The Archos 101 is the largest and most powerful new Android tablet from Archos. It has a 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel capacitive touchscreen display, a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, and HDMI output. Yet this tablet measures just 0.47 inches thick and weighs just under a pound.

Archos introduced 5 new tablets last week, and with a starting price of $299.99 this one is the company’s most expensive model. That said, it’s still about $200 cheaper than a WiFi-only Apple iPad.

So what do you get for your money? The tablet runs Google Android 2.2. Unfortunately the Android 2.2 keyboard doesn’t really scale all that well to larger displays, so while thumb-typing in portrait mode is reasonably comfortable, I found text entry in landscape mode to be a bit awkward.

That said, Archos is quite proud of the built-in kickstand which lets you easily prop up the tablet at a comfortable typing angle (despite the awkward keyboard) without any third party accessories. Throw in a Bluetooth keyboard and typing should actually be quite pleasant.

Spec-wise, the Archos 101 actually stacks up pretty well against the iPad. The Archos tablet has a 1GHz CPU, 3D graphics acceleration, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bleutooth 2.1, a front-facing VGA camera, built-in mic and speakers, and a G-sensor. The tablet has a mini HDMI port for connecting to a monitor or HDTV, a full sized USB port, and support for a wide range of audio and video codecs inclduing WMV, VOB, MKV, FLV, DivX, and Xvid as well as MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC, and OGG Vorbis.

On the other hand, the iPad ships with access to 250,000 iOS apps in the App Store. The Archos 101 uses the third party AppsLib client, which lets you download about 5,000 Android apps. That’s a far cry from the nearly 100,000 apps available in the Android Market, but Google doesn’t officially let device makers bundle the Android Market or other Google apps such as Gmail and Google Calendar on non-phone devices.

The iPad also has a metal case, while the Archos 101 is made of cheaper plastic.There’s also no 3G capable version of the Archos 101.

Still, as Android tablets go, the Archos 101 is easily one of the best I’ve seen for $300 or under. If you want to keep the iPad comparison going, it’s thinner, lighter, and doesn’t need a dock connector to handle video output. Not that I think any of those things makes up for the missing Android Market, but there are ways around those restrictions.

You can check out more photos after the break.

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49 replies on “Closer look at the Archos 101 Android tablet”

  1. when I try to watch a video, I am told I need adobe flash. When I try to download it nothing happens. How do I get it with android on my archos 101

  2. The instructions for tethering cell phones do not work for my droid Incredible. Has anyone been able to tether, and if so, please give your step by step instructions. I get bluetooth paired, but not connected, and cannot find the Dun or Pan referred to in the instructions.

  3. i have a archos tablet and it sucks i cant get it to do anything,but say no phones assocaited with this device..what do i do?

  4. Please give a step by step in laymen’s terms or simpler 🙂 how to get Marketplace on the 101, I plan on purchasing this tablet (it sounds superior to ipad though will miss some of the apple apps) but I want the Marketplace on it. I plan on using it for books, internet, movies, music, and APPS. So please help or give me a site that does a good job of explaining what to do. Thank you.

  5. Being totally unfamiliar with the Archos 101 unit, can anyone tell me if these units can handle more than one task at a time?

  6. I am typing my comment on this awesome tablet now and i love it!

  7. “Unfortunately the Android 2.2 keyboard doesn’t really scale all that well to larger displays” and you are comparing that to what exactly? Don’t even put iPad in the same sentance since its touch screen keyboard is even more akward.

  8. If you Google “gApps4Archos” you can find the APK file that will allow you to install the Android Market, Gmail, Calendar and other Google apps on to your Archos. Once you have the Market on your Archos you’re not restricted to apps from AppsLib. You could also get the “AppBrain” app and “Fast Web Installer” and you can browse apps on the AppBrain web sites (which displays ALL apps on the Android Market) and clicking “Install” on the web site will automatically install it to your device.

    1. Risket. I placed the gApps4Archos file onto my archos 101, but I dont know what to do from there. Do I have to hook the Archos back up to the computer & format it first for it to work? My fear is of loosing anything on my archos. I tryed hooking up my external drive to back up my data but that didnt work. Can you help please…

      1. The app to install is gAppsInstaller_v5-final.apk Once you download this to your pc, connect the 101 to your pc, click on it and it will bring up your list of folders. Don’t place it in a folder, just copy it to the 101. Once that is done go to the file menu on your 101. The gApps file will show there. Just touch it and it will ask you if you want to install. Yes, etc. The gApps4Archos will not work with the 101’s Android 2.2 Froyo. I actually works with the Android 2.1 Eclair.

  9. from what I am hearing the Froyo 2.2 OS is the crutch for all these new android based tablets. It seems the Apple OS is just more mature, more smooth and less problematic. Reading reviews of the Galaxy tab, Archos and a couple others there are just little problems like getting the OS to recoginize when you go from portrait to landscape and other small stuff. All these issues plus more will probably be handled by the 3.0 upgrade next year.

    I waited for for the Archos because I wanted flash support and HDMI out, obviously those are 2 huge advantages that most android based tablets have over the ipad. I can’t wait to get my Archos 101… hopefully this week!

  10. Well I want to have a word processor on mine the primary usage I will use it for is browsing the web and viewing videos, however I want to hook it up to a keyboard and do word processing when necessary.

  11. Okay, I’m sold on the 101… but does anybody know when the release date is? The Archos site says mid October, but that’s coming up fast with no word of it from any online retailers, seems likely this will slip.

  12. If this thing had the Android Market & access to the official Google apps I’d be buying one the day it’s available. Google needs to start offering Google Experience certification to tablets & other devices beyond just phones.

      1. Can you PLEASE tell me (in laymans terms) how to install the App Market? Everyone keeps saying it’s easy, only takes 5 minutes, etc. I have tried installing AppBrain and gApps4Archos and neither have worked. I am starting to feel really stupid and terribly frustrated with my new Archos 101. Ready to sell it on EBay if I can’t get the hang of this!! Thanks.

        1. done it yet?

          if not, google for archosfansforum, and yo’ll get all the help you’ll ever need for your archos product

  13. Hey people back up the apps to your sd card from the net or from your phone and then install those apps right on the Arcos. Also connect through tether through phone and surf the net free (without extra account like ipad) on unlimited plans through android phones. also a unit like this will not go without tinkering from an open source market to allow you access to all apps new and old. Google is open source and all you need is someone to program something and this pulls the legs totally out from under an over priced under featured iPAD paper weight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or wait for apple to catchup and pay even more for even less????? NAW ANDROID TABLET!!!!!!!!!!! WHEWW

  14. Archos needs to come out with a 11.6 inch and they will conquer the whole tablet market.

    Amazing, Archos, from nearly a dying company will, with its 101, will transform itself into another Apple, a success story.

    I hope they come up with a 11.6 inch too.

    Thanks Archos for pricing your tablets reasonably. You are indeed a considerate company, not wanting to screw consumers with exorbitant pricing.

    I totally abhor companies who are charging $500 for a mere tablet. After all, as you can see, a good tablet like the 101 only cost $300.

    And we all know from the chinaman manufacturers and also the new Indian $35 tablet that tablets aren’t really that expensive to make.

    Companies overcharging are plainly greedy.

    1. Coming in kinda late, but just thought I’d mention that companies will charge $500 for a tablet because they can. People see Apple and buy their latest toys – no matter how overpriced, hence the term ‘fan boy’. Same goes with any company.

  15. “Spec-wise, the Archos 101 actually stacks up pretty well against the iPad.”? Say wha? Spec-wise, the Archos kills iPad.

    1. Kudos George. I did an item by item comparison between the Archos 101 and iPad, put it on a spreadsheet and the advantages of Archos stick out like a sore thumb.

  16. It would be perfect with two cameras. I see a lot of usage at shows and just picture taking with 4 hour battery life.

  17. Good for Archos for setting the standard for a superb tablet to cost $300. I mean non chinaman tablet.

    Now at least, future tablets won’t dare pass the $300 mark. Apple iPad is way overpriced.

    Honestly Brad, nobody really cares about Apps. This is because, this will be somebody’s secondary machine merely to surf the Web. All the more when it is a tablet and without a keyboard. What you need Microsoft Word and you want to write an essay is it on a non keyboard tablet?

    We need to get it in our heads that the majority of people would want a tablet merely to surf the Internet. So long as a good browser is availbale, then, it will be a success. Nothing more, nothing less.

    1. I’ll just add that reading and watching videos will also be a priority for potential buyers. I know for me a few good books, good internet access and the ability to watch The Big Bang Theory on the bus on my way to work is all I care about.

    2. what make you think this is not a chinaman’s tablet? And what make you think there is a place can make $300 device like this out side china? You are enjoying and will continue enjoy stuffs from there, but you seems not appreciated.

    3. I am currently using my 101 to do more than surf the internet. Especially since I travel quite a bit, the video player will handle almost every video format out there as does the audio player. With the availability of a USB port, USB mini port, and HDMI port, the uses are unlimited. By the way, haven’t surfed the internet this fast in some time. This is a quality device and unlike the article says, the Archos is made with an overmoulded stainless steel structure and is quite sleek and elegant.

      1. Thank you for your “testimony” and not just a thought about it. Am a potential buyer of the 101 and am looking for honest information that will give me an idea of how it will operate not only as an internet surfer, but for daily apps. Am a full time student, and although computers are offered at the school, sometimes they’re not available. I’m looking to find out whether or not this unit will handle the apps i.e. word, spreadsheet that are often required for homework as well as class assignments. Now, it would also be right up my alley if I could download programs for my tech classes – but that may be a bit much. The programs used in the classes are Microsoft. I’m still looking to find out one way or the other if this can be done.

        Again, thank you.

      2. I agree the 101 is a great overall device. The display (1024×600) could have been better but is par for the course for 10 inch android tablets. I have the 101, the Ipad, the Archos 5 IT and the NookColor. The Archos doesn’t have as crisp a display as the other three tablets. The NookColor (and Galaxy Tab, by the way) also have a 1024×600 display but in a 7 inch size so they are far clearer. However, as I said the Archos display is standard for its size in Android tablets. And you’re right it is extremely fast on the net. My only problem is my full sized USB port stopped recognizing my stick drives. It is apparently a software problem and I’m working with Archos tech support to resolve it. If I can’t the tablet is still worth it since I can stick a 32GB micro sd card in it and still get some pretty decent memory.

    4. No my friend people actually like to use apps more often than you think as it is obvious with iOS devices. We Android people need the market for it is what makes Android great.
      That is all.

  18. Features are not bad at all, but shame on them for creating such an unattractive product! Seriously it might as well be an HP or Panasonic offering, given the lack of design refinement.

    1. Unless you own an Archos 101 Jack, Please limit your comments. My wife has seen and handled the iPad and used our Archos 101 that just arrived. She commented on how really beautiful and light weight it is. She said the she couldn’t hold the iPad too long because it was awkward and heavy. You probably do not like the 16:9 screen, but it’s better than the iPad for watching movies since the iPad is 4:3.

        1. The number listed is the number available through the third party
          AppsLib app store. There are far more apps available in the Android
          Market, but it’s not as easy to install them on Archos devices.

          1. Installing Google Marketplace on Archos tablets takes 1min. Just download a 2 megabyte googlemarketplace.apk and you are all set. No rooting or hacking needed.

          2. That’s for the current generation of Archos tablets. The current Market hack is not guaranteed to work with the upcomming Archos tablets.

            So don’t buy these Archos devices thinking you’ll get Market apps (that may not work well) right away.

          3. Sure, but don’t go around either saying that Google Marketplace doesn’t work on Archos tablets when for the previous model it took less than one month for users in the archosfans forum to post ways to install the Google Marketplace, it will very likely happen much faster for this new generation.

          4. I’m pretty sure it’ll work, it’s a simple apk. file that’ll be going on the Android 2.2 system. It’s the same way we installed flash beta onto the Droid 1 before the official release. If it doesn’t work then we’ll have to either wait for another hack, wait for google to expand the market to tablets which should be soon, or install all the apps manually through apk. files.

          5. I think CyberGusa is talking about this part of the post:
            “That’s a far cry from the nearly 5,000 apps available in the Android Market”

            Anyway, did you try running the Appslib market on any of the tablets? I’m asking because on my A5IT, it’s extremely unstable and slow. I even get force close messages from Appslib while using a different app. I guess the Appslib app runs in the background and force closes itself whenever it wants.

          6. Whoops, my bad.

            I won’t really be able to comment on performance until after I get a review
            unit, but appslib appeared to work pretty well during my brief demo.

          7. Applsib did get error messages several times for me but correct that it takes a minute or two to download link to Android app store. However, completely nuts that this does not have ability to play either silverlight or Flash – they’ve got to fix this – and pronto!

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