I think the Archos 79 Xenon is certainly an interesting product but one that would need to fit a certain niche in the current £150-£200 tablet market and i’m not convinced on the size and priorities of that group.
Firstly, the Archos sacrifices a few things to hit its price-point whilst retaining the crown jewel 3G. The screen takes a hit in resolution and quality (no Gorilla Glass here), the underlying hardware isn’t blisteringly fast and maybe a touch restricted in the future with only 1GB RAM. Does the need for 3G really outweigh other aspects of the device that would otherwise improve your experience, probably, more noticeably?
I don’t think it does, and that’s only a problem due to how close, or to be fair to Archos, competitively the Xenon is priced. At £170 you’re getting the option for 3G and the possibility to have a 64GB SD card installed – for same price you can get a Nexus 7 that is a fundamentally better tablet out of the box.
Whilst the Archos has been an enjoyable experience to use I just don’t think it’s feasible at its current price. As i’ve mentioned above, I’m not actually sure who the Archos is meant to be aimed at and if the target market is even big enough to worry about. What’s stopping someone – presumably with a 3G capable phone – from using a non-3G tablet in a PAN and piggybacking on your phones data?
To conclude, the Archos 79 Xenon isn’t a bad tablet by any means, but it’s just an expensive one for what it is and its USP isn’t worth the outlay, or more importantly, sacrifices made by Archos to get the Xenon to its current RRP. There a better tablets out there for the same cost which don’t have 3G, but given that anyone looking at a tablet will very likely have a 3G connected phone this isn’t really an issue.
The Archos 79 Xenon is a perfectly fine tablet for general use and 3G browsing but not fine relative to its price. If built-in 3G isn’t a major issue for you, significantly better tablets can be had for the same price.
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