xenon small

Archos has been cultivating a reputation for cheap, mostly reliable tablets since long before Android slates were mainstream. Their latest creation isn't all that remarkable: the 80 Xenon is squarely aimed at the iPad Mini, with an 8-inch, 1024x768 IPS screen, a Qualcom 1.2ghz quad-core (Snapdragon S4?) processor, 1GB of RAM, and a price tag of $199.99. Oh, and it comes with unlocked 3G wireless broadband. Wait, what?


Yes indeed, the 80 Xenon is specifically designed and marketed with mobile wireless in mind. According to the Archos PR, the tablet will work with "any operator", which we assume means pentaband GSM. At $200 (€169.99 in mainland Europe, £159.99 in the UK) this may be the cheapest 3G tablet we've ever seen from a reputable manufacturer. The 80 Xenon will be available in June in both the United States and Europe.

Archos was mum on some of the more esoteric specifications, but they did mention that the tablet has access to the Google Play Store, GPS, 4GB of storage, and a MicroSD card slot. Software is unskinned Android plus Archos' suite of rather good media apps. The rear cam is just 2MP, with a front cam of indiscriminate resolution, but whadya want in a 3G tablet for two Benjamins?

Oh, and while the 80 Xenon is certified to work on GSM networks, it is apparently not recommended for use in the kitchen.

Update: As commenter Matthew Merrick points out, the 80 Xenon is not pentaband. According to Archos' website, it has the following wireless bands available:

• 3G: WCDMA 2100
• 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900

Those frequencies would give the tablet 3G GSM in most of the world (including AT&T and any compatible MVNOs in the US, but not T-Mobile) and CDMA 3G in parts of Europe, Asia, India, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil. GSM 850/900/1800/1900 can be used for 3G, so we're not sure why it's labeled "2G" on the Archos site, unless there's some kind of artificial speed limitation.

Denver, CO – May 16th, 2013 - ARCHOS, a pioneer in Android™ devices, is pleased to announce the latest addition to the Elements range of tablets, the ARCHOS 80 xenon, a specially designed 8” tablet with built-in 3G and WiFi for an on-the-go experience. This Google™ certified tablet features a powerful Qualcomm Quad-core CPU at 1.2 GHz, Android™, 4.1 Jelly Bean for an improved smooth interface and a sharp and clear IPS multi-touch screen that delivers amazing vivid colors and impressive wide viewing angles. The ARCHOS 80 xenon will be available for $199.99 SRP starting in June, 2013.

“We designed the ARCHOS 80 xenon to meet the growing need and desire for large screen connectivity while on the go,” says Loïc Poirier, CEO of ARCHOS. “Taking advantage of the recent arrival of affordable 3G subscriptions, the ARCHOS 80 xenon provides a full connected tablet experience anywhere, anytime.” As a Google certified tablet, the ARCHOS 80 xenon has complete access to Google Play™ and its 700,000 applications and games and as a “Un-SIM-locked” device, it can accept SIM cards from any operator even pay-as-you-go SIM cards. Additional features and functions include:

  • Built-in GPS: The 80 xenon includes an integrated GPS combined with Google Maps™ and Google Maps with Navigation beta, for easy access to maps and directions
  • Vibrant Screen: The ARCHOS 80 xenon is equipped with an impressive 8‘’ IPS screen that provides amazing image quality, extra wide viewing angles, excellent screen sharpness and vivid colors
  • ARCHOS Media Center Applications: The ARCHOS 80 xenon includes the best of multimedia with tailor made apps for Video and Music that include metadata scraping, auto-subtitles, wireless media sharing and the best format and codec support around including HD video decoding
  • Pure Android Experience: Powered by an unskinned version of Android™ 4.1, Jelly Bean, ARCHOS 80 xenon delivers a pure Android™ experience including optimizations for a supersmooth UI experience and Google Now™ voice assistance
  • Full Suite of Google™ Mobile Apps: The full suite of Google™ mobile apps are available on the ARCHOS 80 xenon; whether it’s to keep in contact via Gmail™, Google Talk™ and Google+™ (with multi-user video calling), planning a trip with Google Maps™ or accessing content on the cloud with Google Drive™.

Other Key Specs:

  • 1024x768 IPS screen
  • Quad-Core CPU @ 1.2 GHz with 1GB RAM
  • Expandable MicroSD slot (up to 64GB)
  • 2 Megapixel Back Camera
Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • http://twitter.com/alawi1992 S Mahmood Alawi

    i need to get a tablet and this fits the bill, especially ARCHOS ALWAYS slick designs..
    but why 4:3 GOD WHY??

    • http://www.facebook.com/alberto.hamade Alberto Hamade

      Because that is what the iPad mini has.

  • http://www.facebook.com/VGLosers Doug Turner

    I prefer 4:3. Better for reading comics on.

  • Matthew Merrick

    Sorry guys, the tech specs say that its not "european 3G" - that is to say HSPA+. All it has going for it is 2G radios and a honest-to-goodness old-school 3G WCDMA radio, that can ONLY run on the 2100 MHz band.

    they could have had a hit on their hands. if it had a pentaband HSPA+ radio, i personally would have bought one - my dad's been looking for a T-Mobile HSPA+ compatible 8" tab.

    • digi_owl

      HSPA+ is basically a protocol layer on top of WCDMA (also known as UMTS).

    • Jeremy Gill

      Just to add to your comment Matthew, the GSM frequencies are NOT 3G. WCDMA is "GSM" 3G. The HSDPA protocol runs over the WCDMA tech. This means that the Archos only runs on 2100 mhz 3G. That's common in Europe, but not used in the US at all (T-Mo AWS runs on 1700/2100, but that requires 1700 obviously.) So this device will only work on AT&T and T-Mobile 2G if the specs are the same over here. Check out the Nexus 4 network info http://www.gsmarena.com/lg_nexus_4_e960-5048.php

      • Matthew Merrick

        yeah, i know. didn't i just say that above?

        "2G radios and a honest-to-goodness old-school 3G WCDMA radio, that can ONLY run on the 2100 MHz band."


        i didn't realize you couldn't use the 2100 band in the US though. for some reason i thought AT&T used the 2100 band for old-style 3G..... >_<

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=607841053 Dave Colley

    Archos need to switch to a usb charging solution and up the resolution and they might be on to a winner. Every itteration is improving some features but taking away elsewhere.

    • Matthew Merrick

      Sure looks like this is MicroUSB charging...

  • Meir H

    Why on earth the camera isn't in the front? It really makes no sense to put 3G connection and not allow video calls to happen.

    • http://www.facebook.com/leonardob0880 Leonardo Baez

      read again... "The rear cam is just 2MP, with a front cam of indiscriminate resolution"

      • Meir H

        This is an error in the article because the full press release, which I read in Engadget, only mentions a 2MP rear camera and bear no mention of a front camera. You can see for yourself that there is no mention of it on the press release that AP posted.

        Edit: I checked the official Archos site and the specs confirm a front facing camera. Too bad Archos didn't bother to mention it at their press release.

  • kamato

    I think the resolution is sufficient for a full 8 ", I recall that the ipad mini 2 will have a two higher resolution but I do not see how useful