[section_title title=”Closer Look”]Closer Look
Ignoring the shipping residue remaining on the front of the box, Archos have kept the packaging fairly clean with the important stuff getting a brief callout down the right hand side. In the bottom left you can see the mention of the two games included to best shot off the GamePad 2’s credentials.
The rear of the box is again, clutter free for the most part. This fits in more so with the gaming and fun aspect of the device. The Archos mapping tool is a boon, however, allowing you to assign typically touch controls to the physical buttons on offer.
Lift the lid up and we get a silhouette of the GamePad 2. Strangely, there is no packaging in place here whereas the Xenon 79 had a layer of foam that lined the inside of the lid for protection.
Sliding the GamePad 2 out of the protective case and it’s obvious where the styling ques have come from. The GamePad 2 resembles an extra large PS Vita, even down the to differing textures in the D-pad/face button area and ‘Start’ and ‘Select’ buttons.
The screen itself is really quite good as you can see in this picture. Although it’s unlikely you would ever be using the GamePad 2 from an angle, tilting the tablet side to side didn’t ruin the viewing angle or colours at all thanks to the IPS display.
The rear of the GamePad 2 is completely blank although the surface has a lightly textured feel to it. In the bottom right you can see the card slot for ~64GB cards.
The flush back and low profile of the device helps the GamePad 2 cut a svelte shape. The IO and shoulder buttons can be seen here. Unfortunately there is no mini-HDMI cable or converter included meaning you will have to source one elsewhere if big-screen gaming is a concern.
Accessory wise you’re covered with a data cable and power cable that includes both EU and UK socket coverage. It’s unfortunate there is no earphones given the gaming slant of the GamePad 2, as well as the lack of aforementioned HDMI cable.
Just to emphasise the PS Vita styling, here is a (dusty) Vita along with the GamePad 2. The only major difference besides screen size is that Archos have gone with rather marmite ‘nubs’ instead sticks like the Vita – a poor trade, really.
Interestingly, the price between the Vita and GamePad 2 isn’t even that different once a required memory card for the Vita is factored in. Although this isn’t a GamePAd 2 versus Vita review, it’s something I’ll return to later. Aesthetic introduction over, it’s time to head into the benchmarks.