Archos GamePad marries tablet touchscreen with Vita-like controls

A seven-inch Google tablet with Vita-like physical controls that costs less than a Nexus 7?

That’s the promise from Archos, whose new ‘GamePad’ hopes to be the ideal offering for those who want the flexibility of a tablet PC and the usability of a portable games machine.

The device houses a seven-inch capacitive touchscreen, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and quad-core GPU. Around either side of the device you’ll also find an array of traditional gaming controls – two analogue nubs, a d-pad, eight face buttons and two shoulder buttons.

An automated software tool will automatically map touch controls to the physical interface.

The device is also Google certified meaning that it will have full access to the Play Store and Google apps such as Maps and Calendar.

The device has been given a European price of under €150 (around 120) and is pencilled in for an October release.

One barrier that will be hard to overcome, however, is the low number of Google Play apps that are optimised for tablets, though the relatively small seven-inch screen size should negate any potential issues.

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