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.
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: 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: 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.