Archos 101 XS review

Tranformer Prime rival arrives but can it compete?

TODO alt text

Android fans will be pleased to hear that Android is in place on the Archos 101 XS in pretty much vanilla form. There are no major tweaks to the overall UI - although some of the menu and setting options have been altered by the French company.

The set up wizard, for example, is different to what you normally see with Google's mobile OS, with a raft of personalisation and calibration steps to take before the Archos 101 XS is ready to go.

Archos 101 XS review

If you do want to start all over again, you'll also see that the Factory Reset option is gone - replaced with a 'Full reinitialization' option within a 'Repair & formatting' sub-menu in the system settings. A 10 second hold of the power button also kickstarts a big reset.

As mentioned, the Archos 101 XS comes running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, although a Q4 2012 update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is promised.

Archos 101 XS review

So, it's the usual mix of five home screens, customisable widgets and shortcuts on offer, with nothing out of the Android norm to see here. Flash support is there right from the off, with the latest version of Adobe's software pre-installed, despite Google's move away from the platform.

Running via the nippy 1.5GHz Texas Instruments OMAP4470 processor, backed up with 1GB of RAM and a PowerVR SGX544 GPU, menus and options are quick to load, the response time from touchscreen action is great and general performance is pleasing.

Archos 101 XS review

The keyboard control option is very useful, especially if you're desk-bound for any length of time, or you need to do a large amount of document editing. The tablet, once docked, gives you the option to default to the physical keyboard - a keyboard icon appears by the clock in the bottom-right corner, enabling you to fully customise the keyboard options.

The keyboard, as well as making it easier to type, also provides some nice quick-launch and shortcut keys. There's a home screen button, a search key, multiple keys to switch on or off settings such as Bluetooth, sound, change the brightness/volume and also, crucially, a home screen button.

Archos 101 XS review

While the Archos 101 XS could never be a laptop replacement (as perhaps the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity could) the keyboard dock does enhance the experience and you'll find you'll use physical keys even when a simple tap on the screen would do the same thing.

The boot up sequence is pretty straightforward - a couple of nice flashing Archos logos and then you're good to go after about 30 seconds.

Battery life and benchmarks

Archos assures us that when it comes to battery life we can expect music playback of up to 40 hours, video for up to seven hours or web browsing for up to 10 hours.

We'll have to take its word for it, since we recorded just under six hours for our intense battery test, which combines all three by streaming an HD music video from the web. This result means the manufacturer's promises for the Archos 101 XS should be pretty accurate.

In raw benchmarking scores, it may not have scored as highly as some of its Nvidia-powered rivals, but we can assure you that in real-world usage, it is plenty fast enough. We had no issues with app loading, multitasking, graphically intensive gaming or HD movie playback.

Antutu: 7,314
Sunspider: 1,529.6
Peacekeeper: 637


Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity16 GB
Processor ManufacturerTexas Instruments
Graphics Controller ManufacturerImagination Technologies
Graphics Controller ModelPOWERVR SGX54
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
Processor ModelOMAP4470
Operating SystemAndroid 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich
Brand NameArchos
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeOMAP 4
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)600 g
Memory Card ReaderYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height170 mm
Width273 mm
Depth8 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
ManufacturerArchos Technology
Product Model101 XS
Product Name101 XS Tablet
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part Number502126
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The new definition of tablet

Thanks to patented construction tech, the ARCHOS 101 XS combines strength and elegance in a 8 mm (0.31'') body.

Play anything, share wirelessly

The ARCHOS Media Center means that there's amazing codec and format support in specially designed apps made for sharing your media.

Package Contents
  • 101 XS Tablet
  • AC Adapter
  • Ultra-thin Magnetic Coverboard
  • Charger
  • USB Data Cable
  • Documentation
Limited Warranty1 Year