Home' LAPTOP Magazine : February 2011 Contents tabletS
to use the slightly modified Android keyboard;
we had to really stretch our thumbs to get to the
center. A split keyboard, à la the G Tablet, would
be welcome here.
Pre-loaded apps include Aldiko (an eReader),
eBuddy (a universal messaging client), Touiteur (a
Twitter app), and World Newspapers (RSS feeds
from periodicals). While not approved for use with
the Android Marketplace, Archos created its own
app store. At 18,000 apps (and growing). Archos
AppsLib is about a fifth the size of Google’s —there’s
no Pandora or YouTube apps—but we found plenty
of content, such as Angry Birds, Slacker, and Talking
Tom Cat. Apps are divided into categories, such as
Lifestyle, News & Weather, and Sports, and you can
search by most popular, free, and paid apps.
The VGA camera is good for very little. Photos
taken indoors using the standard Android Camera
app were blotchy, grainy, and dark. We tried to
use the video-conferencing app Fring, but all we
saw was pixelated, choppy video, and audio was
nothing but static. The stereo speakers cranked
out loud audio of netbook quality.
When you select TV-Out in the Settings menu
and connect an HDMI cable to the Archos 101,
Long before the iPad, Archos was churning out
well designed media-centric touchscreen devices.
The Archos 101 is the latest top-of-the-line model,
is the thinnest and lightest 10-inch tablet on the
market with a capacitive display. It also offers HDMI
output and a front-facing camera. Not too shabby
for less than 300 bucks.
The Archos 101 chassis is made of black plastic,
but the screen is bordered by black brushed alu-
minum. With a footprint of 10.6 x 5.9 inches, this
tablet takes up nearly the same amount of counter
space as the Viewsonic G Tablet (p. 34), but the
Archos weighs 0.4 pounds less. On the back is a
convenient and adjustable kickstand for propping
up the 101 on a desk.
For the most part, the Archos 101 remained cool
to the touch, with one exception: The rear of the
device near the power port exceeded 90 degrees,
even when idling.Because this is where you put your
left hand, it became uncomfor table for us to hold.
A 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen display on the
front supports multitouch gestures and offers 1024
x 600-pixel resolution, the same as the G Tablet and
Samsung Galaxy Tab. However, you can clearly see
the distracting diagonal sensor grid on top of the
screen. Colors were bright, but sadly the display is
reflective. The Archos 101 can’t play Flash videos as
of yet (as of press time, the company said a plug-in
will be available in 1 to 2 weeks).
An unadorned Android 2.2 operating system
runs on the Archos 101, and that’s mostly a good
thing. The tablet comes with all the Android live
wallpapers. What you don’t get are tablet-optimized
apps with dual-pane views, which Samsung’s
Galaxy Tab (p. 32) offers.
In landscape mode, the width made it difficult
the screen goes blank. The
right edge can still be used
to for the Android buttons.
A cursor appears on your
TVscreentoshow you what
you’re selecting. For some
reason, the touchscreen
became much more erratic
in TV-Out mode; it would
select items by mistake, or
not register our input at all.
Multitouch proved tricky in
this mode, too.
The 1-GHz ARM Cortex A8
processor and 3D OpenGL
ES 2.0 graphics accelera-
tor in the Archos 101 were
able to keep up with all of
our activities fairly well,
however, we noticed lag
at times. It took the tablet 5
seconds to launch the Gallery app and 4 seconds
to launch the multitasking menu while playing
music in the background. On the plus side, the
accelerometer was quick to recognize when we
had rotated the device.
Despite its ultra-slim profile, the Archos 101
had excellent endurance. On our LAPTOP Battery
test, the device lasted about 11 hours.
Among 10-inch Android tablets, the Archos 101
is the slimmest, most solid, and the best value thus
far. However, for such a large screen, the viewing
angles are too narrow. Also, you don’t get access
to the Android Market, and the pricier Galaxy Tab
offers faster performance. Still, with 8GB of stor-
age, two USB ports, HDMI, and long battery life,
the Archos 101 delivers a lot for your money.
Solid, lightweight design
Good selection of apps in AppsLib store
Poor viewing angles
Can’t access Android Market or Google’s apps
Finicky touch experience when
Laptop | February 2011
prowess, the Archos 101
sports an adjustable kick-
stand and an HDMI port.
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