Archos Gamepad - Android + physical buttons my experiece (Dosbox, emulation etc..)

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ruthan
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At the start, again sorry for my english, im very lazy, bad boy.

Dosbox (i used Dosbox Turbo, with 20th December Archos firmware):
Doom2 - after manual mapping of physical buttons in Dosbox Turbo settings, works well - 70 % of PC experience (controling game by keyboard is simple more precise, quicker and here is speed very important)
Kyrandia - ok, it device is for adventures, almost 90% of PC experience (PC mouse is simple better than touchscreen)
Golden Axe - it works, a bit slowly, you should manual map keys in Dosbox Turbo settings (after that 80% of PC experience)
Dungeon Master - it works, too slow im used to much quick shifts in dungeon (60% of PC experience)
Warcraft 2 - works ok on touchscreen, but mouse operation make by fingers are slow (70% of PC experience, more units and quick managment isnt possible)
Arena - it works and it works, speed is enought, but fight, hold "right" button and make move with sword was realy akward, i dindt try map mouse on physical analog (30% of PC experience, playable but with great effort)
Duke3D - suprisely i works, relatively good regarding performance, but it depends of level (60% of PC experience, because you should use more key than in Doom, levels are more complicated for gamepad play, on PC also exist some graphical patches)
Fallout modded for dos - it works, but designs using very small buttons, even with dpad maped as mouse (what is probably possible only for left hand), it is very problematic (25% PC experience).
Carmageddon - too slow, un playable
NHL 93 - works, keyboard is still better but still is still good (70% of PC experience)

Overally almost verything could works and be mapped, you are limited to 14 keys. Main problem is cumbersome mouse emulation, on touchscreen, by some anolog or dpad.
Problem is that of have knowledge about set of keys which is using every game for mapping, was is time consuming (but you could use Dosbox Turbo extension create Dosbox profile per game or type of game).

Amiga emulation
- only adf files are supported, vhd images dont work by emulators
Golden axe (UAE4Droid) - too quick, great is that is possible
Chaos engine - ok

NintendoDS emulation
DS4droid - i tried Asphalt+Mario game, all keys can be mapped, but its too slow, unplayable

Megadrive emulation
GenPlusDroid - greats Street fighter 2 / Roadrush works great, on physical controlls
AndroGens - also works

Nintendo64 emlation:
Mupen64 - 2 of 3 games runs (Rayman 2 was game which dont), but there was big flickering and graphical glitches, i tried lots of settings, but without success
N64oid - there is also flickering
So for now, N64 emulation is problem.

Playstation emulation:
- every game which i tried worked without issue
Twisted metal - it works, but game is realy Darky, or minimaly first arena, so i must to hold tablet is very akward position, because otherwise i didnt see a thing.
Soul Calibur - all is ok
Warcraft II - mouse emulation is everytime worse and mouse itself, but works without problems
Resident evil - problem is bad screen, elsewhere ok
Diablo - again screen is too bad, but i works withut problems

Playstation portable:
- there is emulator (PPSSPP) - group of games which should works, i tried three of them (Tekken Dark, Moto GP a Street fighter 3 aplha) without success. Emulator is still very beta..

Mame cabinets emulation:
- it works, but there are issue with big collections, slow nagiting and same bugs in Mame4droid

Plastation 2 emulator:
- impossible for now

Dremcast emulator:
- only some very beta emulator

Snes emulation
- SNESDroid is better that Snes9x EX+ emulator
- everything works

Natite games:
- i didnt found except Expandable any game which i already have not on iPad and didnt want to buy, same games again.
Shadow Gun - controlls works but it is boring
Expandable - controlls works, but in-game controllers are stupidly designed, because turn of character and shooting is one key action, if im not wrong
Im would recommend Aralon, Ravensword and Bards tale (new one, old one are as extra bonus) - which i already bought for my iPads.

OnLive streaming - this is future:
- Archos mapping tool doesnt works, but only few of games as like new Tomb Raider / Dirt in service supporting android by touchscreen controls.
-

External monitor through HDMI
- it works, but there are not too much supported resolution only few - 720p;480p;1080p. My 1920x1200 isnt supported, native 1024x600 isnt supported.
- sound is problem, if your monitor havent speakers, because standard speakers after monitor connection are silent

USB ultimate - PC like machine setup- In progress
- with special OTG cable - mouse, keyboard, flashdisk works, but only 1 device in time
- issue is charging, because through same port is device powerup
- i tried 3 usb hubs after OTG cable, but didnt work

Solution could:
- be power USB hub, it needs that power from Gamepad isnt big enough to power hub and devices
- special OTG hub

Charging is still problem..

---------------------------------------------
Archos Gamepad overall experience, problems::
- display view angles are very poor - problems during playing dark games (Diablo, Twisted Metal, Resident evil etc..), problem for movies or youtube watching. I know that this isnt IPS, but even for TN technology is crappy, how money could Archos save 15$ on that?
- Display aspect ration (16:9.3) isnt good idea, because there is Android tray at botton, was means that you have for game (16:8.5 or something like that) and old games and for 4:3, result is that using only part of small 7 inch screen, unlike iPad, which is 4:3.
- im used to iPads, harware home button, which Android havent and im not wrong could be mapped on Archos buttons. I was often inadvertently touch corner of screen and i minimalized gam, i hate it.
- internal storage is very slow, i did some benchmarks 20-30 MB/s read andwrite, in better tables are regular SSD drives, in some worse in some better (MS surface for example have 500/200 MB/s)
- slowdown after SDmicro card is inserted (quickest todays MicroSD card is still 10 MB/s what is poor), i have 64GB sandisc card (which i have to format to FAT32 this isnt without issues),
- buttons are loudy, which can be problem on the road, in public transport services
- analog stick seems should have better sensitivy and crafmenship, it simple isnt good enough => i prefered to use the dpad.
- missing bluetooth (for wireless headphones, keyboard and mouse), Archos on that probably 3 dolars, but we are sad.
- poor batery (2h fot gaming, 3h for surfing) and big battery (50%) discharging during night without user activity
- i didnt find way, how to make screenshots
- Gamepad doesnt see my Nokia found mobile ad hoc Wiffi, iPad does

My issue thread
- i tried support, few phorums, but result is allways same, Archos dont care and community is too small
- my problems list

Browser experince (mainly given by Android)
- Opera/Chrome/Firefox were working quit good, but i still didnt found browser which could force PC mod, as some browser on iPad, because some pages if regognize Android are directed on sime mobile version, which is sometimes realy bad.
- flash have to be installed bz unofficial way

Movies
- as i said view angles are pretty bad. But good is samba support out of box, for acess to linux shares, in iOS you must buy application for that. I dindt invest too much time in that, but i still didnt find good player with good subtiles support.

Summary:
I tried to think about usability of this device, small weight is absolutly great, concept of tablet with such gamepad like controls are also great. But craftmanship should be better - display, buttons etc.

Real life use cases:
1) When tralleling often & want to play on the way - on way to the work, to other city, in rail etc - you can play and you can play various Android native games with better controls + lots of old emulated games with good experience, but almost everytime worst than on PC. Very small weight is also very great.

2) Very cheap "computer" for Dosbox gaming (wich LCD monitor, and USB hub, mouse and keyboard), on PC is Dosbox very slow, with quad core Core i5 is speed very similar to Dosbox Turbo for majority of games, as bonus is device mobile, android and support emulators. For 199$ + $50 for bigger SD cards it is very good trade, if already havent.
In addition you can use Ubuntu OS as Android application, if realy need desktop OS.

3) Computer for cottage in the woods / for time in your girlsfriends flat, for visits etc.. Maybe best scenario for this device, but i dunno how often such scenario appears in normal life. If you have some cottage with television, you can take Gamepad, plus small keyboard and mouse and can have real desktop experience, almost anywhere.

4) Buy it or not
If you arent entusiant which must to have everything righ now, i would be wait for new generation with better performance and display, or archos like extension for google Nexus or other quality tablet (is case of Anchos is simple 7 tablet glue with great piece fo plastic nothing special, but button Archos button mapping is patented, could be issue).
Because Gamepad has only 8 GB storage memory and dont want juggling with data, you should buy for next $50 memory card, but even with it you still have slower device, with worse display, support etc for 250$ and nexus is for $299.
So you real play only for gaming experience, otherwise this not good bargain, except you are child or student (here price is everytime most important).

For me personaly:
I will try play some Dos games which i missed, same with Amiga games and very few Playstation games and some arcade game, new very few new (if Expandable, Carmaggedon remake for tablets is new game), but i dunno, maybe it will be lost time, self-flagellation (too many effort and bad result) and i will ends you this device only as ebook reader (100% experience), web reader and bad notebook + i as said desktop for the cottage :)

I think it is only matter of short time, when will be come, device with better construction quality, performance and physical buttons, probably with Tegra 4 SoC solution. Nvidia Shield has too small display and crappy design, but there will be other devices.

For me 70/100, doesnt means 100 ideal gaming, but max for handheld.

Who: Brujah Zealot, the pimp of babylons bitch. / Location: Scorched heart of Europe. // Sorry for my moldavian sort of english, i have 2 possibilities, to be silent or try to say something +look like idiot..

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
thanks Rob, links work just

thanks Rob, links work just fine :) I love to read about this stuff.

Rob Daviau
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Don't wait for me!

clok1966 wrote:

even if its alot of the same, do a video or review.. I am so close to getting one of these, the more thoughts I hear the better.. I watched the video on that link where you purchased.. (one thing, what is wrong with that girls thumbs?) little lacking.. final fight and Cadillac & Dinosaurs (same game.. silly people, show something else) and Super mario world.. But it does look like a nice unit.

Honestly I don't know when I can get around to that, and really not needed. I say this strongly, unless you are willing to tinker, update the stock Android firmware then these devices are "OK". You get what you pay for, they pretty much work as advertised but nothing more. I did not take the time to check before updating but often these cheap Chinese devices out of the box with the stock OS have issues form bloatware, to out of date apps to even the Google Play store not working. But this is WHY guys like SkelRom make such awesome alternate Android ROMS that make them more stable with better features. Don't wait for me please.

Do some reading HERE (form the author of alternate Android rom SkelRom):
http://boards.dingoonity.org/jxd-devices/(custom-rom)-skelrom-for-jxds7300b/

And HERE (THIS IS THE ONE I CURRENTLY USE):
http://boards.dingoonity.org/jxd-devices/(custom-firmware)-thexsample-sxelrom-v3-0-for-jxd-s7300b/

READ THROUGH THOSE THREADS AND MAKE YOUR OWN DECISION IF IT IS WORTH BOTHERING WITH.

I CAN say between Bill's cheap link and the videos I watched about the device running various games from MobileDecay these were a huge part of my decision, I knew going in I would be switching to an alternate ANDROID rom.
http://www.youtube.com/user/MobileDecay/search?query=s7300

IF YOU PLAN TO STICK WITH THE DEVICE AS STOCK YOU CAN FIND PLENTY OF VIDEO FROM BASIC USERS OWN HANDS ON REVIEWS AND IMPRESSIONS BY SIMPLY SEARCHING YOUTUBE: JXD s7300

n/a
clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
more info

Rob Daviau wrote:
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Wow, it looks impressive. This seems to be the best price: http://lightake.com/detail.do/sku.JXD_S7300_Dual_Core_Game_Tablet_PC_7_I...

You and your links! I could not resist, I DID order the s7300 from the link you provided, the price was too temting and I am oh so weak lol.

Anyway, took about 3 weeks to receive but it was received in good condition at a great price. I have not posted any videos yet. I DO say that items like this stock out of the box are OK for typical user if they want something low priced BUT for those willing to tinker and tweak I think it is very good, I have already updated to community Android ROM by Skel Rom. I use the xsampleSlelrom first I upgraded to v2.0 then 2.1 and last night to recent released v3.0. much better layout, features, stability. There are also clockspeed patches and best of all a patch that SWAPS the internal and external memory mapping so my 32GB SDcard is considered internal storage.
I tell you all this before I forget and also because I do not know when I will get around to posting videos about it. I think it was well worth it for someone like me who likes to flash ROMS and upgrades lol.

even if its alot of the same, do a video or review.. I am so close to getting one of these, the more thoughts I hear the better.. I watched the video on that link where you purchased.. (one thing, what is wrong with that girls thumbs?) little lacking.. final fight and Cadillac & Dinosaurs (same game.. silly people, show something else) and Super mario world.. But it does look like a nice unit.

Rob Daviau
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Damn you BILL!

Bill Loguidice wrote:

Wow, it looks impressive. This seems to be the best price: http://lightake.com/detail.do/sku.JXD_S7300_Dual_Core_Game_Tablet_PC_7_I...

You and your links! I could not resist, I DID order the s7300 from the link you provided, the price was too temting and I am oh so weak lol.

Anyway, took about 3 weeks to receive but it was received in good condition at a great price. I have not posted any videos yet. I DO say that items like this stock out of the box are OK for typical user if they want something low priced BUT for those willing to tinker and tweak I think it is very good, I have already updated to community Android ROM by Skel Rom. I use the xsampleSlelrom first I upgraded to v2.0 then 2.1 and last night to recent released v3.0. much better layout, features, stability. There are also clockspeed patches and best of all a patch that SWAPS the internal and external memory mapping so my 32GB SDcard is considered internal storage.
I tell you all this before I forget and also because I do not know when I will get around to posting videos about it. I think it was well worth it for someone like me who likes to flash ROMS and upgrades lol.

n/a
ruthan
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Joined: 01/22/2012
Maybe there are some people

Maybe there are some people which see only priced, but this is not doped Sony handheld.. were you will be paid, extra 15 buck in price of every game.

Archos gamepad is low cost 170$ device, here we have:
- better craftmanship
- IPS display, which is most expensive
- batery
- support etc.
For 80 bucks. How is price of Apple Ipad mini gimmick, 499 bucks? There is not way, how to cut price.

Google nexus is best seller produced by big companies (Google + Asus) and google could afford doped prices.

Who: Brujah Zealot, the pimp of babylons bitch. / Location: Scorched heart of Europe. // Sorry for my moldavian sort of english, i have 2 possibilities, to be silent or try to say something +look like idiot..

Bill Loguidice
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Wikipad

ruthan wrote:
Wikipad finaly in production. Better HW (Display, battery, probably also support), but 700g..
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Wikipad-Nexus-7-Production-Android-Gaming-Tegra-3,21870.html

They really need to get that out at $199 rather than $249. I think that would make it much more compelling. $50 doesn't sound like much, but I think most people would rather go for a Nexus 7, even though it's slightly less impressively spec'd.

n/a
ruthan
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Wikipad finaly in production.

Wikipad finaly in production. Better HW (Display, battery, probably also support), but 700g..
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Wikipad-Nexus-7-Production-Android-Gami...

Who: Brujah Zealot, the pimp of babylons bitch. / Location: Scorched heart of Europe. // Sorry for my moldavian sort of english, i have 2 possibilities, to be silent or try to say something +look like idiot..

TripHamer
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...

I'm mixed about it. I played Tekken 3 using the PSX emulator in RetroArch and using only the "D-Pad" and the buttons and I was able to play as well as I do on an acutal PSX. Even though I did have some issues with my fingers losing their place on the buttons.

The analog controls still feel stiff and my finger slips off the hard plastic pads. I have issues trying to play some games with them.

However, I'm still playing and adapting....hoping that it'll work out.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
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Oh well, another confirmation...

TripHamer wrote:
First impressions

Ack, battery and controls are two big keys to something like this, too...

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TripHamer
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And the Archos has arrived.

First impressions:

- Sucks down battery life very quickly
- Analog controls feel stiff
- D-Pad is not as accurate for me as a regular D-Pad would be. I'm use to rocking my finger back and forth and not sliding it to find the button.

Maybe I'll get use to it. We'll see how it goes.

n/a

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