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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 8:50 pm 
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Archos Novice
Archos Novice

Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 8:48 pm
Posts: 2
Hello all,

I come here after many hours spent in scouring the internet for tips, reviews, options etc, about portable gaming solutions. We are having a hard time with the wife, deciding what to buy, since basically everyone has a different opinion on things and more importantly - different expectations.

Here's what we want - to get some sort of a portable gaming solution for our 5 year old kid, to be used on roadtrips, long journeys with plane and other similar occasions when kids get super bored (parents here will know).

We've been looking at the options, and generally two solutions seem best for us -

1. An Android tablet
2. A Nintendo 3DS

Today we discovered a hybrid, which adds a third option (and a cheap one at that) - the Archos Gamepad. So once again we started looking things up, reading up reviews etc, but as i said, everyone seems to be scoring different things, that not always correspond with our real needs. Some reviews say the gadget is great, if used for the proper games (not FPS), others say the controls are shit and very hard to map, the controls are not shit and very easy to map with the special app, the battery is shit, the screen is shit, the screen is great because it is IPS...

So yeah, i decided to ask here, complete with our expectations, rather than keep reading what random people think about random aspects of the same product.

What we need it to do:
Be usable, fun and useful to a 5 year old. We want it to allow the kid to play creative games like drawing, colouring etc, pre-school stuff and also some platformers and simple games like Cut the Rope, Angry Birds, Dora the Explorer, etc. We want to have some form of parental control, for use time, internet... Also, the ability to play movies and audio are definitely a bonus. And we want it to be worth the money. Some hardware (hello Apple) seems to be REALLY overpriced for what it is, because of fan-boyishness, novelty or just because.

Now for what i've seen so far, the Archos Gamepad does all that we want it to do - It runs Android, which means Play Store, which means tons of apps for drawing and school stuff, free or cheap games, parental control... It can also play video (contrary to say a DS). What it apparently "fails" at is playing first person shooters and other such games that require very good precision of the thumb sticks. It has mediocre screen, but that's a bit... not so sure. And the battery life lasts "only" 5 hours of video play and less when playing 3d heavy games such as Dead Space.
Of course, our kid won't be playing Dead Space or anything of the like, atleast not for the next couple of years, so basically that's not an issue.
The Gamepad is also quite cheep, can get it for 130-140 euros, which is not bad compared to other 7 inch tables out there.

Still, if anyone here has this device, or has used it for a while - Do you think it does correspond to our needs? And is it worth the money or do you find it's price bloated because of the novelty value (released pre-Nvidia Shield, etc) ?

We tend to prefer the Android-device-solution better than the previous "winner", the 3DS, because after a lot of thought we figured that even if the games available on the Nintendo are generally better, they are also harder and better suited for older children. An Android device offers some simple, yet fun games, and also the added bonus of properly playing videos.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:54 pm 
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Archos User
Archos User

Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:23 pm
Posts: 62
Hi,

I brought this for my 6 year (just turned 7 yesterday) just before Christmas. I have had various Archos products before and did not want to get a 3DS due to the expense of the games etc. Overall it is good and he gets a lot of use out of it. He generally uses it for games such as angry birds etc. The reason I like android is that the games are cheap and you don't mind buying one for 69p for him to play for a week and move on to the next game. He also uses it for music with his head phones. I hope that he will start watching bbc iplayer etc for some of the kids stuff but he has not really got into that. The other things I want him to be able to use it for is Mathletics etc when an app becomes available. My 3 year old also gets a go occasionally and plays peppa pig games which he loves.

The downside is that the controls are not overly used. They are a bit clumsy and not all games are suited. Often the touchscreen is easier. I am disappointed with lack of battery life - 2 hours on games, however we don't really want him to play on it for that long at any one time so does not matter too much. There has been not updates since December which I am disappointed with and worry about the long term support. The right corner is sometimes unresponsive. When charging the sd card keeps removing itself. These are small bugs which could easily be fixed. In previous experiences this is where Archos has been good but not this time with lack of firmware updates. The memory is difficult to manage as well. It keeps filling up even though you delete games etc. I even go into the data file and manually remove the file but still struggle with enough space. I believe this could be a bug which could be fixed in the future.

To sum up I am happy with the purchase and the use he gets especially at the price. However you may want to consider how important the use of the controls are. If this is not important the current Nexus 7 with 16gb or 32gb, better battery life and all of android is an option. Also they are releasing a new nexus 7 this year. It is not too much more and worth considering. hope this helps.

_________________
Archos 5 IT & 101 IT owner


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Archos Novice
Archos Novice

Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 8:48 pm
Posts: 2
Hey, thanks for the reply.

We ended up picking an alternative as the best option of price/functions/quality - Acer Iconia b1-a71. It's cheaper and probably better built (no offense to Archos fans, but Archos HW is somewhat known to be not-so-high quality built). We also figured (as you say) that the controls won't be all that useful for now, considering the type of games our kid will be playing.
If when she gets older she's interested in more serious games, we'll buy a real dedicated gaming device such as the Nintendo, but for now it's silly games, drawing, movies and music so... this will wait.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:32 pm 
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Archos User
Archos User

Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:33 pm
Posts: 64
Before today I might have recommended the gamepad however not any more.

Today is the 31st of july 2013 and the Gamepad was released initially in Europe on the 6th December 2012.

Bought one of these Gamepads on the 18th December 2012 as a christmas present for my nephew. It has had a lot of problems from the very start freezing and crashing , and despite months of emails back and forth between Archos and myself nothing was resolved. For Archos it was always a software problem.

Well one thing which never worked was the camera even with no software loaded the Archos failed to work its own camera so was able to get an RMA on the grounds the camera didnt work after all that has to be a hardware problem.

problem number one after getting the RMA was shipping since An Post will not carry the GamePad due to european legislation regarding the transportation of batterys. As its not possible to remove the battery it cant be carried by Air Mail.

I found an alternative courier company who would carry the archos.

Now they are saying it is
1) out of warranty
2) The invoice shipped with the Gamepad is not proof of purchase, that the Gamepad was bought and shipped directly from Archos seems not to matter to them.

As for the out of warranty I have 2 things to note
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archos_GamePad

here you will see the Gamepad was released in Europe on the 6th of December 2012

secondly
http://www.archos.com/store/tnc_pdf/CGV_UK_20080605.pdf
gives the terms and conditions of Sale and return which include a 12 month warranty.

Since it is less than a year that the Gamepad has been sold by Archos it is impossible for any Gamepad to be out of warranty till the 5th of December 2013!

Quite clearly the Archos Gamepad is a lemon they do not wish to support and are treating their customers extremely poorly if this is their attitude.

I've been a long time fan of archos products having bought 2 versions of the archos 7 anf the g9 101 I had high hopes of the gamepad being a good product hardware wise it is better spec'd than my 101 buggy firmware I could accept to a certain degree as generally Archos have released firmware updates as in the case of my G9 which mostly works ok, although calibrating the screen is a regular occurrence as is regular rebooting.

However Archos is not honouring its warranty on the gamepad and that is unforgivable in my eyes and I will not buy or recommend Archos products ever again. I can accept the limitations of earlier products but not this its beyond contempt and it will have to be a matter for the small claims court or credit card company.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:35 pm 
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Archos User
Archos User

Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:33 pm
Posts: 64
apologies for bringing in half the wikipedia article it was supposed to just be a link!


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