Archos 79 Xenon Tablet review – the mid-range, 3G connected tablet

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Archos 79 Xenon Tablet Review

With the advance of tablets available on the market these days, office workers who do a lot of travelling often opt for a tablet and keyboard combo when going away on business. This is one of the reasons the Microsoft Surface has done so well, despite numerous criticisms and stiff competition. On the Android market, there are numerous tablets available from the cheap and cheerful, through the mid-range reasonable ones to the high price luxury tablets with all the bells, whistles and pens to suit a gadget geeks’ need. Archos, the French technology company make tablets that suit all rungs of the ladder. This, is the Archos 79 Xenon Tablet review, one of the mid-range tablets.

Archos 79 Xenon Tablet Review:

In this Archos 79 Xenon Tablet Review, we will talk about the hardware, software, camera, battery and any benchmark tests we have done.

Design & Display:

The name of the tablet gives a clue to the size of the screen. This is a  tablet with a 7.85 inch display and it makes good use of that size. There is a substantial bezel on the top and bottom of about an inch wide which allows for easy holding of the device in both portrait and landscape views. The bezel round the edge of the screen is roughly a quarter-inch and frames the device well.

Archos 79 Xenon Tablet Review

The display has a 1024×768 resolution and has IPS technology allowing you to see the screen from a wide-angle, its capable of using it’s SGX544 GPU to great effect. Encased in an aluminium shell only 8mm wide, this device would look at home next to more upmarket models from its parent manufacture of from rivals, it certainly doesn’t look cheap. The front is all glass, unbroken by any physical buttons, whilst the back is all aluminium except for the top half-inch to allow the antennas to send and receive their signals. This half-inch piece of plastic which colour coordinates to the rest of the device is able to snap off giving access to the SIM and Micro SD card slots. To my surprise, the SIM slot is a full size SIM card, not a Micro SIM like most other devices on the market today.

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With the rear antenna cover off, you can insert the Micro SD and SIM card.

Another surprising feature of this mid-range tablet is that it’s a 3G enabled device, with phone features. You can actually make calls and send a receive texts with this device, something which surprised me in this Archos 79 Xenon Tablet Review. Although you would look rather foolish holding an 8 inch tablet to your ear, it is possible. What is more appropriate is to use a set of earphones with an in-built microphone – or a Bluetooth headset – and make calls this way. The reason why this is a great idea, and clearly aimed at business users, is that it allows an office to have a smart-looking device in the boardroom which is capable of writing documents, spreadsheets and presentations with the preloaded OfficeSuite 7, access to all the other business-minded apps in the Google Play store and have one device to use as a tablet and phone, cutting down on costs and bulk.

Hardware:

Inside the body of this Archos 79 Xenon Tablet Review is a 1.2GHz Quad-Core processor backed up with 1GB worth of RAM. It hasn’t got the blistering speed of the Samsung Galaxy S5, but it’s not designed to, it’s a mid-range tablet and for that it’s got plenty of power. With 8GB worth of storage (closer to 4GB after the OS is installed), there isn’t much room on its own, but you can expand it up to 64GB with a Micro USB card and documents and non-essential files can be stored in the cloud which will be available at any time with the 3G connection. Other connections on board are WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G/HSPA+ with a front and rear camera and, vibration motor (one of the first tablets we’ve come across that has one!) and G-Sensor.

Benchmark Results:

As always, we put the Archos 79 Xenon Tablet through a set of Benchmark tests with the AnTuTu 4.0 benchmark app and Quadrant SE app.

AnTuTu Results:

With such a fast processor, we were expecting the Xenon to perform a little better in the benchmarking than it really did, as it only scored 13400 points on the AnTuTu Benchmark app. This was well bellow the Samsung Galaxy S3 and so low, in fact, it wouldn’t show up on the graph.

Archos 79 Xenon Tablet Review

AnTuTu’s Benchmark score. General use, but not much more.

In the Graphics test, the Archos 79 Xenon Tablet scored low again with 2610 points.

Archos 79 Xenon Tablet Review

AnTuTu’s 3D rating score

 

Quadrant SE Results:

In Quadrant SE, the Archos 79 Xenon Tablet scored 4822 points, putting it at the top of the graph, just above the HTC One X.

Archos 79 Xenon Tablet Review

Quadrant SE Benchmark score and graph.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this tablet is designed with one reason in mind: to be a workhorse of the boardroom, not a top of the range gamers tablet, and in real life, everyday usage and the most popular games such as Clash Of Clans, HayDay and Candy Crush will work fine.

Software:

The Archos 79 Xenon comes with Android Jelly Bean 4.2. This means it’s not the most up to date device on the market, but worthy of still being for sale due it’s great other features. The version of Jelly Bean is stock Android and only has eight Archos branded apps which are a music player, a video player, a file browser and Archos Remote, which allows you to control your tablet from another device. None of these apps are intrusive and pretty much take the place of the Android branded apps, or add a very good functionality. It also comes preloaded with a news app and (as mentioned previously) Office Suite 7.

Camera:

The Archos 79 Xenon has two camera’s. A 0.3MP camera on the front for video calling and a 2MP camera on the back for taking pictures and video’s. The quality isn’t fantastic, but, yet again, it wasn’t designed to be and it comes as a great addition to the tablet.

Archos 79 Xenon Tablet Review

Image test of the 2MP rear camera. Nothing spectacular, but handy if you haven’t got your phone or DSLR nearby.

Battery:

The Archos 79 Xenon comes with a 4000mAh battery which is quick to charge and lasts a long time. If you’re not going to use it with a SIM card, be aware you’ll waste more battery as the device will constantly search for it. That being said, a full charge should last the best part of two days with moderate use.

Conclusion:

For the price of £169.99 ($284.75/€208.96), this is a very good offering from Archos and worthy of consideration from business’s small and large as an office phone/tablet as it can double up the job of two items in one small, thin and good-looking package. It may not be the most up to date of devices in terms of OS version or Hardware, but it is a very good rival for the current Nexus 7 or Samsung Galaxy Tab series.

The Archos 79 Xenon Tablet Review unit is available from Archos online or Amazon.co.uk

Good Points:

  • 3G/HSDPA connectivity to browse the internet away from WiFi and take calls and send/receive texts
  • Smart styling to rival other, more expensive brands
  • Mid-range price
  • Great alternative for business execs to use as workhorse and company phone all in one
  • comes pre-loaded with OfficeSuite 7 and other multimedia apps

Bad Points:

  • Not the fastest processor
  • Low storage without buying additional SD Card
  • Low quality camera’s

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