I have some terrific news for you today, mobile gamers! The Archos Gamepad is currently available in the States and is being offered at select online retailers. It's a little late to the party, especially since the Gamepad was originally slated to release back in February. Before that, it was only available to residents in the UK (make sure to boo loud enough so that Tom can hear).
If you want a Gamepad, it's going to cost you between $179 and $189. What comes with that associated price you ask? Here are the complete specs for the Gamepad:
- 1.6GHz dual-core CPU
- Mali 400 MP GPU
- 7-inch display
- 1024 x 600 maximum resolution
- 1GB RAM
- Integrated Wi-Fi
- 8GB of internal storage with MicroSD expansion slot
- Traditional gamepad controls
- Proprietary button mapping software
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Of course, if you're waiting around for the WikiPad then you probably won't have much interest in this news, unless you're tired of waiting!
For a traditional gamepad and tablet hybrid, the Archos Gamepad has a pretty slick profile. Just a quick browse through some of the device screenshots will show you how remarkably thin this thing is. I mean, it's not quite as razor thin as some of the things in the mobile market today, but it's still thin enough to be impressive.
The biggest issue with the Archos Gamepad is the battery capacity. The battery has been estimated to last two to three hours at a time, which in the world of portable gaming is certainly not long. I still play my PSP (don't hate) for hours at a time when I pick it up. It would be quite disconcerting for me, to have to maintain proximity to the power adapter with the Gamepad.
I'm willing to bet that many of you are going to hold off and wait for something better to come along. Still, the Gamepad seems to be an excellent portable gaming option for those with a budget. Then again, there are plenty of gamepad alternatives that allow you to connect a controller to a device you already own, like your smartphone or tablet.
What do you think, fellow AH enthusiasts?