Anyone remember the first-gen Archos GamePad? You know, the 7-inch budget-friendly Android tablet designed with gamers in mind, but heavily criticized by everyone for shoddy build quality, weak gaming support and an overall disappointing set of specs.

Archos GamePad 2 Archos GamePad 2 goes official: same old design, same price, but faster CPU, more RAM and crisper display

Still can’t recall it? Don’t sweat it, as most people that do would rather wipe it off their memories. Which is why Archos has gone back to the drawing board, coming up with a sequel looking virtually the same on the outside while considerably improving its inner beauty.

Leaked by an impatient online retailer a couple of weeks ago, the GamePad 2 has gone official earlier today and, right off the bat, you’ll notice its screen has been greatly enhanced. Not in size, since this thing is intended as a gaming machine on the go, but in resolution, now boosting 1,280 x 800 pixels.

Before you start going all “that’s still not high-end material”, let me highlight the GamePad 2 will go on sale stateside for just $200 “sometime in Q4” and in Europe for €180 by the end of this month. Mind you, those are pretty much the same exact price tags as the ones carried by the first-gen GamePad, so you know what they say about beggars.

Archos GamePad 2 2 Archos GamePad 2 goes official: same old design, same price, but faster CPU, more RAM and crisper display

With everything in mind, it’s actually fairly impressive that Archos has been able to double GamePad’s RAM, from 1 to 2 gigs, swap the old dual-core CPU for a quad-core A9-based unit clocked at 1.6 GHz, plus up the battery ante, though we’re still light on details in that particular department.

Meanwhile, the GamePad 2 runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out the box with full Google Play access, packs 8 or 16 GB of storage (with microSD expansion) and an array of connectivity options, including Bluetooth and mini HDMI.

Archos GamePad 2 3 Archos GamePad 2 goes official: same old design, same price, but faster CPU, more RAM and crisper display

Bottom line, this may still not be the wet dream of hardcore gamers, especially since for some reason the weight has been upped to 400 grams, but provided the tab doesn’t fell as shallow and cheap as its predecessor, it’s probably a smarter buy than Nvidia’s Shield.

It’s definitely more comfortable for gaming on the go, as it’s sleeker while incorporating decent controls like two analogue thumb-sticks and a directional pad, and it’s also $100 cheaper. Anyone planning on getting it?

Source: Archos