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It may not compare well with other 8-inch tablets on some of its specs, but don't underestimate the Archos 80 Xenon; its brief is to be nothing more than an affordable big-screen web surfer, and it efficiently delivers that without too much fuss.
Judged as a mobile web surfer, the 80 Xenon ticks most of the boxes; it's fast and just about responsive enough for fluid operation, and, at about seven hours, its battery life is impressive.
It's also fine for occasional visits to the BBC iPlayer or other video sources.
For a so-called portable big-screen web browser, the 80 Xenon is heavy. That 435g weight makes it too heavy to hold for long enough to watch much video, or for long sessions surfing the web, while the 4GB innards won't hold much media at all; a microSD card purchase looks a necessity.
The speakers and cameras are poor, too. We also had problems disabling the irritating default alerts, vibrations and touch sounds that Android's developers persist with.
We could see the 80 Xenon doing a great job as a family tablet left in the kitchen, though its economic sweet-spot is as an occasional mobile tablet for the commute or car.
Though we do like it a lot, it's just not got the grunt and extra features of the Acer A1 Iconia, for example. However, with the 3G version of that challenger clocking-in at around £200, the 80 Xenon makes its case as the cheapest mobile Android Jellybean 3G tablet, that's mostly pleasant to use.
While the 80 Xenon is fit for purpose, there are other slightly pricier options that will give you more joy. The iPad mini and Google Nexus 7 are high-end alternatives, but also consider the underrated Asus FonePad.
Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),
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