Archos 101: 10.1-inch Android Tablet

The Archos 101 is a 10.1-inch Android 2.2 tablet with a 1024×600 pixel format. The number of pixels is a tad bit less than the 1024×768 found on the 9.7-inch iPad. The 101 is powered by a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU and can playback 720/30p MPEG4/H.264/WMV9/VC1 HD video. How does the Archos 101 compared to the Apple iPad in other ways?

  • The Archos 101 is slimmer: 12mm versus 13.4mm
  • Lighter: 480g vs. 680g
  • Cheaper: US$300 for the 8GB model and $350 for 16GB vs. $599 for 16GB WiFi-only iPad
  • Has a front-facing VGA (640×480) camera
  • And HDMI out*

But the real question is: how good is the display and the multitouch experience on Android 2.2? Here are my guesses. The display won’t be as good as the 9.7-inch IPS TFT LCD found in the iPad. The 10.1-inch LCD sounds like one of those terrible displays found on 10.1-inch netbooks, but I could be wrong. The multitouch experience is the result of a perfect mixture of hardware, OS and software. So, in the case of Android 2.2 the OS will be more capable than previous versions but how well tuned might it be? Probably very good but I doubt it will be as good as iDevices.

I do like that the 101 is much cheaper with the 16GB version costing just $350. There’s also a SD/SDHC slot and that means you can view your photos and videos on a much larger display, instantly and without additional cost. With the USB port that works as a slave and host sharing files using a USB key will be convenient and quick. The front-facing camera should be fun to use when you’re Skyping about. All of these features are lacking on the current iPad.

In portrait mode the 101 is narrower than the iPad so thumb-typing should be more convenient and in landscape mode since it is wider touch-typing with all ten fingers should be more comfortable too. Source: Archos

*External video output is disabled for Macrovision-protected content.