Sometimes it's easier to take risks, if you aren't moving quite so many units. ARCHOS, long a player in media playback devices has spent a few years exploring Android tablets and we've put them through their paces. Their last offering was the remarkably thin 101 XS, with its impressive keyboard cover. The ARCHOS GamePad takes a rather different turn. One part tablet, one part portable game system, the GamePad brings hardware gaming controls and is available now for just 149.99 EURO, with a US release in Q1 '13. 

 

Arranged in landscape mode, the GamePad's 1024 x 600 screen resolution isn't going to light the world on fire, but paired with the ARM Mali-400 GPU it should provide excellent frame rates. We've seen a lot of TI silicon in the last several ARCHOS tablets, so it was a surprise to see the processor go unnamed. We're still digging to find more details, but it's described as a 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, with the aforementioned Mali-400 GPU. Given the last gen nature of the GPU, I imagine that the application processor is most likely of the ARM Cortex-A9 variety, somewhat similar to a higher clocked Samsung Exynos 4210. 

 

On the software front, this will be the first Jelly Bean tablet we've seen from ARHOS. Their software engineers have no doubt pushed themselves to the brink to bring the same media-centric features we've come to expect to, not just a new Android version, but also a new SoC. They've built a scheme for mapping the hardware buttons to soft buttons in games that aren't compatible with gamepads. 

So, is tablet gaming ready for a more dedicated device than we've seen in the past? We'll certainly be glad to find out. 

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  • SetiroN - Friday, December 07, 2012 - link

    A gaming device not a typical christmas gift. Right. Reply
  • hirschma - Friday, December 07, 2012 - link

    AFAIK, January is the biggest month for videogame sales. Kids spend their holiday cash/giftcards then. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Sunday, December 09, 2012 - link

    Selling it in November and December does not prevent selling it in January. The inverse is not true though. :) Reply
  • thesavvymage - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    This would be absolutely PERFECT for handheld emulators! bring back some good ol snes memories Reply
  • CaptainDoug - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    I know right? I've been playing some GBA emulators on my phone but my 2 big thumbs in front of a 4" screen mean almost no visibility. I miss my PSP and Gameboy Advanced for the hardware buttons alone. Reply
  • kmmatney - Friday, December 07, 2012 - link

    I just can't get used to on-screen controls, but a Wii-mote works nicely on my iPad for emulated games. Reply
  • thesavvymage - Friday, December 07, 2012 - link

    the onscreen buttons have been killing me in super mario rpg, its so hard to hit two buttons next to each other at the same time... such as running and jumping Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, December 08, 2012 - link

    I played Zelda A Link to the Past on my SGS2 last summer holidays. It was fun. The slightly worse controls are offset by the ability to save whenever you want. Also, scyncing PS3/other bluetooth gamepads has become quite easy. Reply
  • CaptainDoug - Monday, December 10, 2012 - link

    Save states are a god-send. Reply
  • thesavvymage - Monday, December 10, 2012 - link

    to be honest, i dont like them. I'm tempted to save in places where youre not meant to save, and I prefer to only use the in-game saves Reply

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