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I bought this tablet for my other half last year when it was on offer in HMV for less than a £100.It really does have a lot going for it regardless of price.The overall feel isn't cheap at all but surprisingly robust and slick.The stand on the rear is a nice touch also.Makes watching a movie very easy.Has all mod cons that you would expect from a modern tablet of this kind.For full technical details click on the tab above.Compared to ASUS or an I-pad tablet you really do get a lot for your money.Menus are easy to navigate and feel very intuitive.Screen resolution looks great and is of a decent quality.The tablet doesn't come overloaded with apps straight out of the box which is a good thing in my opinion.I hate nothing more than having to uninstall unwanted apps or programmes lumped onto a system.Running more than a couple of apps can really slow things down though and it isn't the quickest on start up.I ended up wiping everything and installing a new updated operating system and this speeded things up a little.The external buttons I find a bit fiddly (on/off and volume control) especially if you are using the tablet in the dark.Battery life isn't the greatest ever depending on what you are doing.I tend to leave mine plugged in if using in the house.But for less than a £100 you really can't argue.Maybe not the so called coolest brand going but it works well and I haven't suffered any real problems.
I bought my Archos tablet in October last year for £180 and loved it so much that i bought my mother one too (instead of a Kindle).
A slim and light tablet at 26.9 x 14.2 x 1.3 cm and 454g (the ipad is 18.6 x 0.9 x 24.1 cm and 653g) that is a nice size to hold in in the hands and the rectangle shape is great for watching films in widescreen. The only buttons actually on the tablet is the on/off button and volume control. Remaining buttons (Search, Home, Menu and Back) are permanently on the screen, change with the screen orientation and are utilized in all apps i used. As with phones and apple products now, the rotation of the screen changes as you rotate the device. The screen is great for one person but is difficult for two people to see at once. There is also a stand on the back of the device that is handy but only works in portable (I used the tablet in portrait very rarely). The tablet also has a slot for a micro sd card, which means you can expand the capacity (good for if you have a lot of ebooks, music, tv shows and films. It also has a headphones socket, USB, microUSB and a mini HDMI port. The multitouch screen supports gestures such as pinch-to-zoom and doesn't really get hot.
The 101 isn't the fastest tablet in the world (Although the G9 version is twice as fast) and it can be a bit slow to process when first turning on or if you insert a microSD but once it gets going it can be pretty good at multi-tasking and I've never had a problem with interruption once i'm actually running an app or watching a film. Is just a bit slow to get going. The keyboard takes some getting used to be is fine once you've used it for a wile and if you do a lot of typing you have a usb port so can add a real keyboard (You can buy a case with a keyboard built in that turns the tablet into a mini laptop for £10ish on amazon). The tablet also has a built in camera and microphone which isn't the best quality but is perfectly adequate for skype. The tablet also has wifi and connected to my nas very easily and the wifi speed is pretty quick, i've never had an issue. The tablet also has bluetooth and apparently it is possible to access the internet via an android smartphone but i've never tried it. the tablet also plays most formats of video although you will need to download another player from the android market (Generally free) to play higher than 720p.
The tablet last 7 to 10 hours, depending on what you are using, which is really good. Just remember to shut it down properly when done. Pressing the off button once puts the tablet into sleep mode which drains the battery after a while and it takes longer to charge from a completely dead battery.
The tablet comes installed with the Archos market (Something they have changed with later models) but with a few easy steps following a guidance written in a review on amazon it is quite is to install the android market, giving you access to hundreds of free apps (All you need is a gmail account). The Kindle app is really good, allowing you to read pdfs as well as any kindle bought books and gives you everything a kindle reader does as far as i can tell. I used my tablet to read all of my uni texts books that i got in pdf format. There's also the standard apps such as twitter, facebook, youtube, angry birds, skype, bbc iplayer. The only thing i found that i couldn't get on the android market was tiny wings but i can live without it. There are also free apps to view and edit Microsoft office documents.
Archos are generally quite good with firmware updates and customer service is good. The screen of my tablet stopped working last week and so I contacted archos using an online submission form via their website. I received a response within a couple of hours providing me with a reference number in order to return the tablet to them. I sent it yesterday, they sent me an email at 1:50pm today to say they had received it, by 2pm the status on their tracking page had changed to 'Swap' and by 6pm their had dispatched me a new tablet (A G9 updated model) and sent me another email to confirm. This is the least hassle i have ever had to return a broken product and that's pretty amazing customer service if you ask me.
Is generally a great tablet however i would also consider the newer G9 version (Is currently only £40 more on Amazon) as it is twice as fast and has android 3.2. Having used the G9 version for a few months now I have to say it is worth the extra money but the Archos 101 is still a great tablet, if it is a choice between this tablet and a kindle I'd choose this tablet whereas if you want a fully functional internet tablet i would be tempted to go for the updated version of this tablet. You get what you pay for but in either case they are both very good value for money.
Technical Details (Taken from Play.com)
Product capacity: Internal: 8 GB flash memory
External: Micro SD Slot (SDHC compatible)
Display characteristics : High resolution capacitive multitouch screen, 1024x600 pixels (WXVGA), 10.1'' TFT LCD
Application Framework: Android 2.2 Froyo
WiFi (802.11 b/g/n)
Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
Built-in leg stand
Front VGA camera
Internal: Lithium Polymer battery
External: Power adapter/charger
Music playback time: up to 36 hours
Video playback time: up to 7 hours
Web surfing: up to 10 hours
Scalability: Device automatically downloads latest firmware updates when the WiFi connection is activated
Updates can also be downloaded at www.archos.com and updated via USB mass storage
Dimensions & weight
270 x 150 x 12 mm
Minimum system requirements
Microsoft® Windows® XP, Vista, 7 or higher
USB 2.0 interface
Package includes ARCHOS 101 internet tablet, Standard USB cable, Quick Start Guide (QSG), legal and safety notice, power charger.
Have been very impressed with Archos as a company so far and loved my tablet. Am looking forward to getting my new one.
Had this for a little over a year now and gets used quite a lot now i'm commuting daily.
Processing/Quality >>>> Very thin, light, and has a very sturdy, good build quality feel about it. This being my first Archos product I was wary about build material quality, but their actually surprisingly good. Doesn't feel cheap at all, which is nice. As for processing, not magnificent but not terrible, handles most applications fine, but can be a little bit slow when loading more complex apps, or carrying out lots and lots of tasks at once. It also takes a little while to boot up, but I've not really found it to be an issue. The power connector jack is slightly dodgy in that it falls out quite easily, not broken just a slight design error.
Reliability >>>> Not had any issues with this at all really, it froze a couple of times, about it really.
Ease of use >>>> The touch screen works well and the android software also, now they've tweaked it a bit since its initial release. Be sure to install android market as well as it doesn't come loaded with it, quite easy, just head to the Archos forums and you'll easily find a link with instructions. The kindle software works well and doesn't strain your eyes, the screen also gives a very good picture for video and images surprisingly. Awesome little stand, very helpful, and means you don't have to buy a case with a stand.
Battery >>>> Lasts quite a long time, depending on usage, its impossible to say. But i never find myself recharging it every day, and it gets used quite a lot as well.
I know that the newer version of this gen of tablets is coming out soon or now, but these(101 & 70) are still a great buy, recommended for middle of the range in price and what you get in return.