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Archos iPad 2 Rival Drops To £189

Archos' 101 Internet tablet may not come with the same credentials as its illustrious competitor the iPad 2, but at only £189 at Advanced MP3 Players (opens in new tab), it costs less than half the price and packs some features that are still missing in Apple's tablet.

The Archos 101 (opens in new tab) comes with 8GB flash memory, 256MB RAM, a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, a 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen with a WXVGA resolution, an ARM Cortex-A8 SoC clocked at 1GHz, Bluetooth, a USB port and HDMI output.

Other features include a leg stand, a front facing camera and it weighs only 480g, surprisingly lighter than the iPad 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. It runs on Android Froyo 2.2 with some heavy customisation from Archos in the form of a proprietary user interface. You don't have direct access to the full Android Market out of the box, but there are very easy ways to circumvent Archos' restriction using an app from Archos' market.

There is some firmware that was released towards the end of April 2011 which solves a number of issues including those related to phone tethering, the Bluetooth GPS, Wi-Fi instability as well as the introduction of a new application called Archos remote service.

It is likely that Archos is clearing out the decks as the new Archos 101 G9 tablets are scheduled to be launched later this year. The 101 G9 will cost more than the current Archos 101 but will feature a fast dual core Cortex A9 SoC, 1GB RAM, twice the onboard storage and Android Honeycomb 3.1.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.