Apps

While hardly adapting the basic Android skin at all, Archos does install a few apps as a default that slightly augment the experience on the 80 Xenon.

Archos 80 Xenon review

As well as its own Archos Music, Archos Video and Archos Remote Server apps - all of them hangovers from the company's days as a pre-iPod pioneer of digital music and video - Archos fits the 80 Xenon with Angry Birds, Brief Me, Le Kiosk (a magazine buying app), World of Goo (though it's only a demo), News Republic, Zinio and Office Suite.

Battery life

Rather surprisingly, the 80 Xenon has a thoroughly respectable battery life. This is often where manufacturers cut corners, but this Archos compares very well to its competitors.

Archos 80 Xenon review

After playing the one-hour-long Nyan Cat video test on YouTube with the screen at full brightness, the battery life of a fully charged 80 Xenon dropped to just 84%. That puts is far above the Acer Iconia B1, and about equal to the Google Nexus 7, Acer Iconia A1 and iPad mini.

It's a critical performance because it means the 80 Xenon can last about seven hours between charges, which should be enough for even the most addicted of tablet users.

Benchmarks

The 80 Xenon scored 9,596 in the AnTuTu benchmark app test, which is an above-average score, though not by much. Its Chrome browser app earned a paltry 389 on the Peacekeeper browser test, while SunSpider, a web-based Javascript test, saw a high score of 2,461, which is as high as we've seen on a tablet.

Camera

While the webcam on the 80 Xenon produces basic video fit only for Skype et al, the rear-facing 1.9MP shooter takes things a little further. Though we'd judge most tablets as only ever going to be used to take occasional casual photos - though smaller tablets will arguably be used more - the 80 Xenon's optics are pretty basic.

Photos taken indoors are noisy and lack detail in murky areas, and while shots taken in the bright outdoors are much more colourful and detailed, they lack any kind of sparkle and are studded with noise. It also lacks a reliable auto-focus mode.

Photos can be taken in QVGA, VGA, 1MP or 2MP quality, with the usual vanilla Android versions like exposure and white balance tweaks, and a panoramic mode. Video is basic VGA quality only, producing 3GPP videos a with a barely stomach-able frame rate of just six fps. Yuck.

Archos 80 Xenon review

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Archos 80 Xenon review

Click here for the full-res image

Archos 80 Xenon review

Click here for the full-res image

Archos 80 Xenon review

Click here for the full-res image