The Anti - iPad Assembly (Part 2) - Toshiba AT300-101, Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, Archos 101 XS Gen 10

10/18/2012 9:20:43 AM

Price: $535.5 (16GB)


If you’re after all-round value in these financially afflicted times, Toshiba’s latest 10-incher might just hit the sweet spot between performance and price.


Toshiba AT300-101

It’s not quite as cheap as the Samsung or Archos, but unlike either of those tablets it offers quad-core processing power thanks to its Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU. It’s certainly nippy, with web browsing, gaming and even more demanding tasks such as photo editing all running smoothly; unlike on the Acer, we never suffered any glitches or lag.

Its display is a 720p HD 1280 x 800, which places it on a par with the Samsung and Archos for resolution. It’s decent enough, but the Galaxy Tab 2’s is superior, with colors on the AT300 looking washed out in sunlight. The 5MP camera gave up pale, blurry images – though we wouldn’t let a tablet’s snapper take up much of our time.

Design-wise it’s also best described as… fine. Nice and thin at just 8.9mm, but unlikely to get you salivating. And that pretty much sums up the AT300 – it’s good at everything it does, with no major flaws to hold it back and a great price in its favor. It won’t set the world alight, but it’ll prove a sound purchase all the same.

Stuff says 4/5 stars

A better screen would be nice, but this ICS powerhouse offers great all-round value.

The proprietary charger is on the chunky side, but at least the battery lasts around 9 hours, so you shouldn’t need it that often

The AT300 runs unadorned Ice Cream Sandwich, which should mean you won’t have to wait too long for OS upgrades. Hello, Jelly Bean

The Tosh’s speakers are alright, but at high volumes you will feel the back of the tablet vibrating – not the most premium of effects.

Tech specs

Display 10.1in, 1280 x 800 TFT

CPU Quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 @ 1.3GHz, 1GB Ram

Storage 16GB (+ up to 32GB SDHC)

Camera 5MP (rear), 2MP (front)

Connectivity 3.5mm socket, microHDMI, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, microUSB

Battery 8hrs 42min (tested)

Give it a slot

The AT300 may be skinny, but Toshiba has found room for microUSB and microHDMI slots as well as a full-sized SD slot. Getting photos and vids on and off it is a doddle

Fake metal jacket

With its metallic-looking plastic back you might think the AT300 offers the best of both worlds. But while it might the good news for Wi-Fi reception, the design leaves us could.

Asus Transformer Pad Infinity

Price: $974 (64GB, Wi-Fi)


How do you improve the best 10in Android tab out there? If you’re Asus, you take the all-conquering Transformer Pad Prime, slap a new screen on it, and call it the Infinity.


Asus Transformer Pad Infinity

As upgrades go, it’s a biggie. The Prime’s 1280 x 800 display was one of the best we’d seen on a table, but the new iPad soon left it looking low-res. The Infinity isn’t quite Retina-sharp, but at a full HD 1920 x 1200 it’s still mightily impressive. Viewing angles are great, which is good news for film fans, and if you crank up its Super IPS + mode it’s also incredibly bright.

But there’s much more to the Infinity than its screen. Its quad-core Tegra 3 chip gives it enough power to breeze through the latest games and handle demanding multimedia apps. The sexy spun-metal back and reassuring weight are also present and correct, as is its genius battery-filled keyboard dock, which features a full-sized USB 2.0 port and SD card slot. The keyboard, though not perfect, offers the best on-the-go typing experience on an Android tablet and even the 8MP camera is great.

The only negative is its price tag, but that pays for 64 GB of memory and a keyboard dock that boosts the battery to 14 hours. Really, no other Android tablet comes close.

Stuff says 5/5 stars

 A pin-sharp HD screen, quad-core power and battery-boosting dock make this the top Droid

The 64GB Wi-Fi model is the only one on sale in the UK; 32GB and 3G options are also available in the US, but the 3G version has a dual-core CPU. So, get this one and tether it to your mobile

Asus’ only tweaks to ICS let you switch to Super IPS + and view battery levels from the homescreen. You also get 8GB of free cloud storage via the WebStorage app.

Shallow, slightly cramped keys mean the Infinity’s otherwise brilliant keyboard dock is better for short typing stints. The trackpad can also be a little erratic.

Tech specs

Display 10.1in, 1920 x 1200

CPU Quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 @ 1.6GHz, 1GB Ram

Storage 64GB + up to 32GB SDHC

Camera 8MP, 1080p (rear); 2MP (front)

Connectivity Tab: 3.5mm socket, microHDMI, microSD, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, Sock: UAB2.0, SD

Battery 14hrs 24min (tested w/dock)

Plastic beach

The Infinity has a plastic strip on its back in order to improve Wi-Fi and GPS reception, following complaints from Prime owners. We had no connections issues in this test

Slot machine

The tablet slots smoothly into the dock with a satisfying click and beep. The hinge feels sturdy too, but as a unit, the combined weight reaches MacBook Air levels.

Archos 101 XS Gen 10

Price: $487 (16GB)


The space-age styled Gen 10 is bravely gunning for the Transformer Pad’s title of best hybrid tablet in the world. A tall order, but its super-thin 8mm form, skinny magnetic keyboard and positively lean price of just $487 provide a good start.


Archos 101 XS Gen 10

It doesn’t have the quad-core Tegra chip of the Infinity, but neither will the Archos let you down when it comes to power. In fact, other than the odd app or game crashing (to be expected on an early review unit), Ice Cream Sandwich ran silkily. The Chiclet-keyed, magnetic Cover board isn’t a particular improvement over third-party Bluetooth or USB keyboards, lacking a trackpad and neither extending battery life nor adding ports to the tablet. But it’s a neat extra at this price, even though the way you twist it off the front of the tablet before docking is on the clunky side.

But the Gen 10’s Achilles’ heel is its distinctly average 1280 x 800 display. It can’t compete with the eye-popping colors of the Galaxy Tab 2 or the sharp, bright full HD displays of the Asus or Acer, and given that a screen is pretty much all there is to a tablet, that’s enough to leave it lagging behind the others in this test.

Stuff says 3/5 stars

The Archos will give you hybrid Android on a shoestring, but it could do with a better screen

The Archos’ lone speaker sits to the right of the screen, with the power button and volume hiding on the bottom right hand side. Not exactly elegant.

Archos has thrown in all sorts of genuinely useful OS extras, including a Remote Control app and Media Server for streaming media to smart TVs and consoles.

The Cover board doesn’t have a built-in battery, but if you treat it as a docking station and leave it plugged in at home, it will charge the gen 10 when docked

Tech specs

Display 10.1in, 1280 x 800

CPU Smart Multi-core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.5GHz, 1GB Ram

Storage 16GB + up to 32GB microSDHC

Camera 1.3MP, 720p (front)

Connectivity Tab: 3.5mm socket, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, mini HDMI

Battery 6hrs 10min (tested)

Upside your head

The G10’s 720p webcam is on the left hand side of the tablet, or on top when in landscape mode. It’s a rather odd placement whether for video calling or 1.3MP stills

Magnetic man

The G10 is top heavy, so it’s important that you snap out the magnetic kickstand just right when attaching the Coverboard – if not, the slightest movement will topple it.

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