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. There is already a review up from fan-site ArcTablet here. The full specs and information page for the GamePad are here.