13.3-inch Archos Arnova FamilyPad gets official, will be out next month for £274.99

About three months after we first told you about its existence, Archos’ Arnova-branded FamilyPad has finally been officially announced by the French company. In case the branding is confusing to you, know that Arnova is Archos’ even lower-cost brand, used for tablets that come with lower-end specs than those which get to use the Archos brand itself.

The FamilyPad’s main, and dare we say it most intriguing feature is that it comes with a 13.3-inch touchscreen. Thankfully, the retail package also includes the quick stand you can see in the second image below, making operating the huge tablet less of a pain we assume.

The screen sadly isn’t very high-res, at ‘just’ 1,280×800 resolution. That compares very badly to, say, the Samsung-made Google Nexus 10 and its 10-inch 2,560×1,600 unit. Then again, perhaps the FamilyPad’s target market won’t be very disappointed about that.

Video watching is surely one of the big use cases that Archos thought about when designing the FamilyPad. Granted, because of its size, it’s a tablet that’s a lot easier to ‘share’ with family members or friends, and it’s a lot less ‘personal’ – you hardly have any privacy while using it, so it looks like Archos was mainly aiming at people using the FamilyPad together – at the same time even, playing board games, sharing pictures, or connecting to social networks.

The FamilyPad comes with a single-core 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of built-in storage expandable via microSD slot, two 2 MP cameras (one on the front, one on the back), Wi-Fi, HDMI out, microUSB, and a 3.5 mm headset jack. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Its dimensions are 262x171x12.5 mm, and it weighs 1.3 kg. The battery is rated at 10 hours of video playback time, but the exact capacity isn’t known yet.

The Arnova FamilyPad will become available in the UK sometime in December for £274.99. As is usually the case with Archos products, expect the tablet to be out in the rest of the big European markets around the same time, for around the same price. There’s no word yet on a possible release in the US and/or Canada, but we’ll let you know if we find out more.

The FamilyPad will certainly be laughed off by many as ‘too huge’ from the get-go. However, let’s not forget that the original Samsung Galaxy Note got the same treatment, and went on to become one of the Korean company’s best selling mobile devices. So perhaps bigger is always better in the mobile space after all.

The thing is, we’ll never know if this applies to tablets. At least we won’t find out because of the Arnova FamilyPad. It’s a nice effort, but it’s a grossly underpowered tablet for this day and age, and it runs a pretty old version of Android. So if people don’t buy it in droves (and they won’t), don’t blame that on its size. We’re still waiting for some manufacturer to push out a really top-spec 13-inch tablet. Then, and only then, will we be able to tell if this size has any future.

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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