Archos GamePad 2 – Battery life
The original GamePad battery life was terrible and managed on average three hours sapping power like a Sega Game Gear. Archos has addressed this by adding a 5,000mAH battery promising an improved 9 hours of gaming or tablet time.
In real world use just playing games, the GamePad 2 manages to make it through the day and is a vast improvement on the original. Throw in some web browsing, video streaming checking in and out of Twitter you can expect to get close to 7-8 hours of use out of it. As a comparison, the Nexus 7 2 with its 3,950 mAH capacity battery delivers around nine hours in active use.
In the more extreme testing, playing the SD version of Ice Age running in the Google Play video player with maximum brightness it manages around 6-6.5 hours.
It doesn’t break any records for staying power, but will keep you gaming longer than the first GamePad and that can only be a good thing.
Should I buy the Archos GamePad 2?
There’s no doubting this is the best Android gaming device of the bunch, but problems do still persist. It’s better looking than the first GamePad, handles gaming well and generally controls feel much nicer to use. The screen quality does fall short of the Nexus 7 2 and Kindle Fire HDX 7. What’s more disappointing is that game support is still an issue and mapping controls still feels slightly archaic.
For roughly the same amount of money you can buy a Nintendo 3DS or a PS Vita. The digital marketplaces for both handhelds have vastly improved since they first launched and offer far more variety. The Sony handheld also offers the impressive Remote Play letting you play PS4 games away from the next gen console.
If you really value Android gaming and you’d be better off getting paying for a Nexus 7 2 and investing in a Bluetooth controller to get better value for your money.
The Archos GamePad 2 is big improvement on the first GamePad in many ways but game support and the frustrating mapping button means the search for a great Android gaming tablet goes on.