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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  • bleh0 - Friday, December 07, 2012 - link

    There are no battery life estimates.

    I really would love to game on something like this for a decent amount of time. The ppi while not stellar is good enough.
    Reply
  • CaptainDoug - Monday, December 10, 2012 - link

    If you go to arcatablets.com they have a review. Look slike 4 1/2 hours of video play back and only 2 1/2 to 3 hours of HD gaming. Not very good. Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    This Archos gamepad gives me the first reason I've ever had to spend $200 on a tablet.. Up until now it has just seemed like a waste. The Nexus 7 looks cool, but why would I bother to drop another $200 when I already carry around a 4.8" tablet with LTE (my SGS3)? It has ALL the functions of a tablet, and also has LTE and microSD, and makes telephone calls. The only tradeoff is a smaller screen.

    A decent gaming controller for my SGS3 would cost me around $50, something I would probably buy anyway. But then I'd also want a battery bank to recharge my battery to full, after playing a few hours of emulators ($20). This is a device that allows me to do both of those.. it's very tempting.

    $200 is nice

    I think I'd still rather have a little game controller with a huge (10Wh) battery that I can carry around.. I'd pay $100 for that.
    Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    Oops. $200 is a nice price point but I'll probably wait until they hit around $150. Reply

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