Archos 101 – Screen quality could have been better

Gadgets — on March 10, 2011 at 12:05 am | Comment Now

Archos 101 could give a tough competition to the iPad, both the devices have similar dimensions and the specs too are about the same. I got the Archos 101 in my labs for review and aws frustrated to see that there wasn’t full Adobe Flash 10 support. Some might forgive it considering the low price but I feel that the manufacturer should have given it anyways. Even a hike in price because of this would have been acceptable since it is important.

Archos 101 is based on Android 2.2 and I was disappointed to see that the manufacturer didn’t put in Android 2.2 here. The company is also not making any promises of updates for Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb. The latest Android version is optimized for tablet PCs and hence I feel it was needed.

Archos doesn’t have doesn’t have the official suite of Google mobile apps and there is no access to Google Marketplace either. This prevents the tablet from giving an experience that is similar to Android smartphones. What it does manage to offer is a unique and big screen at an affordable price.

The big advantage of large screen is that you can browse the Web on this chunk of real estate. Web pages appear at their natural size on a ten inch display. It isn’t the most responsive screen I have ever seen or the prettiest but still a lot of Websites looked pretty good on it. Of course, the Flash content couldn’t be seen.

The best part about the Archos 101 is that it is the least expensive tablet I have ever seen to date and it is also the lightest too. The thin chassis will easily make room for itself in the most crowded bags. I had a great time surfing Web and send e-mails right from my couch. Keep your expectations proportional to the price you are paying and you will find that this device gives excellent value for money.

There is bad new for people who love watching videos though. There is support for a wide range of formats including MPEG-4 to XVID. But the viewing angles of the display are poor and the brightness of the screen is too low for watching videos in their full glory. There is HDMI out, which is a good option according to me but it won’t be of any use if you are watching videos while traveling.

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