Well, it seems that we have a gaming table war brewing up here. First we saw NVIDIA announcing its Project Shield, then Razer introduced it Edge (non-android tablet) and now we have Archos Gamepad. Although the pad was announced in mid-2012 this is the first time we are seeing it. Archos is looking to make a statement which says “I was first” here at CES 2013.
The Archos GamePad is exactly what the name suggests; it’s a pad with a strong focus on Android gaming. The Archos Gamepad might not be the fastest tablet around but it certainly is quite snappy. The 7 inch Archos GamePad features a 7 inch display panel with the resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. Running a dual core processor with the backing of 1 GB or RAM makes Archos GamePad quite quick, if not the quickest. The tablet also runs on the latest edition of Jelly Bean which is almost near the stock version.
The major stars of the show are the physical buttons and the dual analogue sticks which make a lot of difference. Shooting in FPS games, no matter how expert you are will be inferior to the aiming provided with the analogue sticks. The touch screen controls no matter how well optimized will pose a serious drain on the gameplay, for example playing Max Payne was a chore for me. The inclusion of the hardware buttons is definitely much appreciated by a gamer that is new to the Android gaming scene. Archos GamePad also has the ability to map the physical buttons to correspond to the virtual on screen ones which makes the experience all the more customizable.
The Archos GamePad is said to launch in the US in the coming weeks with the attractive price tag of $170. I will personally looking forward to get my thumbs on this one.