CES 2011: Archos

by: Dan -
More On: Archos 101 Tablet
CES is a place for innovation, but it is also a place for copycatism (yeah, I just made that word up.) This year, everywhere you looked on the floor there was some sort of tablet being displayed in booths from traditional TV manufactures, to cell phone makers to the international electronics booths in the Hilton.  However, tucked away in the back of the South Hall was one of the original companies to bring their Tablet to retail last year in Archos. And let me tell you, for the 30 or so minutes I was there, I think this booth had more people per square foot than any other booth on the show floor.

While Archos has been selling their 7” Archos 70 tablet on the market since last year (and it is available at Best Buy among other places), myself and the mob were there to see the new 10.1” Archos 101 tablet. The new 10.1” tablet sports a high-resolution screen (WXVGA 1024x600 pixels) touch screen, weighs 15.8ozs and is only .5” thick and will ship with Android 2.2 and will be upgradeable in the future (hopefully to Gingerbread) by a push update. It even has a built-in webcam to go with its ARM 1Ghz processor.

As far as getting content on the device, the Archos Android App library is currently the third largest App store in the world with over 13,000 Apps, behind only Apple’s iTunes App store and the Google Android mobile App store. Also, the Archos 101 will support full Adobe Flash 10 in the near future, something that the largest market share tablet (iPad) doesn’t do, and may never do.

I asked about the life of the Lithium Polymer battery and was told that it would provide 7 hours for video, 10 hours for WiFi and 36 hours of audio playback. Considering it is powering a 10.1” screen, those are pretty good expectations to have to enjoy your entertainment on the go.

I spent about 15 total minutes playing with the Archos 101 tablet and I was quite impressed. The screen was very bright, the tablet extremely lightweight and it was easy to hold and maneuver. Out of that time, I played a racing game called Raging Thunder that uses the tablets accelerometer as the steering mechanism. It was very responsive and easy to operate once I got the hang of it. Not once did I feel like the Archos tablet was too cumbersome in my hands for playing games. I have played with many tablets, and I think this might be one of the best I have come across yet. We hope to get a hold of one of these for a full hands-on review later this year, so please keep checking back.

The Archos 101 will sell for $299 for an 8GB version with a 16GB one setting you back $349, but they do have a SD/SDHC slot to upgrade the memory if that isn’t enough. They are currently in the wild in limited quantities, but will be seen at more retail outlets in Q1-Q2 of 2011.

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