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?

xenon

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