Asus MemoPad 7 HD vs Archos Gamepad 2: When a real gaming tablet faces a regular one

Posted by B. Johnson
Published on January 30, 2016 | 0 comments
Asus MemoPad 7 HD vs Archos Gamepad 2: When a real gaming tablet faces a regular oneWhen we talk about gaming tablets, our attention is most likely focused on some flagship devices with powerful hardware like Nvidia Shield Tablet, Google Nexus 9, Samsung GALAXY Tab S and of course, iPads.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with that because it’s true that these tablets are some of the best gaming tablets on the market right now.

They handle almost all games perfectly in full highest graphics and the experience of playing games with these devices is just top notch.

However, the aforementioned tablets above apparently are sadly not equipped with the official physical gaming controllers, of course, with the exception of Nvidia Shield Tablet that comes with its own gaming controller released officially by Nvidia itself.

So that’s the reason why today I would like to do another comparison review that involves one pretty great gaming tablet from Archos. And you probably already know the tablet I’m referring here. Of course, it is no other than Archos GamePad 2.

Asus MemoPad 7 HD vs Archos Gamepad 2 benchmarks and gaming performance

I’ve actually already made one comparison review that puts this tablet into the same ring against other competing device from Xiaomi - Xiaomi MiPad 7.9.

But I think this Archos' tablet is still interesting to bring up again in my next comparison review. In fact, I'll probably make some other comparison reviews involving Archos GamePad 2 against other gaming devices in the near future.

Anyway, the challenger for Archos GamePad 2 today is coming from Asus – Asus MemoPad 7 HD.

I know that this Asus’ tablet is not up to par as the rival for Archos GamePad 2 in this review because it simply doesn’t have adequate hardware to deliver the same powerful gaming performance as Archos’s tablet.

But l think there are some great things to appreciate from Asus MemoPad especially if you’re looking for a cheap budget tablet for enjoying media contents like movies or playing some casual games.

Okay then, without further ado, here is my comparison review between Archos GamePad 2 and Asus MemoPad 7 HD.

Hope you like it!

Introduction

For the past couple of years, Asus has been really consistent in delivering productivity tablets under the Asus Transformer series.

However, besides its productivity-centric tablets, this manufacturer also has some other interesting offers especially for people looking for solid media-consumption devices under the MemoPad series.

Unlike Asus Transformer tablets, these Asus MemoPad series doesn’t come with dedicated keyboard docks, which is not such a big a deal because media-consumption devices don't require keyboard cases because users will only use the tablets mostly for enjoying media contents, like books, movies or games.

Asus MemoPad 7 HD, as its name suggests, is indeed a 7-inch tablet sporting the HD 720p resolution. However, something that is so prominent from this tablet is actually its price tag.

When it made its first debut in 2013, this tablet was surprisingly cheap to grab for a tablet with 720p resolution. It only cost around $150 but I believe you can get it today for under $100.

On the hardware side, this Asus’ device is also not too shabby at all for a cheap budget $150 tablet.

It features a 7-inch HD display, a quad-core MediaTek processor, PowerVR SGX544 GPU (the same one found inside iPhone 4 if I’m not mistaken), 1GB of RAM, 5MP rear-facing camera (which takes good shots by the way), microSD card slot and its customized software is also rich in terms of features and visual interface.

However, as a cheap tablet, of course there will be some sacrifices being made by Asus in order to achieve that cheap price point. And one of those compromises is on its design and built quality.

So Asus MemoPad 7 HD is using glossy plastic finish all over the place. And most of people know that this type of finish has been really popular to use on some Chinese cheap smartphones or tablets.

It's really slippery on hands, it feels cheap and it's a really finger-print magnet.

On the other hand with Asus’ tablet, Archos Gamepad 2 can be considered as a more prepared tablet in the entire aspect.

It has a solid design with matte finish, its physical gaming controllers are awesome, its gaming performance is amazingly good (despite using Mali-400 GPU) and everything about this tablet is just great overall.

But the questions remain, with all of the great things found on each of these tablets, which one between Asus MemoPad 7 HD and Archos GamePad 2 that has what it takes to be the best gaming tablet in this review?

Which one that is a much better tablet in the whole aspect?

Is it worth it to buy any of these tablets right now, especially for gaming?

Well, you’re gonna find out more about the answers for these questions right at the end of this comparison review.

So stick around!

Design

Unlike other rivals out there, Archos GamePad 2 can be considered as a really unique tablet. As a matter of fact, there’s no other tablet like Archos GamePad 2 on the market right now.

One thing to notice from Archos GamePad 2 is definitely its unique design concept.

So on the left and right sides, there are the actual physical gaming controllers embedded all over these areas (the areas where manufacturers usually put loudspeakers, earpiece, front-firing camera, home button or resistive navigation menus like Home, Back and Options).

This design concept is actually not something that is totally new because if you remember PlayStation Vita, then you will realize how this portable gaming console from Sony really inspires Archos a lot in creating Archos GamePad 2 in the first place.

PlayStation Vita has the same physical gaming controllers exactly like Archos GamePad 2 – from the analog sticks, the regular gaming buttons, the D-Pad, the left and right triggers and some other more.

And this Sony’s portable gaming console also shares the same touch screen input method just like Archos GamePad 2.

So pretty much, Archos GamePad 2 is a blown out version of PSP Vita.

Anyway, besides its awesome gaming controller, Archos Gamepad 2 is also equipped with the dual-front-firing speaker grilles on the left and right areas, around the gaming buttons.

This actually kind of reminds me with the same dual-front speaker grilles on HP Slate7 Extreme and Nvidia Shield Tablet.

The great thing is, thank to the dual-front-firing speaker grilles on Archos GamePad 2, the sound comes out really loud and clear, thus making the experience of watching movies or playing games on this device more realistic and immersive to user.

How about Asus MemoPad?

Well, unlike Archos GamePad 2 with its physical gaming controllers and awesome sound quality, this Asus MemoPad 7 HD has nothing to write home about when it comes to design.

Its materials and finish look and feel really cheap and there’s no uniqueness either found on this device.

So long story short, Asus MemoPad 7 HD is definitely one of the most generic looking tablets on the market right now. There’s just nothing special on the design of this Asus’ tablet.

According to some reviews, Asus MemoPad 7 HD feels really cheap, especially with its glossy plastic finish which really contributes to its perception as a cheap budget tablet.

And that’s a shame because Asus has been widely known in the world with its premium looking laptops and productivity tablets under Asus Transformer line.

Anyway, between the 2, I think it’s really obvious that Archos GamePad 2 takes the crown here as a much better looking tablet than Asus MemoPad 7 HD.

Its physical gaming controllers really make this tablet stand out not only in front of Asus MemoPad 7 HD, but also in front of other tablets on the market right now.

And that’s mostly because, until today, I don’t think there are other tablets that implement this same exact design concept that Archos applies on this gaming device.

Okay – I know that Sony PlayStation Vita was the one that started this concept, especially on portable gaming market. But on Android camp, Archos GamePad 2 is definitely the world's first Android tablet that implements this unique design.

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Archos Gamepad 2Archos Gamepad 2
No SIM
Released July 2013
7.0 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 800 x 1280 pixels (~216 ppi pixel density)
Quad-core Mediatek MT8125 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 CPU
PowerVR SGX544 GPU
1 GB RAM
Android OS, v4.2 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
microSD card slot for up to 32 GB
Internal 16 GB
5 MP rear-facing camera with autofocus
1.2 MP front-facing camera
No GPRS
No EDGE
Wi-Fi 802.11
No Radio
GPS
Java MIDP emulator
Bluetooth
USB
Non-removable Li-Po battery
7-inch 1280 x 800 pixels IPS capacitive display
Rockchip RK 3188 1.6GHz Quad-core A9 Processor •
Quad-core GPU Mali 400 MP4
Android 4.2, "Jelly Bean"
2GB RAM
8GB/16GB
micro SD up to 64GB formatted to FAT32
0.3MP Front-facing camera
NO rear-facing camera
USB 2.0: Mobile Transfer Protocol
Dual band WiFi
Bluetooth
Gaming Controls:
- Two analogue thumb-sticks
- Directional pad
- 6 front facing buttons
- 4 shoulder buttons
- Built-in stereo speakers
- G-sensor
HDMI output (Mini HDMI / HDMI cable sold separately)
5000mAh Li-poly battery

As a dedicated gaming tablet, of course Archos GamePad 2 must be well prepared when it comes to hardware specs.

But as far as the gaming performance in concerned, this Archos tablet actually doesn’t look quite powerful for today’s standards as it’s only equipped with a 1.6Ghz quad-core A9 processor along with a quad-core Mali-400 GPU.

But it’s worth mentioning that the Mali-400 GPU inside this tablet is quad-core and the MP4 model, so it delivers a more powerful graphical performance than the older version of Mali-400 GPU on older devices.

So no wonder if Asphalt 8: Airborne and Modern Combat 4 are running seamlessly on this device, even in full highest graphics.

Fortunately, Archos GamePad 2 is only sporting the 720p HD resolution on its 7-inch display, meaning that its quad-core CPU is not gonna be hardly pressed with such a huge burden.

So you can expect to see this tablet fly in buttery smooth performance even for playing heavy games. However, on some heavy games, there are still some slight choppiness seen in the gameplay, although not significantly.

On the sector of storage, 8GB or 16GB is internally provided to users but they can expand it with another external microSD card slot for up to 64GB.

Meanwhile, there is a huge 2GB of RAM embedded to give a huge space of memory so any heavy games can be loaded with no lag

There’s no rear-facing camera, however, so if your hobby is photography, then you must be willing to let that go.

The good thing is, Archos makes it up by providing you the real actual physical gaming controllers on the left and right areas (in landscape mode) – from the analog thumb sticks, the standard gaming buttons, the D-Pad, the trigger buttons and some other extra buttons for playing games.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ring, Asus MemoPad 7 HD doesn’t look like it’s going to blow Archos’ tablet out of the water in the hardware department.

It features a 7-inch HD 720p display, a quad-core MediaTek processor, PowerVR SGX544 GPU, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage along with the expandable microSD card slot.

The great thing is, there are 5MP camera on the back as well as the 1.2MP front-firing camera on this Asus’ tablet. So if you’re only looking for a regular tablet that has cameras, without thinking about its gaming capability, then you’re on the right track if you choose Asus MemoPad 7 HD.

Besides, according to some trusted reviews, the cameras of Asus MemoPad 7 HD are quite reliable. So you can totally count on them to accommodate your photography hobby.

Between the 2, I think they both look equal as a mid-end category tablet. However, if we look a little bit deeper to the hardware, we can tell easily that Archos GamePad 2 is the one that is more prepared when it comes to hardware specs.

Screen

Both Asus MemoPad 7 HD and Archos GamePad 2 are sporting the 720p resolution on their 7-inch screens, which stands in the HD territory. So obviously they have the same sharpness especially with the pixel density count.

According to what I’ve seen on YouTube, both of these devices are actually quite good with their displays.

The screen of Asus MemoPad 7 HD looks really gorgeous and colorful, while Archos GamePad 2 also looks superior especially when deploying HD games like Asphalt 8: Airborne or Modern Combat 4 in full graphics.

Gorgeous!

Okay – they both may not have the kind of sharpness that you see today on most of mid-end tablets across the market, like Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition), Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, Xiaomi Mi Pad or HP Slate8 Pro, with their 1080p screens.

But I think, 720p resolution is still pretty good enough to enjoy the media contents on a small screen size of 7-inches.

Besides, even on my 14-inch laptop, 720p resolution already looks sharp for my taste.

Not to mention, both Asus MemoPad 7 HD and Archos GamePad 2 are not powered by some high-grade flagship processors, so I believe it will be more effective to use 720p resolution especially with the use of battery.

User Interface

On the software side, each of these tablets stands on the entirely different bandwagon here. Asus MemoPad 7 HD comes pre-installed with Asus’ customized UI, which is heavily added with a bunch of features and new visual interface.

On the other hand, Archos GamePad 2 is more comfortable to use the stock version of Android UI.

So this is probably why on Asus MemoPad 7 HD, many games perform poorly with consistent hiccups all over the gameplay (like in GTA Vice City for example).

This is the opposite with Archos Gamepad 2 with its stock UI that is capable to deliver its best performance almost with no stutters. The one where it enjoys the most is definitely the gaming performance because games on Archos’ tablet are running seamlessly with minimum lags across the gameplay.

But even so, the UI of Asus MemoPad 7 HD is still pretty good for most of users.

Of course, it’s not going to have the smoothest nor the fastest performance in town, but at least, it comes pre-installed with many added features from Asus that will surely give a richer experience to users who demand an entertainment-dedicated tablet.

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As mentioned above, in terms of performance, especially for playing games, of course Archos GamePad 2 is just an instant champion in this review if compared with Asus MemoPad 7 HD, especially when knowing that Archos’ device is specifically-made by Archos for gaming, while Asus’ slate is more on entertainment side.

So for playing games, especially heavy 3D games, no single doubt that Archos GamePad 2 is gonna blow Asus MemoPad 7 HD out of the water.

Most of the games you see today like Modern Combat 4, Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA Vice City, NOVA 3, Need for Speed and Dead Trigger will run perfectly in buttery smooth performance.

One of the things that impresses me a lot with this Archos’ tablet is the fact that Mali-400 MP4 GPU of this device is more impressive when handling Asphalt 8: Airborne in full highest graphics.

And this is the opposite of Google Nexus 7 (2012) with its staggering 12-core GPU, which doesn’t deliver a very smooth performance when playing this arcade-racing game in full graphics, although it’s still playable.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen how Archos GamePad 2 performs when playing GTA San Andreas (which is insanely heavy) especially in full highest graphics (with maximum resolution, draw distance, shadows, effects, etc).

But I can assume this game is not going to run really smooth in full graphics, although it’s still playable in medium level of graphics (as seen on one Huawei Honor 3X if i'm not mistaken).

Meanwhile, Asus MemoPad 7 HD, as I already told you above, is not a dedicated gaming tablet. It’s more of an entertainment tablet to enjoy media contents like movies, books, etc.

It shows perfectly when this game is deployed with an older game, GTA Vice City. This game runs really laggy and I don’t think it’s even running in full graphics.

But the good thing is, this Asus MemoPad 7 HD is still capable to perform greatly when playing some other heavy 3D games like Minion Rush, Real Racing 3, GTA III, Dead Trigger and ShadowGun DeadZone.

So you can still count on it if you love playing some older 3D games like Asphalt 7: Heat, Modern Combat 2 or any other casual games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and Tapped Out (The Simpsons game).

Between the 2, of course I will definitely side on Archos GamePad 2 as the best gaming tablet in this comparison review.

It has way more powerful graphical performance and it’s also equipped with the actual physical gaming controllers all over the front side.

So the experience of playing games on this device is just top notch, even compared to other popular tablets out there (and even iPad mini) that have no physical gaming controllers.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about their gaming performances, including what games that will run on these tablets, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Cameras

Well, if you’re not really into gaming, then you are probably more interested with photography.

And if you love photography, then your hobby will be accommodated very well on Asus MemoPad 7 HD.

It comes with a 5MP rear-facing camera and the other 1.2MP camera on the front.

Okay, Asus MemoPad 7 HD may not have the same quality of cameras on other flagship tablets like iPad mini, Sony Xperia Tablet Z or Samsung GALAXY Note 8.

However, according to video reviews on YouTube (like Phonearena.com and CNET), the rear-facing camera of Asus MemoPad 7 HD is surprisingly good, especially for a $150 tablet.

The photos look pretty sharp and colorful and the videos taken with this tablet is also not too shabby at all.

And with the gorgeous colorful HD display on Asus MemoPad 7 HD, checking out photos or videos definitely gives an eye-pleasing experience to users.

So long story short, this tablet may be priced at just $150 (probably cheaper right now), which is really cheap.

But its good rear camera really makes it up for its weak gaming performance and low build quality.

And this is the opposite of Archos GamePad 2.

As a dedicated gaming tablet, it’s a shame that Archos GamePad 2 is not perfectly prepared in that department. That’s probably acceptable given that this tablet is mainly intended as a true gaming device.

But the good thing is, there is still a 0.3MP camera found on the front-side, meaning that you’re able to do selfies or video calls with your friends or family.

Battery Life

Archos GamePad 2 is blessed with a huge 5000mAh battery inside, which is not very shocking because it’s made for gaming. So you can expect to see this device last in long hours when used for playing games, even the heavy ones.

The great thing is, this manufacturer made good decision for using the stock Android UI and according to its website, the Rockchip RK 3188 CPU found inside this tablet is made with 28nm manufacturing process, which means it’s not going to consume a lot of power, thus making it more power-efficient with the use of battery.

However, if I’m not mistaken, there was onoe review that I stumbled upon on a tech website that said that the battery life of Archos GamePad 2 is not that great especially for playing heavy games.

But I’m not sure if that’s true because Archos states on its website that the 5000mAh battery of this tablet is capable to deliver a satisfying battery life to users, even for gaming.

Meanwhile, Asus MemoPad 7 HD is powered by a non-removable Li-Po battery. Too bad I don’t know quite sure about its capacity.

But if looking at its entire aspect like hardware and software, I can assume that Asus MemoPad 7 HD is gonna be average in terms of battery life, mostly thanks to its heavily customized UI.

And its battery life would drop drastically to probably around 3 to 5 hours if you use it entirely to do some heavy stuff like playing games or watching HD movies without resting the screen at all.

You’re definitely gonna be required to recharge this device twice in one single day.

It actually goes the same with Archos GamePad 2 especially if you use it mainly to play some heavy stuff in marathon. So you better have the charger near you everytime you use it on-the-go.

My Personal Opinions

So Asus MemoPad 7 HD and Archos GamePad 2.. What’s so special about these 2 tablets?

Okay, let me start with Asus MemoPad 7 HD first.

As a tablet dedicated to enjoy entertainment contents like movies, books or music, Asus MemoPad 7 HD surely excels on the sector perfectly. Its 720p display is looking gorgeous and insanely colorful (according to CNET and PhoneArena) and it also has an adequate hardware plus software to accommodate that purpose.

And the great thing about this tablet is, it surprisingly only costs at $150 when it made its first debut in 2013. So you probably can get it at even cheaper price right now.

However, as a gaming tablet, I think Asus MemoPad 7 HD still leaves a lot to be desired. And that’s mostly because its performance for playing heavy games is still slightly behind Archos GamePad 2.

This Asus’ tablet may be capable to handle Minion Rush, Real Racing 3, ShadowGun or GTA III in buttery smooth performance. However, when faced with games like GTA Vice City, this tablet already shows its weakness.

And this is not impressive because this GTA game is an older game, especially compared to a much heavier GTA San Andreas.

This is the opposite of Archos GamePad 2.

As a tablet specifically made for gaming, of course Archos has already thought it through when making this device. And not only did they think about its physical gaming controller, but its performance and battery life as well.

So long story short, Archos GamePad 2 is one impressive gaming tablet.

As a matter of fact, I think this is one of the best gaming tablets in town mostly because it has the physical gaming controllers embedded on the device, unlike other regular touch screen tablets that only have the performance, but not the experience, although users can still pair their regular tablets with MOGA gaming controllers.

Between the 2, I think both tablets are pretty great. But of course, Archos GamePad 2 is the one that comes out as the winner here in this review simply because it’s mostly great on major departments, like gaming performance, gaming experience, sound quality, battery life and build quality.

I just really hope that other manufacturers will also follow the footsteps of Archos in the future to make the same tablets with the actual physical gaming controllers.

Of course, Nvidia already has its own dedicated but separate gaming controllers which is specifically made for Nvidia Shield Tablet, not to mention the first gen Nvidia Shield gaming console (not tablet) that already has gaming controller on it.

But I think it would be awesome if there is another challenger for Archos GamePad 2 in the future, which is a regular Android tablet with physical gaming controllers.

This would definitely make people start to think seriously about the existence of the real gaming tablets.

And I believe also that this will stimulate other Android game developers to make more serious games for Android tablets in the future. Not just the graphics, but the gameplay, storyline and experience as well.

Anyway, to sum this review up, let me answer some of the questions I've previously asked above. Here you go:

which one between Asus MemoPad 7 HD and Archos GamePad 2 that has what it takes to be the best gaming tablet in this review?

Of course, it's Archos GamePad 2. It handles most of the heavy-performing games so perfectly and it also has the physical gaming controllers. Meanwhile, Asus MemoPad 7 HD is definitely not really ideal as a gaming tablet especially given its less-powerful gaming performance.

Which one that is a much better tablet in the whole aspect?

I've got to say that Archos Gamepad 2 is the better tablet in the whole aspect than Asus MemoPad 7 HD. And that's mostly because it has the physical gaming controllers.

Okay, it may not have the rear-facing camera just like Asus's tablet. But I believe it doesn't make this Archos Gamepad 2 less appealing to buy than Asus MemoPad 7 HD.

Is it worth it to buy any of these tablets right now, especially for gaming?

Yes, but only if you buy Archos GamePad 2, not Asus MemoPad 7 HD.

Pros and Cons

Asus MemoPad 7 HD

Pros:
  • Bright and gorgeous HD display
  • Good for enjoying media contents like movies
  • Asus customized UI with lots of features
  • Has microSD card slot for up to 32GB and a good quality rear-facing 5MP camera
Cons:
  • Cheap looking design
  • Low build quality
  • Not really powerful for playing 3D games
Archos GamePad 2

Pros
  • Physical gaming controllers
  • Decent battery life
  • Stock Android UI
  • Good sound quality thanks to dual-front-firing speaker grilles
  • Great gaming design and build quality
  • Powerful gaming performance
Cons
  • Not so powerful anymore for today's standards


Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...

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