Archos is preparing to launch the GamePad, a 7-inch Android tablet with its eye firmly on the handheld gaming crowd.

Unlike its recently launched platform-mate the Nexus 7, this Google-powered touchscreen device will come equipped with dual-analogue sticks, a D-pad, four face buttons, and what appears to be a pair of shoulder buttons. Everything a mobile gamer could wish for, in other words.

What's more, Archos is planning to undercut the Nexus 7 - the 8GB version of Google's tablet retails for €199 in Europe - claiming that the GamePad will go on sale for "less than €150".

Though this is not the first 'hardcore' gaming tablet to be pitched at Android users - the incoming and PlayStation-certified WikiPad also boasts (detachable) dual-analogue sticks - the GamePad's compact form and incredibly low price might make it the most appealing gaming slate to date.

Nitty gritty

Peek under the hood of the GamePad and you will find a 1.5GHz dual core processor working alongside a quad-core Mali 400 MP GPU. The tablet will run Android 4.0 (a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich) and will be fully Google certified, meaning it has access to the entire Google Play Store.

The GamePad will also utilise Archos's patented "mapping and game recognition tool", which is designed to automatically map virtual controls to the device's built-in buttons and sticks.

You haven't long to save, either, as the GamePad is due to appear on store shelves before the end of October.

The Verge