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Archos targets specific interests with a diversified tablet lineup

By PCWorld Staff | Jan. 11, 2013
Archos has been making tablets for far longer than most manufacturers, under the guise of souped-up media players. And once again, the company is aiming to target specific audiences, based on its new 2013 Android tablet offerings here at CES. These are no me-too tablets, though; the lineup emphasizes diversity and originality, and includes a high-pixel-density 9.7-inch tablet, as well as a smaller model with integrated gaming controls, and a jumbo size model that's only the second 13-inch Android tablet to come to market.

The controllers work with games that have virtual on-screen controls, but not swiping controls. The tablet has a front-facing camera, as well as Micro-USB and Mini HDMI. Interestingly, even with the game controls built-in, the GamePad felt featherweight, although Archos didn't have dimensions or weight specs available. Like Archos' other tablets, the GamePad runs Android 4.1.1 Jelly bean, is Google-certified, and has Google Play on-board.

While the GamePad is best suited to individual users, the FamilyPad goes big...really big, to get the whole family involved. In spite of its name, there's nothing specific to the tablet (like multi-user accounts) that makes it better suited to families. However, its sheer size--courtesy of its 13.3-inch capacitive touch screen--makes the FamilyPad useful for sharing. The tablet has a 1280-by-800-pixel resolution, which feels inadequate compared to the only other 13.3-inch Android tablet we've seen-- the Toshiba Excite 13offers a 1600-by-900 pixel resolution.

Then again, this model, sells for $300, less than half the price of the Toshiba linked above. Its innards are the same as on the GamePad; the big distinction lies in the physical size. Archos wisely includes a stand, so you can easily share the tablet in the home.


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