August 29th 2012 8:46 am


conclusion:Pass on it

45 February 25th 2013 10:15 am

Taking a 7-inch Android tablet and adding dedicated gaming controls sounds like a great idea, given the sheer number of Android games available, and the challenge of playing some of them using a touch interface. Unfortunately, the Archos GamePad fails at this idea about as spectacularly as possible. As Eurogamer puts it, "the Archos GamePad's physical controls are uncomfortable to use and badly designed - so much so that they might as well not even be present." The problem is exacerbated by Archos' software, which attempts to map onscreen controls to physical ones, and, which, according to Eurogamer, "rarely works properly." IT Pro Portal also sees the potential in the GamePad, but says "the overall experience is disappointing at best and downright frustrating at worst." If you're a dedicated Android gamer and must have physical controls, you can always rig up a third-party controller like the Power A Moga or Fructel Gametel -- or wait for a more promising integrated option, like Nvidia's Project Shield.

Buy It:


90-Day Price History


Critic reviews

9 reviews
  • Features
  • Display
  • Battery life
  • Ease of use
  • Storage capacity
  • Design and form factor
  • Portability (size / weight)
  • Durability

sort by

User reviews

1 review
Wired Mar 22, 2013

It’s a surprisingly adept entertainment console, even if it doesn’t deliver a perfect experience with every game.

Read the full review →
Consumer Reports Apr 26, 2013

The Archos GamePad is a good idea that isn't implemented particularly well. It's a fairly bare-bones tablet without a lot of bells and whistles. If you're a hardcore gamer, for a little more money you could pick up a Nintendo 3DS or Sony PlayStation Vita, which are dedicated gaming devices.

Read the full review →
CNET UK Jan 9, 2013

Uncomfortable controls, poor battery life and a dire screen make the Archos GamePad a bitter disappointment for Android joystick junkies.

Read the full review →
Eurogamer Jan 6, 2013

Sadly, Archos' execution is depressingly slapdash, and very little care has been taken when it comes to the design of the much-hyped physical controls. It's a moot point, however; even if the interface been perfect, that wouldn't have totally overcome the other significant issues which impact the...

Read the full review →
T3 Feb 1, 2013

The game compatibility issues along with the manic mapping situation for many games and some awful analogue sticks means it’s a major let down overall.

Read the full review →
Digital Versus Feb 20, 2013

Sometimes even the best of ideas can be difficult to put into practice. Even with something that sounds great on paper, the results can be disappointing. And so, the Archos GamePad misses the mark.

Read the full review →
IT Pro Portal Jan 14, 2013

The GamePad may well find itself a following among Android enthusiasts who are also keen gamers. But the average consumer who’s looking for a cheap handheld gaming device is likely to be disappointed with the experience offered by the GamePad.

Read the full review →
Modojo Jan 16, 2013

Despite its good intentions the Archos GamePad manages to fail on practically every conceivable level, squandering the incredible promise offered up by the concept of a true gaming tablet.

Read the full review →

First Looks

product preview
Engadget Jan 8, 2013

Thankfully, unlike its competition, the Gamepad is delightfully light -- a great selling point when the alternatives are significantly less comfy for long-term gaming.

Read the full preview →
product preview
TrustedReviews Jan 10, 2013

Before you get hold of the Archos GamePad, it seems like great value. It's cheaper than the Google Nexus 7, and offers proper gaming controls. However, even a short time playing with the device reveals it's largely a sham.

Read the full preview →
product preview
TechRadar Jan 10, 2013

These flaws are symptoms of the Archos GamePad's general lack of cohesion, which unfortunately holds the tablet back from being as great as it could be.

Read the full preview →
product preview
IGN Jan 10, 2013

The GamePad definitely feels like a $170 product in some regards, but in others the performance and quality surprised me. It's unclear whether Android-based gaming handhelds will take off, but the GamePad is so aggressively priced, it may actually become a big seller in the U.S.

Read the full preview →
product preview
MSN UK Jan 16, 2013

In all honesty, there’s really only one Android handheld gaming console that’s worth its salt and sadly it’s not the Archos GamePad.

Read the full preview →
IssyJones IssyJones

Ignore all the bad reviews. After the firmware update, all the problems were solved. And there is nothing wrong with the screen.

Read the full review →

How it stacks up

Instantly compare the Archos GamePad side by side with some of the top devices on Engadget!

Compare these

Other Archos tablets

Don't forget to check out these other devices by Archos, you might find something good!

See all Archos tablets