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Hands on: Archos 101 XS review
Archos covers itseld with its new Android tablet

The Archos 101 XS is a decent mid-range tablet that offers a native Android experience, with the added bonus of a hybrid keyboard.

The build quality and design certainly won't win any prizes, and the display and sound are pretty disappointing but, overall, it's still good value for money, and a decent alternative to what the big boys are offering up.

We liked

The keyboard, while not the most ergonomically friendly or comfortable, does without doubt make the Archos XS 101 much more efficient when it comes to document editing or long typing periods.

The speed and performance is also great, proving that quad-core Tegra 3 power isn't your only option when looking for a slick Android tablet experience.

Archos has also pre-installed a great media playback platform, with the Music and Video apps able to handle pretty much any file type you throw their way.

We disliked

The build quality isn't great, with an awful kickstand, poorly placed buttons and ports, and a design that looks a little bit cumbersome compared to some of its rivals.

Despite the media playback software being a strong point of the Archos 101 XS, this aspect is let down somewhat by an average-at-best 10.1-inch HD TFT display and a ridiculously bad onboard speaker setup.

There's also no rear-facing camera, and we're sure that will be a sore point for some, especially given this is becoming a standard inclusion on big-screen Android devices.

Final verdict

It's hard to dislike the Archos 101 XS, despite its shoddy build and mediocre design, but equally hard to fall in love with it too, despite its nippy performance and its useful hybrid control setup.

We can't help that feel, even at a penny of shy of £300/$360, the Archos 101 XS is slightly overpriced. Given that the far superior Asus Transformer Pad 300 - with its much better hybrid keyboard system - can be yours for not much more, and the keyboard-less but much nicer looking Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 can be bought for the same price, we feel a price tag closer to £250 may have made Archos's 10-inch tablet more attractive.

Ultimately, if you're looking for a modern Android tablet with an OS experience just as Dr Google prescribed, and a keyboard dock to boot, and you've got £300/$360 and not a penny more to spend, then this is your only option.

And it's not a terrible option by any stretch. Although, if you could somehow cough up a bit extra, we'd urge you to tread the well-worn Asus path instead.