When we reviewed the Archos G9 tablet last year we were quite impressed, giving it a Silver Award. Now the follow-up is in our hands, in the form of the Archos 101 XS. The Android tablet comes complete with a keyboard dock and is available for £275.
The French manufacturer did change much in the design of its flagship tablet, as its largely identical to last year's Archos 101 G9. The material did change, however. The build quality of the G9 was one of our points of criticism, and that is much improved with the 101 XS. The plastic now has a rubber-like finish, and the back partially is made of an aluminium-like material (which is magnetic, so it's something else). The colour is almost completely white, and the weight is reasonable at 635 grams.
Connectors include on the left side microSD, Mini HDMI, Micro USB and a headphone jack. The USB port is of the OTG variety (On the go), which means that with an adapter you can connect USB sticks and external hard drives. The separately sold USB dongle in the G9 apparently wasn't such a success, because it's not available for the 101 XS. The internal storage is pretty decent with 16 GB, 14 GB of which is available.
On the right side you'll find the on/off button and the volume control. It's unfortunate that these are located on the bottom, the exact spot where you hold the tablet. When the tablet is laying flat on the table, you can't access these controls because they are slightly recessed in the sloping edge.
The 101 XS has one camera, a 1 MP front-facing one. The placement on the left side of the screen also isn't optimal. The 101 XS runs on Android 4.0, but Archos has indicated an update to version 4.1 will be made available at some point.