It appears as if the war in the technology and particularly communications market today is centered on smartphones. Most manufacturers who have entered the arena have tried to come up with something unique, pushing the envelope in the developments in the telecommunications field. One company that is ruffling the tablet market once again is Archos with their new budget tablet that will be retailing for a mere 200 bucks. The new 80 Xenon tablet is the manufacturer’s attempt to expand its ‘Elements’ line of cheap tablets with this 8-incher which surprisingly packs a quad-core processor under its hood.
Coming just days after the launch of Samsung’s flagship smartphone S4 which users now complain that the system software and bloatware actually take up half of the 16GB onboard memory the S4 comes with, Archos have chosen a very unfamiliar route – releasing a cheap but great tablet with stock Android operating system. This means that the 80 Xenon tablet will not come with all the bloatware that almost all tablets and smartphones come with. This is a perfect play gadget for modders and users who appreciate the benefits of raw hardware and wish to develop software for gadgets in its category.
The Archos 80 Xenon comes with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with a 1.2 GHz clock speed, 1 GB (some say 512 MB) of RAM, 4 GB of onboard memory with a memory card slot to expand storage by up to 64 GB and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out-of-the-box. It of course goes without saying that Archos should have been more generous when it comes to internal memory but 4 GB is still sufficient for budget users, especially students and those getting their first Android tablet.
The screen is an 8 inch IPS touchscreen with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, not a high definition or the clearest out there but it is acceptable for almost every lighting condition. The tablet also comes with a 2 megapixels rear camera but there is no mention whether there is a front camera though I bet there is one for video calls.
Options to choose from
Archos does not offer very varied options to choose from but users can now get a 3G and Wi-Fi enabled tablet which, unlike other previous Archos budget tablets, comes with all the connectivity options that are almost being regarded as ‘standard’ to all Android tablets today including GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and an FM radio.
Archos describes this tablet as ‘Un-SIM-locked’ which means that it can accept a SIM card from any operator but it has not explicitly confirmed that it has cellular voice calls capability like the Samsung Tab 3 or Note II.
Availability and price
The new Archos 80 Xenon tablet is not revolutionary and may offer nothing new, but it sure is one of the most viable competitors to Google’s Nexus 7. The tablet will be available starting June and will be selling for just $199 on Amazon.