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Tablets Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Archos 101 XS tablet review

£300 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Archos

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Archos' 101 XS is the latest Android tablet with a keyboard dock. Read our Archos 101 XS review to find out more.

Archos 101 XS: Performance

Power comes from a TI OMAP 4470 running at 1.5GHz, along with 1GB of RAM. In Geek Bench, it managed 1407 on average. That's almost 200 points faster than the Transformer Pad 300 and on a par with Google's Nexus 7.

In the SunSpider JavaScript test, the 101 XS finished in 1575ms, making it one of the fastest tablets we've tested for web browsing.

Archos 101 XS: Screen and speaker

As we've already said, the screen has the now-standard 1280 x 800 pixels, which is just about enough for this size, but more would have been nice. The glossy finish means it's hugely reflective, and the average brightness means this can't be overcome by simply ramping the brightness slider to the max.

Colours, viewing angles and contrast are all decent, but we noticed that pressing too hard on the screen left ripples, something we haven't seen with other tablets. It's likely a consequence of being so thin, but it's worrying nonetheless.

The front-mounted speaker is a bonus, as that's there speakers should be, and makes it louder than it would otherwise be.

Archos 101 XS

Archos 101 XS: Keyboard

The keyboard dock is one of the main reasons to buy the 101 XS. Having an external keyboard frees up a lot of screen space, and is much faster to type on than an on-screen version.

The 101 XS's keyboard has 'proper' separated keys with just enough travel to give feedback for quick typing. Impressive stuff considering it's just 5mm thick. It also has plenty of shortcut keys so you almost never need to touch the screen. You can even tap the Home button to wake the tablet so you don't have to feel around for the power button.

When typing on a desk, the keyboard works well, and we almost reached normal typing speed in less than an hour. However, things aren't so great if you try and type on your lap where the keyboard isn't supported in the middle. We found the keyboard seemed to lose its connection with the tablet when typing with normal force, so keystrokes didn't register. Only by typing softly could we get characters to appear.

Archos 101 XS keyboard dock

Archos 101 XS: Software

Essentially, Archos has left Ice Cream Sandwich untouched. The only additions are music and video players, although the standard Android versions are still there as well.

The full version of OfficeSuite Pro 6 is installed, as is Angry Birds and Archos Remote. Archos says there will be an update to Jelly Bean by the end of the year.

Follow Jim Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

Archos 101 XS Expert Verdict »

Archos 101 XS reviews verified by Reevoo

Archos 101 XSScores 8.4 out of 10 based on 7 reviews
1.5GHz TI OMAP 4470 10-core CPU
10.1in (1280 x 800) 150ppi display, capacitive multi-touch
Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich
16GB flash memory
1GB 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
720p front camera
1 x mono speaker
3.5mm headset jack, microUSB 2.0, microSD (SDXC compatible), micro-HDMI
non-removable battery (capacity not stated)
271 x 169 x 8 (13mm with Coverboard)
631g (903g with Coverboard)
  • Build Quality: We give this item 6 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 9 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

There's no doubt that the 101 XS is Archos' best tablet to date and it's a decent attempt to undercut rivals, notably Asus Transformer Pad 300. It's £100 cheaper and the keyboard dock is far less fiddly. However, the dock was reliable only when on a desk in our tests, and other build quality issues surrounding the buttons and screen mean we can't recommend the 101 XS unequivocal

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