I have been using Archos 101 for a month and I thought my experience might be useful for the other Amazon visitors. Before Archos 101 product, I had a chance of using iPad and Samsung Galaxy tab - which are our test tablets for the applications we developed. All tablet devices have their own pros and cons, I think as a buyer you are the one who know your needs best and you can decide which one fits your requirements.
I would like to evaluate the product from different aspects:
It has 10.1 excellent high resolution capacitive multitouch screens - be careful it is rectangular, not square type like iPad and the rest of the other 10inches (if you are looking for a case - this might be good to know) in the market. You can use it comfortably at both vertical and horizontal levels. The only problem with the screen is the angle limitation - if you do not have the correct angle, you might have some difficulties in looking at the screen. Practically it means it is for only one person use (good for privacy bad for sharing) - if want to watch a romantic HD movie with a loved one, you need to put it to a long distance (such a win-win: you can both watch the movie and there is nothing between you & the loved one!).
It has 1GB ARM Cortex A8 processer (same with Samsung Galaxy Tab) but 256mb RAM (512mb at Samsung). It is neither fast, nor slow. Firmware upgrades can help to increase the performance and at normal system use around 100 mb is free. If you use android it is always a good idea to limit the use of widgets, as they are consuming so much power of the device. I know they are nice and using them is the nature of android but try to limit yourself with only the "must haves". In return, you are going to get a better performance.
BATTERY and WEIGHT:
One word: Excellent. None of the other tables can compete with Archos 101 in its category. Superb battery performance and very light table. Also, it is a handsome device. I have been using it with a leather case (bought from eBay) and to my surprise, since the case on it - it has been started to be noticed by the people around. (Moral of the story for attention gathering purpose - a leather case alone without tablet would be fine and cheaper solution!). It is 480 gr (10 inch), Samsung Tab is 380 gr (7inch) and iPad is 730 gr (9.8 inch)
This is the specialty of Archos, as they are very famous with their MP3 and multimedia devices. While you are listening moonlight sonata, you can answer your mails or surf on the net. Plus, it is possible to watch almost any video format in this device. I was a little disappointed to see that Archos is selling plug-ins to support some video formats - this is a cheap way to make money in my opinion. Don't worry; android market is at your service! You can find lots of excellent video players (and more) in the market as free. One more tip: if you install Skype - you got a phone on it!
MARKET and Other Apps:
One of the main advantage of buying a tablet from a well-know brand is after sale support. In some forums I observed some users complained about installing market and some other problems with the applications (including flash, YouTube etc.). Thanks God, Archos fans created some groups on the net and very decent to share their experiences (a personal note: android users in general loves to share and expand the platform). If the instructions explained there followed carefully this is not an issue. Of course there is always a possibility that sometimes a defective product may hit you. In this case, it might be good idea to send the product back for refund or change.
HDMI, WI-FI, Bluetooth and USB:
Working all fine. Even so I have never managed to use Tethering function of the product. I wonder if it is a defect on the Archos 101 or in my understanding how to use it. Having a 3G tablet has tremendous advantages - for sure. However, you need to pay quite extra for it during the purchase, plus the monthly data package charges is very costly. In my opinion - unless you are always on the move - 3G tablet investment's return does not justify itself. Even if you are always on the move if you set up the connection between your phone and Archos 101 (either in the form of Bluetooth, usb or wifi hotspot) - there would be no problem on your side.
HOW TO INSTALL ANDROID MARKET to ARCHOS 101:
You need to follow easy 2 steps to install the apps to Archos 101.
Step 1: The tablet comes with pre-installed Archos market app. First You need to use it and download Archtools application from the Archos market (you can do this without sign up to Archos Market). Then by using Archtools app, you can download application packages (in total 2) provided by Archos that includes flash player, google maps, gmail, android market and other useful programs.
Step 2: After android market app is installed to your device - you can use android market (you probably know that you need a gmail account to use it) to have an access to unlimited number of application available to you. Please note that there are different android markets exist and availability of an app may change from one to another.
I think it is a good product with a reasonable price tag. Compare to other tablets in the market (as of today) - it has the best price-feature match. It can be an excellent company at home and office (in the recent firmware upgrade proxy feature was added). After trying many others, I preferred to buy Archos 101 and very happy with my decision by now. Many people after seeing it in my hand - bought one for themselves; either my hand shows it good or it is good :)
Different people have different tastes, this makes the world a wonderful place for sure. My suggestions to you - whichever the table you choose - don't buy something with a small screen, which in means less than 9.8 inches. As Steve Jobs mentioned in his speech, Apple usability tests proved that users have so much difficulty at small screens. Our usability tests showed the same thing. Even so many new tabs on the way comes with 7 inch screens including new models from LG, Motorola (XOOM is an exception), HTC etc. If you have any chance that would be great to see the product in the shop and take it in your hand. So that you see how you feel.
Final words: if you buy Archos 101 - do not forget to register the product and regularly update the firmware. If you have look to the change log in their official web site - you can see that how much progress Archos had by now in itself and tablets are still in their infancy level.
I hope this review will help you in your decision.