Archos 101 Platinum review

Archos's latest full-sized tablet is cheap in every sense of the word

Archos 101 Platinum review
Cheap, but not so cheerful

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The Archos 101 Platinum is one of the cheapest full-sized tablets on the market, yet it still doesn't feel like particularly good value.

For the same £200 price you can get the smaller yet vastly-superior-in-every-way Nexus 7. You can also get the only-slightly-smaller Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9, which features a much sharper display and superior build quality.

Of course, here you're getting a pure Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean experience and quad-core performance, which isn't to be sniffed at.

But when the core experience is compromised by shoddy components and a sub-par screen resolution, as it is here, I'd recommend either downsizing or splashing out a little extra on a Google Nexus 10.

We liked

£200 is undoubtedly cheap for a 10.1-inch quad-core tablet, whichever way you look at it.

That's especially so when you consider its relatively modern and unmolested OS. Stock Android Jelly Bean is always welcome around these parts.

Meanwhile the presence of a microSD slot - which is increasingly rare on Android devices - opens the way for cheap-but-bountiful memory expansion.

We disliked

The Archos 101 Platinum's build quality is dubious to say the least, with a toy-like snap-together feel to its construction.

I'd also question some of the design decisions at play here, such as squeezing all of the controls and ports onto a single edge, and including both a microUSB connection and a separate charger port.

I also find it difficult to recommend any modern tablet - budget or otherwise - with such a low-resolution display as this.

Final verdict

The market is crying out for a more affordable full-sized tablet alternative to the iPad, of that there's no doubt. But the Archos 101 Platinum simply makes too many compromises to be that device.

Its design and build quality are well below what I've come to expect, even from a tablet costing £200, and while it boasts a quad-core processor it's far from the speediest example.

Most of all, thanks to the likes of the Google Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and the Tesco Hudl, we've all come to expect a high definition experience from our budget tablets, and the Platinum is found severely lacking on this front.

If you really want a full-sized tablet for less than the price of an iPad, consider splashing out a little extra on the Google Nexus 10. Otherwise, go for one of the above compact alternatives. In either case, you'll be getting a lot more tablet for your money.