13.3-Inch Archos FamilyPad: Fun for the Family or Destined to Flop?
Archos already caters to kids with the child-friendly Child Pad; now, it's looking to appeal to moms, dads, and bigger siblings alike with the appropriately named FamilyPad, a gargantuan 13.3-inch Android tablet designed to draw the entire clan around the ol' touchscreen.
The larger screen size allows more people to crowd around the slate, while 10-finger multi-touch capabilities can keep up to 4 people simultaneously swiping, tapping and gesturing like mad during a frenzied virtual board game session. The tablet ships with several games preinstalled to stimulate family time right out of the box. Movies more your thing? The 1280 x 800 resolution should play HD videos well enough, though we would've liked to see a higher pixel count on such a large screen.
Beyond the big screen, the Archos FamilyPad sports fairly mid-range specs for an Android ICS tablet. It's powered by a dual-core, 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory. That's expandable by another 32GB thanks to the inclusion of a micro-SDHC card slot, which is accompanied by singular HDMI and micro-USB 2.0 connections. The slate also sports dual cameras, but don't rely on them to capture life's memories; they're just 2-megapixels apiece.
Despite those pedestrian specs, you'll be paying a premium for that plus-sized screen. The Archos FamilyPad is slated to launch in the U.K. next month for £274.99, which today converts to roughly $438 in U.S. dollars. There's no word on when to expect an official U.S. launch.
The real question doesn't revolve around domestic availability; it's whether or not families will cuddle up to such a big tablet. Toshiba's Excite 13 featured a similarly supersized display with an even better resolution and beefier processor, and it proved to be a complete flop in stores. Of course, it also carried a beefier $650 price tag to match. The strong resemblance Archos' massive new slate bears to the Excite 13's basic form factor and functionality bears may be an ill-omen, however -- especially when you consider that many phone-optimized Android apps look horrible on such a vast expanse of screen.
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