Mobile Devices

October 10, 2013

Archos GamePad 2 Gets Release Date, Pricing After Unofficial Leak

Archos is looking to step up its portable gaming presence by bringing out a brand new tablet specifically geared toward the gamer. Though news of such a tablet's existence was only recently leaked from a couple of different sources, Archos moved quickly to make the tablet official only a short time after the leaks took place. Those looking for a new portable gaming platform, meanwhile, may want to start the search here.

The Archos GamePad 2 is packing quite a bit of power underneath that slim seven-inch hood, offering up an IPS display with a 1280 x 800 resolution, supported by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and two gigabytes of RAM. The battery life has been improved significantly, as the GamePad 2 is now boasting a larger battery than a normal seven-inch tablet would pack in, but the change in processors is also pulling less juice than earlier versions did. The GamePad 2 comes in two different storage sizes—eight or 16 gigabyte—though storage size becomes largely irrelevant as both versions allow for a microSD card of up to 64 gigabytes to be introduced, along with support for app2sd.

The whole thing runs on Android 4.2—Jelly Bean if you prefer the sugary name—as well as an HDMI output, front stereo speakers, a front-mounted camera for easier video calling, and Archos Media Center for a better multimedia experience.

That's pretty good, but it gets better for gamers with improved gaming controls, like a set of two thumbsticks and double shoulder buttons. There's a directional pad and improved overall button-clicking, which should make the whole thing feel a lot better. The Archos GameZone system also steps in to show off the array of over one million different apps and games on Google Play that will best work with the Archos GamePad 2.

Pricing and release dates are also at least somewhat in, as the whole thing is expected to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2013—currently going on, so it's pretty much any day now—and will arrive for $200 when it shows up in the United States. Europe will actually get it just a bit sooner, at the end of October, for a bit more at €180 (around $244).

Admittedly, there are plenty of competitors in the small tablet space. The Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HDX are just two of the biggest new competitors to the field, as well as the impossible to ignore release from Apple, the iPad Mini. But Archos is offering up a reasonably sound system that has a lot of gamer-specific features that could well serve as an extra draw. There's always something to be said for differentiation in the marketplace, and this is a pretty good way to distinguish oneself from the pack by going after a very specific niche.

How will the Archos GamePad 2 will do when it hits shelves remains to be seen, but with gamers everywhere on shopping lists for Christmas, it may well do better than some might think.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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