Monday, December 10, 2012

Warning, this will make you salivate - Archos Gamepad tested/reviewed by BAF!

And the great folk at openconsoles.com have written a massive test here, for the exciting new Archos android  tablet that may actually DO IT ALL (read this!)! It’s on sale now, but only in Europe.  Can anyone report in on where this can be bought?

The review is in French, so if you can stomach the google translate, I offer the below as a public service with many thanks to openconsoles.com:

We tested the Archos Gamepad for you!
Thursday, December 6, 2012  Android , Archos , Gamepad  11 comments

Appointment was given Sunday with CAJL, administrator www.jbmm.fr/ in a Parisian brasserie to put my fingers gamer on the new tablet Archos: the Gamepad.

For those who do not know CAJL jbmm.fr and I invite you to read the interview he granted us cordially at the following link:  Interview.

It should be noted that these first impressions are more focused on the gaming console. Specs, part multimedia benchmarks and others are the strong point of CAJL ;) You can find the test here: Test CAJL .

And for others who remained trapped in their cave, a few reminders on the Gamepad.

Introduction to the Gamepad:

This is a tablet / console game running Android, provided physical controls to play without using the touch screen. As a gamer and especially retro -gamer, I must admit that the touch to play I have never packed. Apart from a few exceptions such as ScummVM, we must admit we do not find the flexibility and speed of the physical controls of yesteryear.

Following the current fashion some well-known Chinese consoles on Open Consoles (JXD, Yinlips), Archos us lay a machine rather well endowed in terms of both power in simplicity.

First, some specs, so that we know what we are talking about:

- Android 4.1
- 7-inch Screen - Capacitive - multi - resolution 1024 * 600
- 8GB of internal memory
- 203 x 120 x15 mm for 340 grams
- ARM Cortex-A9 Dualcore, Mali 400
- 1GB of RAM
- HDMI, USB2.0, OTG
- About 6 hours of battery life

Grip and ergonomics:

Having neither hands nor lumberjack fairy fingers (basically hands "normal"), it is really like any tablet and it is relatively thin as the controls are accessible easily.

It will be virtually no need to remove your hands once a game is started, since all the buttons are placed near each other. No need to get on one side of the console to find the START or SELECT, they are in range of thumb movement.

I have not been able to try the L2 and R2 buttons, I do not know if their location is really wise and practical to use. It will be used either with the front of the thumb, or release the analog stick or twist a finger to press it. A test on the emulator PSX particular :)

The screen - multi touch:

The image quality and resolution are of good quality. The colors stand out well and bright screen as you can see on the video. Being in a dimly lit, I could play without problem.

It is very pleasant to navigate through the menus with the touch meets the finger and the eye. Not had the opportunity to test the multi, but in general it does not worry too much so do not worry.

Obviously, the resolution is not suitable for some games on emulators, so it will play options for the best possible display depending on the platform. If you want the Full Screen, expect a distortion of the image, but this is not due to the console of course. So it is according to your personal tastes you enjoy or not the size of the screen. A 3.5 "or 4" is generally more appropriate.

Sound:


On this side, I can not tell you the place is rather noisy. But at first sight (or hearing) the fact that the speakers are placed in front of is a more sound level. The hands do not usually cover the fact that we live sound.

This is a point that I regret a lot of other consoles, the rear sound is often worse and especially masked by the fingers when playing. No worries here.

Controls:

Here is one of the most important and crucial to use this machine as a real game console

There are good and bad points in my opinion.

The PLUS:

* Side good points, we have all the controls at your fingertips and it's very nice. I did not expect to find L2 and R2 so it's a good surprise.

* In all games and emulators that I've tried, buttons and triggers responded perfectly, without lag as I could have on the DROID X360. They have the same 'feel' than some consoles like Yinlips Chinese (G18), ie they do not 'clack-clack' and we should not support such a nag to trigger action.

* As I said earlier they are generally well placed (including START and SELECT) and finds its feet quickly.

* Two analog pads separated: this is another VERY good point. Suffice it to watch the video with Shadowgun to realize that it becomes very easy to get around and look in all directions as we can do on our nextgen consoles (PS3, 360 ...)

* THE pleasant surprise this console, it is unquestionably the map included in the system. As you could catch a glimpse of the video, there is a tray icon that allows Android keys directly map physical versus tactile keys.

This means that you can assign a hardware button to a button touch easily and even export our setup for a friend who loves the Gamepad and our mapping. This is a simple text file that you can tweak to adjust the settings.

Archos announces a hundred titles compatible with this map including Shadowgun, Assassin's Creed, ePSXe, Nova 3 ect ... List available on request ;)

The LESS:

* However, and this is a personal opinion, I think the D-PAD buttons are a bit too spaced a few millimeters. Caused the problem: make diagonal.

* Many retrogamers will want to replay the SNES or NEO-GEO particular, and out of hadokens may be a little hard for some. I remember that I was not able to test it very long, but that little detail bothered me. Just watch the video to get an idea of ​​the spacing.

* Regarding the analog pads, I also regret to find those consoles and JXD Yinlips Chinese guy. Ie pads a little hard and inflexible as it can have a 3DS in particular.


Now this is a subjective judgment, everyone to his own opinion ;)

Side games and emulators:


As you could see from the video games like Shadow Gun becomes a pleasure with appropriate controls. To move the character and the camera is a real plus that we missed on current consoles Android.

Side emulators, I tested the N64, PSX and Megadrive (I wanted to do more, but there was no time). Overall the results are good, I have not detected a problem with key combos. But if you know: the triggers that do more because we press another button at the same time, or two button presses give another action as a START or SELECT ... Grrrrrr.

N64 for anything in particular. Mario Kart turned without jerks.

On the PSX, I tested quickly Tekken 3 and I think it lacked a bit of speed compared to the original, you'll have to compare.

On the Megadrive, including Sonic, I could feel a very slight frameskip (same set) but again it will test deeper.


What's better than a video?

And here is the video of the mini-test, enjoy: D

 

Conclusion:

I think those who have pre-ordered the game pad should not be disappointed with their purchase. I wonder if Santa is not going to file a under the tree: D

From what I have been told CAJL, part multimedia (movies, internet) is very good. The screen size can make it enjoyable internet browsing and watching movies.

Regarding the gaming part, I think we are dealing with a machine in good quality / price ratio. Having a French product is a definite plus, especially with respect to the support. It may be much easier to access that service when buying abroad, including China.

I was pleasantly surprised integrated map that will quickly and easily configure its keys. More be separated analog pads is a huge plus for all FPS games.

Autonomy seems excellent as hopefully about 5:30 before use through the charging box.

Now she can not please everyone. Its size can not store it in a pocket, so plan a suitable protective cover for transport.

I did not like the D-PAD as I explained earlier due to the spacing of the buttons, so I turned quickly to the analog stick instead.

At each now has his own opinion ;)

For those who are interested, you can order it now on Amazon Marketplace and Rue du Commerce, happy hunting: D And by the way do not forget to read the excellent article CAJL: Link


Some pictures:

Acknowledgements:


I thank the passage:
- CAJL for having made available and that I try the console
- Archos for giving permission
- K0en for making the link with CAJL

 

BAF

UPDATE from DeenOx:

Re: GAMEPAD IS OUT! GET YOURS NOW!!

« Reply #34 on: Today at 01:39:30 AM »

Hi guys!
i'm preparing a review of this device, and i found a problem that i think is interesting to post here.
i grab two videos about overlapping button (yes... there is overlappings... and many)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjas85fKD9I


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2x8SL3x5Q4
as i said on another forums, my feel is that these problem may be solved with some update from archos.
for now, i only tested with FPSe. now, i´m preparing other testings to add to my review. if i found any intetersting to show you before, i'll post here.
greetings!

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