Archos has released “the first true Android games console” the Archos GamePad, in the UK. (US purchasers will have to wait until early next year.) It’s a handheld console which looks like a super inflated Nintendo GameBoy Advance. The concept is simple enough; a 7-inch Android tablet has been melded with gaming control hardware. Let’s have a look at what’s on offer...
The Wi-Fi equipped Archos Gamepad does seem to have pretty good specifications and enough grunt for playing modern Android games titles. A 1.6GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor and Mali 400 MP quad-core graphics co-processor are supported by a respectable 1GB of RAM. The GamePad comes with 8GB of storage and a lovely microSD card slot. Its 7-inch screen offers 5-point multi-touch upon its 1024x600 pixels. This Android games console is well equipped with ports including; mini-HDMI, USB, 3.5mm audio and the aforementioned microSD slot. Completing the standard Android tablet configuration we have a camera (but only 0.3 megapixels) and stereo speakers.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is the OS and users will have full access to the Google Play store including games, music, movies etc. The fully integrated game controller offers directional pads, two analogue sticks & 14 buttons. The device is a slim 10mm thick and weighs in at 330g. Also to complete the gaming pedigree you have the “Unique & patented ARCHOS Mapping tool - make any virtual control game work with physical controls”. The GamePad is also priced to sell; it’s just £129.98 including VAT from Archos.
Unfortunately, if you are interested in the Archos GamePad, it seems to have sold out already at Archos but will be re-stocked on 18th December.
Display • 7’’: 1024x600 capacitive 5 points multitouch screen
Application Framework • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Processor • ARM CORTEXTM dual-core A9 @ 1.6GHz
• GPU quad-core Mali 400 MP
• 3D OpenGL (ES 2.0)
Capacity • Flash Memory: 8GB* + microSD Slot (SDHC compatible up to 32GB)
RAM • 1GB RAM
Video playback1 • H.264 HD (up to [email protected]
• MPEG-42 HD (up to [email protected]
• With the above codecs, the device can play video files with the following extensions: AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, MPG, PS, TS, MKV, FLV
Audio Playback1 • MP3
• WAV (PCM/ADPCM)
• AAC3, AAC+ 5.13
• OGG Vorbis
Photo viewer4 • JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF
Webcam • Front camera
Interfaces • USB 2.0: Mobile Transfer Protocol (MTP)
• microSD (SDHC compatible)
• mini HDMI output6(Mini HDMI / HDMI cable sold separately)
Wireless technologies • Wi-Fi
Miscellaneous • Built-in speaker
• Built-in Microphone
Power source • Internal: Lithium Polymer battery
• External: Power adapter/charger
Dimensions & weight • 229.8 x 118.7mm x 15.4mm (9’’x 4.6’’x 0.6’’)
• 330g (11.6 oz)
Software update • Updates can be downloaded at www.archos.com
Minimum system requirements • Microsoft® Windows® 7, Vista, XP, or higher and Windows Media Player 11
• Mac OS. X with Transfer Files application (not included)
• Linux with android MTP tool (not included)
• USB 2.0 interface
*1 GB= 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity is less.
1/ Certain bitrates, resolutions, and/or file variations may not be compatible.
2/ MPEG-4 [email protected]
(MPEG-4: ISO standard by Moving Picture Experts Group) without GMC.
3/ Does not read AAC protected files.
4/ Certain resolutions and file sizes may not be compatible.
5/ Not all Google applications are available in all countries
6/ Rechargeable batteries have a limited number of charge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced. Battery life and number of charge cycles vary by use and settings. Test run with low backlight