By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Denver — Archos priced its second-generation game-optimized GamePad Android tablet and revealed more details about its enhancements over its predecessor.
The 8GB GamePad 2 will retail for $199. Pricing on the 16GB version wasn’t disclosed.
The Google-certified Android 4.2 product, which ships at the end of the quarter, is positioned as a combination of Android tablet and gaming console with simplified access to thousands of the latest games, the company said. IT can also be used as a standard tablet.
Though a 7-inch model like its Android 4.1 predecessor, the GamePad 2 adds HD screen, better controls, a larger battery and a faster processor, the company said.
The previous generation featured dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB RAM, quad-core graphics processor, 1,024 by 600 display and Android 4.1. The new model adds a quad-core 1.6GHz CPU, 2GB RAM and 1,280 by 800 HD IPS display.
New 28-nanometer processor technology combined with a larger battery extends battery life, although company literature doesn’t state the percentage improvement.
The tablet also adds a homescreen application developed by Archos to curate more than 1 million apps and games in the Google Play Store to show off the games most compatible with GamePad 2.
Archos also updated the tablet’s Game Mapping Tool, which lets users map any touchscreen button game to work with the tablet’s physical controls. Game developers have already made their apps compatible with physical controls, such as those on the GamePad and on connected accessory controllers.
To work with games designed without physical controls in mind, however, the GamePad features Archos–developed mapping and game-recognition software.
Both versions of the GamePad 2 come with 64GB MicroSD slot with App2sd support for extra storage.
The tablet also features Wi-Fi, MiniHDMI, front stereo speakers and a front camera for video calling.
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