It seems like the plethora of Andriod-based consoles is not stopping anytime soon. Already this week, I covered the GameStick and NVIDIA's Project Shield and now I add the Archos GamePad to the mix, which was unveiled at CES 2013.
From an overview perspective, this is a portable gaming console similar to NVIDIA's Project Shield, the Nintendo DS and Sony Vita / PSP. The console sports a 7inch screen, a quad core graphics processor, wi-fi, HD output and all running on Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean'.
HD supported via mini-HDMI out port to your HD TV
From a portability perspective, the little device is only 10mm wide and weighs around 330g and the built-in screen pushes out a resolution of 1024 x 600. So where the heck is that HD output? Well, the Archos GamePad sports a mini-HDMI port so you can plug this little monster into your HD TV if you want that big screen feel.
The built-in screen pushes out 1024 x 600 resolution
The quad core Mai-400 MP4 GPU should provide a smooth gaming experience let alone browsing or video playing. The only part that potentially bothered me was the fact that the console only comes with 8GB onboard memory, but it can also accept micro SD cards of up to 64GB, which I think is still not enough if you also want to use it as a media player.
12 buttons on the face, 2 on the shoulder and analogue thumb-sticks
From a controller perspective, there are the ubiquitous analogue thumb-sticks along with 12 buttons on the face and 2 shoulder buttons. You'll need it for playing some of the 600 000 apps and games that are availabel on the Google Play market. Its this variety that seems to be pulling so many hardware providers into building these Android-based consoles. The interesting touch here is that you can map "virtual controlled games" to those controller buttons, so you don't have to use a multi-touch screen to control the games (even though this console does also sport a muti-touch screen).
Yes, multi-touch screen too!
The important part - Retail price is going to be $169, which is not bad considering all this baby has to offer. Archos are not new to tablets, so the device comes from a good pedigree as well. However, in SA, you're probably have to look out on BidorBuy or Have2Have.co.za, who seem to be the only guys stocking Archos devices.
Archos GamePad Technical Specifications
||• 7’’: 1024x600 capacitive 5 points multitouch screen
||• Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
||• ARM CORTEXTM dual-core A9 @ 1.6GHz
• GPU quad-core Mali 400 MP
• 3D OpenGL (ES 2.0)
||• Flash Memory: 8GB* + microSD Slot (SDHC compatible up to 32GB)
||• 1GB RAM
||• H.264 HD (up to 1080p@30 fps)
• MPEG-42 HD (up to 1080p@30 fps)
• With the above codecs, the device can play video files with the following extensions: AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, MPG, PS, TS, MKV, FLV
• WAV (PCM/ADPCM)
• AAC3, AAC+ 5.13
• OGG Vorbis
||• JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF
||• Front camera
||• USB 2.0: Mobile Transfer Protocol (MTP)
• microSD (SDHC compatible)
• mini HDMI output6(Mini HDMI / HDMI cable sold separately)
||• Built-in speaker
• Built-in Microphone
||• 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)
||• 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
More information on the Archos GamePad can be found on the Archos Website.
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