ARCHOS 101 XS Review and Gaming Performance

Posted by B. Johnson
ARCHOS 101 XS Review and Gaming PerformanceA while ago, i’ve just had 2 tablets from Acer reviewed on this site, Acer Iconia Tab B1-710 and Acer Iconia Tab B1-720.

One interesting fact about these 2 tablets is that, despite being a cheap budget tablet, one of those Acer tablets (Acer Iconia Tab B1-720), amazingly has an impressive gaming performance, something that i didn’t expect to happen on this cheap budget tablet.

That’s actually not that quite surprising for me personally because that tablet is powered by Mali 400 GPU, which until today is still used by many low to mid-end tablets, like Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 8" for example.

Okay, enough talking about that. Today, after showing you guys with those 2 cheap budget tablets, now i want to move on my review to other tablet brand.

This one is actually the tablet manufacturer that i never brought up to this site - Archos.

It’s not because Archos is a bad tablet manufacturer or its tablets are horrible in quality.

Well, that’s so wrong. It’s more because i finally have found the right time to bring up this tablet brand on this website.

ARCHOS 101 XS benchmarks and gaming performance

The first tablet from Archos that i want to show you guys today is ARCHOS 101 XS.

As its name implies, this tablet indeed is a 10.1-inch tablet running on Android platform.

Well, if you’re interested to know more about this device, then here you go, my personal review of ARCHOS 101 XS.

Introduction

As i mentioned above, I actually never reviewed any of Archos tablets on this website.

In fact, i never talked about this tablet manufacturer – like, ever – in any of my reviews or posts on this site. Well, it’s not because Archos doesn’t have great quality tablets.

Well, that’s SO wrong about that.

As a matter of fact, i’ve already seen many latest Archos tablets that are really great, both in quality and performance.

There was actually one Archos tablet series that used to capture my attention, which automatically made me interested with this tablet manufacturer in the first place.

It was Archos Titanium series, which looked interesting to me given that this tablet series really resemble the Apple’s iPad, in many ways.

Yeah, that’s true – in many ways – i mean, from their display resolution that “blatantly” copy the “Retina Display” of old-gen iPad, their same exact PowerVR SGX554 GPU, their similar looking design (in fact, they looked like iPad) and many other sectors.

ARCHOS 101 XS Review and Gaming Performance

However, today, i’m not gonna talk about that tablet series, or at least not yet.

The tablet that i want to show you guys today is ARCHOS 101 XS, which luckily is not "on the same page" with iPad.

ARCHOS 101 XS, as its name implies, is a 10.1-inch tablet running on Android OS.

What makes me interested with this tablet is actually its design, which looks really unique with its different approach on the front bezels and colors as well.

But we’ll talk more about that later.

Archos actually has released 3 different models under this same flag, from the one i’m about to show you right now (ARCHOS 101 XS) and the sequel ARCHOS 101 XS 2.

Besides the design, there is also one other interesting sector that makes ARCHOS 101 XS attractive to me.

And that is its PowerVR SGX544 GPU, which is the same exact GPU found inside the iPhone 5.

With this GPU, no doubt ARCHOS 101 XS will fly when doing many graphics intense tasks, especially the ones that have something to do with gaming.

However, i still some little doubt that this tablet will be capable to handle many latest graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8 or GTA San Andreas.

But again, we’ll get more on that later.

The question is, with those type of specs, does this ARCHOS 101 XS stack up against other 10-inch tablets across the market, like Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1, Sony Xperia Z or even iPad?

Well, we’re about to find out in this review.

Design

One of many things that makes me attracted with this tablet is actually its design.

I think Archos has done a marvelous job when designing this tablet.

I haven’t found out about the price of ARCHOS 101 XS.

But if this tablet costs at the right price, then it probably could be one pretty good choice in 10-inch tablet market, although i still have many doubts about that given that this tablet is already far behind its competitors, especially in terms of specs and performance.

ARCHOS 101 XS Review and Gaming Performance

ARCHOS 101 XS Review and Gaming Performance

ARCHOS 101 XS Review and Gaming Performance

However, when it comes to design, i still think this tablet looks pretty nice with that different bezel finish on the front side, with the internal bezel using the slightly warmer gray color, while the outer bezel using a shinier white color.

It’s actually quite rare to see such a design on this tablet.

I mean, many tablets that i’ve already reviewed on this site are mostly using the same generic Android tablet design - with those rounded edges, dark black thick bezels and plastic finish all over its rear cover, which already looks pretty boring these days.

But ARCHOS 101 XS interestingly is different from its rivals.

It has much better looking design and the great thing is, this tablet also comes packed with that keyboard dock, which also has the same color that blends perfectly with the tablet.

To be honest, i think ARCHOS 101 XS looks pretty stand out among its rivals in 10-inch tablet market.

Even though this tablet may not be on the same level with other rivals - in terms of specs and performance -, but at least, ARCHOS 101 XS already has its different unique characteristic compared to other tablets, especially its Android counterparts.

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  • 10.1 inches 1280 x 800 pixels (-149 ppi pixel density)
  • Android (4.0.3)
  • Dual core, 1500 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9TI OMAP4470 Chipset
  • PowerVR SGX544 GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16 GB internal storage
  • microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC card slot for up to 128 GB
  • GPS
In the current 10-inch tablet market, then it’s obvious that ARCHOS 101 XS will be blown out of the water by many of its competitors, especially the ones like Samsung GALAXY Note Pro 10.1, iPad Air, Sony Xperia Z/Z2, Google Nexus 10 and many other Windows 8 Pro tablets.

Compared to its rivals that already adopt higher resolution screen (or more than 1080p), this ARCHOS 101 XS is still stuck in the past with its “outdated” 1280x800 pixel display, which translates to 720p.

And that’s in the display sector.

In the other sectors, this tablet is also not very impressive compared to its rivals. ARCHOS 101 XS comes with a dual-core TI OMAP4470 clocked at 1.5GHz, PowerVR SGX544 GPU, 1GB of RAM and it doesn’t even have that rear-facing camera - which has become more and more important these days in tablet or micro photography (Instagram, Twitter, Path, etc).

And its dual-core TI OMAP processor is also not that interesting to talk about given that it’s really rare to see tablet manufacturers use this processor on their tablets (if i’m not mistaken, only Amazon that used to use this processor on old-gen Kindle Fire tablets, while today’s Kindle Fire HDX already adopt Snapdragon 800).

This tablet will definitely go head-to-head with Asus MemoPad 7 HD with the same 720p display, PowerVR SGX 544 GPU, but more powerful quad-core Mediatek MT8125.

For your information, this Asus tablet is actually not that great in performance, especially in gaming performance.

So ARCHOS 101 XS is probably not that great as well in the same sector.

So with all of that being said, then ARCHOS 101 XS might not be very interesting to buy, especially if you’re looking for a decent 10-inch tablet.

The good thing is, ARCHOS tablets are mostly not that expensive to buy. So if you’re interested to get a low-cost 10-inch Android tablet with keyboard dock, then ARCHOS 101 XS could still be added in your hunting list, if you’re still hesitant to buy it.

But still, you need to think twice before getting this tablet as it really lacks in many aspects - like its outdated processor and GPU, no-rear-facing camera, medium resolution on a big 10-inch display, irreplaceable battery and many more.

Performance

In the sector of performance, ARCHOS 101 XS is packing a dual-core TI OMAP 4470 processor clocked at 1.5GHz per core, accompanied with PowerVR SGX544 (the same GPU used on iPhone 5) and 1GB of RAM.

With this type of specs, then it’s obvious this tablet will perform pretty fast and smooth, especially for doing some basic tasks.

However, there will still be any lag or stutter found here and there on several occasions, especially when opening many apps at once, due to its medium 720p display.

But overall, this tablet has pretty good performance, if not great. I strongly suggest you to always force-close some unnecessary apps (i mean kill them in the background) if you want this tablet to have a consistent performance and much longer battery life.

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As i already mentioned above, PowerVR SGX 544 GPU inside this tablet is actually the same one found inside the iPhone 5.

So this Archos’s tablet will have a pretty good gaming performance. Games like Need for Speed Most Wanted, Modern Combat 2, N.O.V.A 2, Asphalt 6, GTA III, ShadowGun or PES 2012 definitely will run smoothly and in full graphics on this tablet - no doubt about that.

However, as i’ve already seen on other tablet with the same PowerVR SGX 544 GPU and 1280x800 pixel display (*cough* Asus MemoPad 7 HD*cough*), there are many other games that won’t run perfectly on this Archos tablet, like Modern Combat 4, GTA Vice City, Asphalt 8, Dead Trigger 2, N.O.V.A 3 and many other latest graphically demanding games.

So if a quad-core tablet like Asus MemoPad 7 HD can have that weak gaming performance, then it’ll probably be much even worse on ARCHOS 101 XS as this Archos tablet is only packing a dual-core TI OMAP processor, which is not as great and powerful as the Mediatek MT8125 processor inside the Asus’ tablet.

So if you’re into tablet gaming and have a plan to buy this Archos tablet in the near future, i suggest you to pick up other tablet as the gaming performance of ARCHOS 101 XS probably won’t be that great, especially when running the latest games aforementioned above.

You can still choose other options, like iPad Air, Sony Xperia Z Tablet, Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 10.1 or Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1.

But if you still want to grab this tablet due to its design and keyboard dock, ARCHOS 101 XS is actually still a pretty decent tablet, but not that great in gaming performance.

If you want to know more about the gaming performance of ARCHOS 101 XS, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out our YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Camera

The other biggest downside of this tablet is definitely its lack of rear-facing camera.

If you’re into tablet photography and always want to take photos/videos in your spare time, you’ll definitely be left disappointed with this tablet.

Thankfully, ARCHOS 101 XS still comes with a front-facing camera.

So you can still have the chance to do some selfie photos that are worth showing off on your Instagram or Twitter accounts.

My Personal Opinions

So my final words about this tablet are, as a 10-inch productivity tablet, ARCHOS 101 XS is still a pretty decent tablet, especially if Archos prices it right – below the iPad Air, Google Nexus 10, Sony Xperia Z or Microsoft Surface RT.
  • It has a pretty good medium-resolution 720p display (although still lacks of sharpness on this big 10-inch display, but it’s still pretty good as media or productivity device),
  • it has a dual-core processor and great PowerVR SGX 544 GPU (the same GPU found inside the iPhone 5)
  • and the most importantly, it has a great unique design and a keyboard dock, which is really helpful for productive users.
However, there are some downsides found on this tablet, from the lack of rear-facing camera, low pixel density (which results in the sharpness of the screen) and irreplaceable battery.

In the sector of gaming performance, this Archos tablet also suffers a lot especially when playing some of the latest graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8, GTA Vice City, Modern Combat 4, N.O.V.A. 3, Need for Speed Most Wanted or Dead Trigger 2, due to its weaker processor and higher resolution screen.

So now the decision is yours to make. If you’re only looking for a productivity tablet with keyboard dock, ARCHOS 101 XS might still be pretty good for you.

However, if you’re a big fan of tablet gaming and want to play the latest games (like Asphalt 8, GTA Vice City, Modern Combat 4, N.O.V.A 3 or Need for Speed Most Wanted) perfectly, smoothly and in full graphics, i suggest you to pick other tablet as ARCHOS 101 XS is not that great in gaming performance, similar just like Asus MemoPad 7 HD with the same 720p display and the same PowerVR SGX 544 GPU.

Actually, there are some other options for this tablet, especially if you’re looking for a 10-inch tablet that has keyboard dock and great gaming performance, from Asus Transformer TF701T with Tegra 4 processor, Asus Transformer TF300 with Tegra 3, Asus Transformer TF700KL with Adreno 225 GPU or Asus Transformer TF201 with Tegra 3.

And given that most of these tablets are old-gen tablets, you probably could get any of them at affordable price point (except Asus Transformer TF701T, which is a flagship tablet from Asus).

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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