Archos launches GamePad Android gaming tablet

Archos launches GamePad Android gaming tablet

Summary: Available in Europe now for 150 euros, the 7-inch Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tablet is slated for release in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2013.

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TOPICS: Tablets, Android
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Archos has managed the mean feat of never being able to break into the mainstream of portable devices, whether it was MP3 players several years ago or tablets today, and yet continue to put out new products at a budget price. While there's been nothing particularly buzzworthy about most of its Android tablet lineup to date, the French company may have an intriguing model on its hands with its latest release.

Dubbed the GamePad, the tablet sports two sets of gaming controls that flank a 7-inch 1,024x600 screen. In total, you get 14 physical buttons, including a pair of thumbsticks. In addition, Archos has created a game-mapping tool that lets you set up your controls using the touchscreen interface in advance for your favorite games and then automatically load the settings when you play those titles. You can even use the tool to map games that weren't designed for physical controls.

Inside, the GamePad's specs are more pedestrian. Powering Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor with a quad-core Mali GPU. You get a mere 8GB of storage, though there's a microSD card slot for additional capacity. You also get a front-facing webcam and a mini-HDMI output so you can connect the GameSpad to an HDTV for some large-screen gaming.

Archos already has the GamePad available for Europe for 150 euros (or a shade under $200), with a North American release expected in the first quarter of next year. Would you consider buying it instead of an Amazon Kindle Fire, Google Nexus 7, or another 7-inch Android tablet? Let us know your thoughts in the Talkback section below.

Topics: Tablets, Android

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6 comments
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  • Not sure

    Not sure there are enough game controller optimized games to make the Archos unit worthwhile, but I do hope that changes soon. I recently bought a wired Playstation 3 controller for my Asus Transformer TF300 and let me tell you: it enhances gaming tremendously. Games like Shadowgun, Riptide GP (shown above) and the games I play on MAME4Droid were absolutely transformed. Playing Shadowgun with a controller is a whole new experience, and a much more enjoyable one, and Riptide GP is so much more enjoyable when you map the throttle and brakes to the two trigger buttons on the controller.

    There are definitely games that I'd never want to play with a controller: Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, tower defense games... but some other genres are just begging for physical buttons. Plugging a controller into your tablet gives you the best of both worlds.
    dsf3g
    • It is an Archos product ....

      .... crapware quality (by design) that doesn't last 6 months.

      The lack of games will not matter ... because the device will not last long enough to be usable.
      wackoae
  • Pay Attention

    I have read a few threads on the game pad and lots of people complain about games not being compatable with buttons. Why don't they pay attention when the article points out that there is mapping software for this? Anyway, it's a shame that it's not comming out in the US in time for christmas. Looks like you can still get a Caanoo on ebay.
    Joel Schlecht
    • Problem is...

      Problem is, as far as I know, you've got to root your device for those apps to work correctly. With games that include gamepad support baked in, no rooting is necessary.
      dsf3g
      • Hmm

        While I certainly don't mean to come off as a jerk, your responding to a comment about how annoying it is that people are responding without reading the article, without reading the article yourself. As pointed out in the article the device includes this mapping software made by archos. I'm pretty sure archos isn't going to make you root their device to allow you to use the software included on it.
        madmofo