If there’s one thing that tablet buyers will always appreciate, it’s lower prices. Enter Archos, a manufacturer who—even though it isn’t getting as much attention as it deserves—is doing a nice job of delivering low-cost products powered by the Android operating system. Lets take the Archos 97 Xenon for instance. It's got both a wallet-friendly price tag and a respectable set of features.
The 97 Xenon comes equipped with a 9.7-inch 1024x768 screen, which is the type of screen that the first-generation iPad came with. Its default operating system is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. (That means there’s a pretty good chance that it will get an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.) There’s built-in 3G connectivity and support for HSDPA data, which users should be able to take advantage of because of the 8-hour battery life. Other hardware features include a 2MP main camera, a front-facing VGA cam, a microUSB port, GPS with A-GPS, Wi-Fi connectivity, and support for microSD cards.
The 512MB of onboard RAM onboard might be a cause for concern, especially for those who intend to do a lot of multi-tasking. But other than that, the rest of the features paint a picture that’s pretty impressive.
The tablet market is only now starting to get crowded with low-cost mobile computing solutions powered by the Android operating system. If you’re looking to spend marginally on a tablet and willing to compromise a bit on the features, then something like the Archos 97 Xenon should have you covered.
Need to Know: Archos 97 Xenon
1. Default OS is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. (The Good)
2. Affordable price tag and long battery life. (The Good)
3. Limited amount of internal memory with only 512MB of RAM. (The Bad)
4. Screen only barely supports HD content. (The Bad)