost around the 100 pound mark and don’t come as a 10 inch screen. If I gave this to my mum I’m sure she would use it only for the Photo Frame feature.

Battery Life

Most websites seem to suggest that the Archos 101 can be used for around about 8 hours non stop. The day I received the device i completed the initial charge up (took around 6 hours) and didn’t get off of it for about 6 hours. At this point it still had 41% battery life.

Once your battery level hits the 15% mark the Archos alerts you with an annoying sound. A bit like a crunch, perhaps if you turned the sound down it wouldn’t be as annoying.

Music Playback

After spending about 2 hours loading all of my music onto the system I found out that my little iPod shuffle will do the job just fine without having to carry a 10.1 inch device around with me. I wont be using this to listen to music in particular but I will be using it in the future for my E-Mails and Facebook. I will find this device a lot more efficient in sending and receiving E-Mails and socialising than a laptop as I find it quicker. A future investment may be a Keyboard or something as i don’t get on with touchscreens.

Summary

After finally getting my hands on the highly talked about “iPad Killer” I have came to the conclusion that if I were to buy an Internet Media Tablet then I would definitely go with the Archos 101. I have yet to review an iPad, However, I have used one and can honestly say there is no difference between the two, apart from the price tag! I Feel that the Archos player could have been made a bit more robust, as I feel that if i drop this system then there are going to be problems. Overall, the Archos 101 is a truly great device and could easily compete with the iPad. The price ranges from £254.99 to £329.99.