If you’re on the lookout for an Android 4G-ready tablet, there’s currently relatively little choice, and the models that are available, such as the LTE version of Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z and Google’s Nexus 7, are generally quite pricey. However French manufacturer Archos looks set to change that with the release of their budget 80 Helium 4G tablet.
Described by Archos as “the world’s first 8-inch 4G tablet under £230”, the 80 Helium 4G tablet was one of several 4G devices that they showcased at Mobile World Congress 2014 following an initial unveiling in January at CES.
The major attraction of the tablet, aside from the low price, is the 4G LTE Cat 4 connectivity which allows faster downloading, gaming, music and video streaming, and general browsing. However the new 4G tablet has a number of other features that should not be overlooked. The operating system is the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and the tablet runs on a Qualcomm MSM8926 Quad Core processor. It has 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage which can be expanded using the Micro SD slot.
The eight inch high resolution screen has IPS technology so the picture looks the same from any angle, making it ideal for sharing. There is a 5 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus and LED flash, which is also capable of 1080p video recording. In addition there is a 2 megapixel front facing camera for those all-important selfies. The Archos 8 Helium tablet also features Bluetooth smart technology, access to the Google Play store, a 3,500mAh battery, and an Adreno 305 GPU for 3D gaming.
With a sleek aluminium case, the 80 Helium 4G is slim and lightweight, measuring 9.2mm thick and weighing just 430g. It has an integrated phone function allowing you to use it for voice calls, SMS, and MMS, and it can help you find your way using a combination of integrated GPS and Google Maps Navigation.
Alongside the 80 Helium tablet, Archos also launched a range of 4G smartphones including the flagship Archos 50c Oxygen, the Archos 64 Xenon, and the Archos 40b Titanium. According to Loic Poirier, CEO of Archos, “Archos’ new lineup of products highlights the company’s commitment to innovation and confirms its position in the 3G/4G market. Our new product offerings continue to push the boundaries of technology, blending superior design, cutting-edge technology and impressive affordability.”
Archos has been a pioneer in the consumer electronics market since 1988, starting off by developing portable audio and video players. It launched the first ever Android powered tablets in 2009. The French company now specialises in Android tablets and smartphones and has offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
It is not yet known when the Archos 80 Helium 4G tablet will be available to buy in the UK, but remember that when it is you will need a 4G subscription to a network provider that has 4G coverage in your area to take advantage of ultra-fast mobile internet on the tablet.