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£130 Archos GamePad gaming tablet: Worth a revisit?

Both Amazon and Archos are selling the GamePad, a 7in gaming tablet launched late last year by the French company, for £129.99 with free delivery. That is actually not a bad price for an Android tablet.

Arguably, the GamePad’s unique selling point is its dedicated gaming controls; crucially though, these are also the main weaknesses of the product as we highlighted in a review of the Gamepad published in January.

The GamePad is powered by a dual-core Rockchip RK3066 clocked at 1.6GHz with 1GB of RAM, 8GB onboard storage, Wi-Fi, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a rear and front facing camera, a microSD card slot, Google Play certification and a 7in 1,024 x 600 pixels capacitive display.

Don’t expect a gaming experience on par with the (much more) expensive Sony PS Vita though. Archos’ own spokesperson acknowledged that the company’s first portable gaming console is work in progress and that a recently rolled-out firmware update should solve a number of nagging issues encountered by early adopters.

If gaming is not what you’re after, then you can always grab a slightly dearer but much more powerful Asus Nexus 7 tablet (for around £159) or an Acer Iconia B1 (for £99).

Below is an update from Archos about the firmware update.

Due to a bug in the firmware the over-the-air update isn’t working correctly on the firmware currently installed. It has to be done manually. It is a download from http://www.archos.com/support/support_tech/updates_fwm.html?country=gb&lang=en (choose gamepad).

Drop the img file onto the root of the gamepad, it’ll notice the update and install. Major changes in this firmware are:

- Multiple button press correction (specifically on directional button diagonals)

- Screen flickering

- Stability and fluidity improvements

- Removes lag problems due to thumbsticks in 3D games

- Correction to speaker management in video chat programs

Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.