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Archos 101 Platinum review

Archos's latest full-sized tablet is cheap in every sense of the word

Movies

The same reservations surrounding the Archos 101 Platinum as a web browsing device affect its status as a movie player.

Its hardware is capable of handling HD 1080p or 720p video comfortably, and its 10.1-inch display is certainly the right size and aspect ratio for the job. But its less-than-ideal resolution means that you won't see such HD content in the best light.

Archos 101 Platinum
DivX playback

Still, in terms of the accessibility of such content the Archos 101 Platinum is brilliant. As a stock Android tablet it leans wholly on the superb Google Play store for its media.

It's well stocked with the latest film and TV show releases, and pricing is competitive when compared to the likes of Amazon's online offering. Current movie releases generally cost £3.49 to rent or £9.99 to purchase.

Archos 101 Platinum
Google Movies

What's more, the interface is clean and intuitive. If you're already invested in the wider Google ecosystem, the sign-up process will be effortless, verging on the non-existent. It's alarming how easy it is to get spending on movies through a Google device.

Archos has also included its own video-player app, unsurprisingly called Archos Video Player. Styled more like a file manager than a slick media player, with lists of folders within folders, it very much subscribes to the Archos way of function over form.

It's not pretty, but it's a decent way to find your installed video content, not to mention any media servers in the vicinity. In terms of file support, there's AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, MPG, PS, TS, MKV and FLV.

Music

Music on the Archos 101 Platinum is handled much the same as movies. It leans on Google's own fine provision, Google Play Music, which is arguably an even better at what it does than Google Play Movies.

Google Music acts as a stylish music player, as well as a comprehensive MP3 music store. It also enables you to access your entire music collection via the cloud, provided you've taken the necessary steps to upload them from your computer. And considering it's free for the first 20,000 tracks, you really should.

Archos 101 Platinum
Google Music doing its thing

More recently, Google had launched its own music subscription service called All Access, which lets you stream unlimited music to your Android device for £9.99 per month. This is accessible through the Google Music app too.

It's all handled seamlessly, which actually makes it tough to distinguish tracks you're listening to through All Access and those that you own.

This is good for general no-nonsense usability, but you might get a bit of a shock if you ever stop your All Access subscription and find a hefty chunk of 'your' music missing.

Archos 101 Platinum
Google Music also handles All Access streaming

As with video, Archos has included its own Archos Music app, but I can see it being used very little with the all-conquering Google Music on board.

As I've noted already, the Archos 101 Platinum's speaker is pretty hopeless for playing media, and the tablet doesn't come with any headphones. You will definitely need to invest in a pair for any media consumption.

Reading

Given its chunky size and less than sharp screen, I wouldn't recommend using the Archos 101 Platinum as an ebook reader, but it's certainly possible. Again, Google provides a well stocked virtual shop in the shape of Google Play Books, with frequent deals and offers.

Archos 101 Platinum
Google Play Books. Kindle is also available

In truth, though, you'll probably want to download the free Kindle app from the Google Play Store in order to bring your (likely) existing library across. And that's just fine, although any direct Kindle shopping will have to be done through the Amazon website.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity8 GB
Processor ManufacturerARM
Graphics Controller ManufacturerARM
Graphics Controller ModelMali 400 MP4
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
GPSYes
HDMIYes
Product FamilyElements
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
Operating SystemAndroid 4.2 Jelly Bean
Brand NameArchos
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCortex A9
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)635 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
Height10 mm
Width262 mm
Depth172 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
ManufacturerArchos Technology
Product Model101 Platinum
Product Name101 Platinum Tablet
Product LineElements
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part Number502415
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.archos.com
Marketing InformationThe ARCHOS 101 Platinum, featuring a super-fast 1.6 GHz quad-core CPU. Its IPS screen delivers astonishing details, sharper texts and true vivid colors. With embedded GPS & Bluetooth™, combined with the optimized mobile operating system Android™ 4.2 ''Jelly Bean'', the ARCHOS 101 Platinum has everything to meet your tablet needs.
Limited Warranty1 Year