Monthly Archives: November 2012


Announced by ARCHOS exactly 3 months ago, the GamePad Android portable game console still hasn’t hit the shelves. Pixmania online shop in France had the GamePad in pre-order with a release date of November 23 which hasn’t been met and the product is actually not listed anymore on their web pages. A French e-tailer specialized in gaming has recently changed the release date to early 2013, while ARCHOS is just giving some vague information on their Facebook.

ARCHOS GamePad in pre-order at, announced for 3rd of January, 2013.

ARCHOS Facebook comments on GamePad availability

Earlier this week, ARCHOS commented on their Facebook page to clarify about the situation about some rumours on potential copyright problems with the name GamePad (also used on latest Nintendo Wii U console) They also gave a vague update on the product release in the “next couple of weeks”.

“Everyone, chill out. There are no copyrighting problems on the name GamePad. The Archos GamePad will be releasing in the next couple of weeks. We decided to hold the launch to squash some last software bugs.”

ARCHOS GamePad specifications

Operating System Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
CPU ARM Cortex A9
Rockchip RK3066 CPU @ 1.5 Ghz
Integrated GPU: Quad-Core Mali-400
Flash Storage Memory Capacity: 8 GB
System Memory 1024 Mb
Additional storage Micro SD slot (SDXC compatible up to 64GB)
Display 1024×600 Expected (TBC)
Capacitive MultiTouch
Bluetooth No (TBC)
Wifi 802.11 b/g/n (TBC)
Gravity Sensor Yes
Camera front facing 
Interfaces MicroSD slot
Android Market / Google Play Yes
Kickstand No

Please visit us again, we will post updates on the ARCHOS GamePad availability as soon as we get new information.

Source: ARCHOS World Wide Facebook Open Consoles (in French)

The MK808 is currently one of the best RK3066 based Mini PC device when it comes to system hacks and tweaks. Thanks to deadhp1 and the great developers from, a custom Linux kernel for RK3066 devices has just been built to offer real 1080 display HDMI output on the TV.

Enabling 1080p output with a modified kernel

While advertised for 1080p resolution, the MK808 Mini PC actually outputs a rescaled display at 720p on the HDMI port. As AndrewDB suggested on forum, this can actually be modified to 1080p using the Kernel source code from another RK3066 device and making changes in drivers/video/rockchip/hdmi/rk30_hdmi.h file.

#define HDMI_VIDEO_DEFAULT_MODE                 HDMI_1280x720p_60Hz//HDMI_1920x1080p_60Hz

deadhp1 on has compiled a kernel with this modification and build a firmware that includes the custom custom kernel on latest MK808 rooted firmware.

MK808 rooted firmware download

MK808 rooted custom firmware with 1080p HDMI output support

by deadhp1 /
updated 2012/11/27

Google drive download

Go to MK808 Firmware folder, then 1080p_test folder and get overclocked kernel (up to 1.6 GHz)
there is also a separate custom kernel clocked at 1.4 GHz is available (see file)

This firmware is specific to the MK808 model and should not be installed on other devices.




This firmware is made to be flashed using Rockchip Flashing tool, please follow the Rockchip Flashing tool procedure: that will explain how to download Rockchip flashing tool, unpack the archive, put your device into flashing mode and flash the custom firmware file that you have unpacked in Step 1.

Firmware Limitations

This firmware with custom kernel is quite stable provided you don’t push the MK808 too much at 1.6 GHz. Still, it was found that clocking it at 1.4 GHz gives a more stable system. Also, there are some noticeable flickering or blank lines appearing on some occasions, this does not seem to be very frequent and is not very annoying.

Source:, keep up the good work guys !

This page compiles compatibility information for USB accessories (keyboard, mouse, tuners, Bluetooth dongles…) to connect on Mini PC / HDMI sticks. This content is community driven and everybody is encouraged to report if their accessory is working or not with the Mini PC.

Please register to post your feedback on this page

Last data submited:

DeviceAccessory typeAccessory namePictureTest resultsCommentsDateUser
(Mini PC RK3066 based)
Camera / web camera logitech  working  2013-01-21 02:40:52ngv1
Rikomagic MK802 III
(Mini PC RK3066 based)
Camera / web camera Logitech C920 HD Webcam
workingVideo and microphone run OK on Skype (resolution 640X480) Reported by warden_ro on 2012-11-26 00:55:59admin
(Mini PC RK3066 based)
Joystick / Game Controller kd-208  working  2013-06-19 10:57:23Q_sim
(Mini PC RK3066 based)
Joystick / Game Controller Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver
working with specific settingsWorks with Xbox 360 Wireless controller. Needs special kernel module. See this page: 2012-11-22 20:24:56admin
(Mini PC RK3066 based)
Keyboard Logitech K750  working  2012-12-08 15:07:44jollyz
(Mini PC RK3066 based)
Keyboard / Mouse combo iPazzport / Anker Mini Wireless Keyboard
working  2012-11-22 20:22:38admin
(Mini PC RK3066 based)
Keyboard / Mouse combo Logitech K400 Wireless Touch Keyboard
working  2012-11-29 09:57:51admin
Uhost 2
(Mini PC RK3066 based)
Mouse Logitech Couch Mouse  working  2013-04-27 07:56:15rjdigital
(Mini PC RK3066 based)
TV Tuner Elgato eyetv micro
not working  2012-11-23 08:49:36cajl


ARCHOS has just released a firmware update version 4.0.26 for their Gen9 tablets. It corrects a few issues with the libraries in the Media Center, some Audio glitches, HDMI output on some DVI monitors and some problems on the Hard disk (250 Gb) based models.

According to the release information, the detailed changes are the following:

Version 4.0.26 – November 21th, 2012

  • Media libraries: fix crash during indexing caused by music that has metadata year that evaluates to 0
  • Media libraries: add notification indicating scanning is in process
  • Display: better detect screen resolution on HDMI output for some DVI monitors
  • Settings: display correct application size in the Settings->Applications->Running apps
  • Video: fix playback for some VOB files
  • Audio: fix sound glitches on various applications that are constantly changing sample rate
  • Hard drive based products: restore fast boot on hard drive based devices
  • Hard drive based products: fix loss of hard drive or 3G USB port after suspend happening sometimes

Archos G9 4.0.26 Firmware download

firmware_archos_it4.aos (205 Mb)

Firmware update procedure at

Archos Remote Control feature tested on an Archos 101 XS, works the same on the Gen9.

Arnova FamilyPad packs a nice design with a glossy finish. The pieces are now adjusted pretty well, the whole device seems quite solid and the materials feel quite good. The front surface, which also acts as a mirror, catches fingerprints like a magnet, but it is quite easy to get them off.

The back of the device is covered with rubber on the sides with aluminium finish in the center. Compared to the rather cheap finish on most Arnova models, the FamilyPad feels like being from a different world. Thanks to the rubber on the sides, the tablet won’t slip out of your hands easily.


The right tablet side holds the connectors, from top to bottom:

  • a tiny hole for the microphone
  • micro USB connector (slave)
  • micro USB connector (host)
  • the HDMI connector (mini HDMI format, aka HDMI type c connector)
  • micro SD card connector (SDHC compatible)
  • DC connector
  • headphone connector, usual 3.5 mm mini-jack format
  • reset pinhole

2.0 Mpx back camera and the volume buttons are located on the right upper side of the tablet.

The tablet double speakers are located on the left back side. The sound is slightly attenuated, when the tablet rests on its back, but due to rounded corners, it is far less noticable than on most other tablets like the Archos 101 G9 and Archos 97 Carbon.


Arnova FamilyPad comes with an 13.3″ screen, one of the biggest screens we have seen so far in tablets. However, with the resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, the ppi(pixels per inch) comes down to 113, for example Archos 101 XS has PPI of 160 and the iPad 4 264. During our test, we didn’t really regret the resolution, but we did regret the viewing angles which could have been better. The colors itself are pretty nice and the brightness can go quite high, though the blacks are not really black.

Speaking of the resolution, you can count pixels on this one if you want to. :) Just because the screen is so big, the density becomes less important.

Speaking of the screen size, it is about 1.5x size of an iPad.

Quick Stand

The quick stand, included with the tablet, is made from rubber and is actually quite flimsy. The slightly adjustable viewing angle is suitable for watching videos or reading cooking recipes. Touching the screen doesn’t cause the tablet to collapse, which is good. Unfortunately, with the heavy FamilyPad, the quick stand can only be used with the tablet put in horizontally(=landscape). For lighter tablets, like the iPad 2, the quick stand will also work in portrait.

Actually, just a few minutes before our tablet sample went back to Archos, we discovered a tiny white connection piece for the quick stand. When the tablet is put in, it makes the quick stand less flimsy and slightly more stable, here is the last-minute photo of it:

Continue to Part 3: Performance & Multimedia.

Only half a year ago, Archos released the ChildPad – an android tablet for kids. Now, the company introduced a new family member in Arnova G3 line-up – the FamilyPad. Just like Toshiba Excite 13, this new device packs a massive 13.3″ screen. Featuring lots of connectivity options and the quick stand, it is made for sharing and consuming media. Furthermore, the FamilyPad features an Allwinner A10 CPU running at 1 GHz with 1 Gb of RAM, dual cameras, 1080p HD video output via HDMI, all this combined in a stylish designed case with aluminum finish. Arnova FamilyPad should be available December this year starting at 299 € / £274.99 / ~$349.99, just in time for the big Christmas sales.

The tablet sample we used for review is a pre-production tablet with a beta firmware. Though some minor things may change, it should give a good idea of the final retail model…

Our review will follow our usual methodology, first presenting the product packaging, the tablet and the quick stand design, performance, multimedia and other features; followed up by our conclusion. Enjoy ! 😉

Arnova FamilyPad Specifications

Operating System Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
CPU Single core Allwinner A10 running at 1 GHz (ARM Cortex A8)
Integrated GPU: Mali 400 (single core)
Flash Storage Memory Capacity: 8 GB
Speed: Class 4 range (tested Read: 18633 Kb/s Write: 4883 Kb/s)
System Memory 1024 Mb
Additional storage Micro SD slot (SDHC compatible, up to 32 Gb)
Display 1280×800 13.3 inches(34cm) LCD screen using TN technology
16/10 aspect ratio
capacitive 10 points multitouch, 113 DPI density
Bluetooth No
Wi-FI 802.11 b/g/n
Gravity Sensor Yes
Camera 2.0 MPx (back facing)
Pictures resolution: 1600×1200
2.0 Mpx (front facing)
Pictures resolution: 1600×1200
HDMI Yes(mini HDMI, aka HDMI type c connector)
Interfaces micro USB Slave
micro USB Host, Mass Storage Class (MSC)
MicroSD slot
Battery life Video playing: 7 hours 50 minutes tested
More information on video playing test in part 3 of this review.
Google Play Store / Android Market Yes
Kickstand No (The quick stand acts as a kickstand)
Dimensions As announced by Arnova: 262 x 171 x 12.5 mm
Weight tablet alone: 1286g

quick stand: 78g
Official Product page on

Arnova FamilyPad tablet packaging

The tablet box contains:

  • the Arnova FamilyPad tablet
  • the quick stand (=kickstand)
  • a micro USB cable to connect the tablet to a computer
  • a power charger with a DC connector to the tablet, it outputs 5V, 2.5A, with plugs for EU/UK sockets
  • a micro USB to USB OTG cable to connect stuff to the tablet
  • booklets: a “need help ?” paper, a warranty/legal and safety notice, a user guide which covers basic topics to get started

Continue to Part 2: Tablet design.

We like the idea of a big tablet to be used by all the family members. The FamilyPad mostly delivers where we expect it, the large screen is a good fit for everybody in the family to enjoy watching photos, movies, playing board or multiplayer games. Also, it can be used for reading music sheets and recipes or for giving product presentations. Unfortunately, the FamilyPad also has its own disadvantages. The relatively old processor won’t let you enjoy the latest game title or applications which are processor intensive. The battery delivers very decent numbers for video playback, but charging takes about 2x the time we are used to with other tablets. With weight of 1286 grams(two times an average 10″ tablet), you will not want to hold it with your hands for a long time. Fortunately, there is the quick stand. It is very handy and it just works. With the provided viewing angle, you can watch multimedia very easily. one of the intentions the FamilyPad was built for.

We definitely appreciate the new ideas Archos/Arnova brought to the tablet world, with the 13.3″ “giant” screen on the FamilyPad or the gaming features on the GamePad, but we believe the FamilyPad could have been better. Then there is also “value” which plays a role – with the RRP of 299€, the FamilyPad is not the cheapest tablet on the market. 7″ Google Nexus 7 is only 249€ and offers far more in terms of performance, screen quality and support(given the Archos support for other Arnova devices), but doesn’t have the 13.3″ screen. For 299€, there are also many dual-core 10″ IPS tablets and the Archos 101xs seems to come to this price point too. The FamilyPad is definitely not a bad product, but given the current tablet market situation and also the fact that YFTech is selling the OEM version of it for 180$ per piece, we think it is overpriced.

There is probably a future for this kind of devices. It can be used as an extra PC in the families, but for productivity, you need an optional keyboard and a little bit more serious hardware(YFTech is also offering a dual-core RK3066 version of its OEM model)…

  • screen size
  • quick stand
  • complete connectivity
  • Google Play
  • value
  • slow processor
  • no Bluetooth
  • screen viewing angles

Arnova FamilyPad performance: benchmark results

Test conditions:
– Arnova FamilyPad pre-production device with firmware build dated 20120924
– all benchmarks were executed after all tasks have been killed
– test were run multiple times to check for consistent behaviour, the results shown here correspond to average values

Arnova FamilyPad
Test setup
Firmware version
Android 4.0.3
Arctools 0.75 Read 18 663 kB/s
Write 4 883 kB/S
AnTuTu bench
version 2.2
Total score
higher is faster
Total: 2873
CPU: 856
GPU: 1075
RAM: 446
I/O: 496
CF-Bench v1.1
higher is faster
Overall score: 2098
Native score: 3411
Java score: 1224
GPUBench v1.0.0
higher is faster
Absolute: 34122
Relative: 19565
Linpack PRO v 1.2.9
higher is faster
Single Thread: 15.162 MFLOPS
Multi-Thread: 14.979 MFLOPS
Best fps
higher is faster
17.2 FPS
Touch test 10 points
Quadrant Standard 2.1.1
higher is faster
Total: 1588
CPU: 1360
Mem: 1433
I/O: 3315
2D: 601
3D: 1232
Smartbench 2011 v1.2.1
higher is faster
Prod. index: 831
Games Index: 2054
Vellamo v1.0.3 431

While these numbers should be weighted by the fact they were run on the pre-production device, they give the general idea about the machine performance. It appears the Arnova FamilyPad produces similar performance as other tablets based on the one year old single core Allwinner A10 SoC, which is just average in today’s performance standards for mid range tablets. Because of the high resolution, we can see the Mali-400 GPU is struggling with only 17.2FPS in Nenamark2.


Just like on most other tablets, both cameras are very limited in terms of quality. The 2.0 Mpx back facing camera delivers unsharp and blurry images (see the photo below), while the front facing camera is just enough for video conferencing applications.

Arnova FamilyPad video player

The Arnova FamilyPad comes with a video player called Super-HD Player which supports 1080p video play, lots of video formats and many features:

– file selector to choose the video file to play
– volume controls: – / +
– video controls: pause/play, change position in video

– subtitles: changing subtitle color, subtitles fonts, charset
– change audio track
– change video aspect ratio: full screen video ratio, full screen screen ratio, original size, 4/3, 16/9
– some 3D rendering effects rendering (multiple modes)

According to the Arnova FamilyPad specs, the following multimedia formats are supported:

Video formats H.264 up to 1080p resolution – 30 fps
MPEG-42– 30 fps
With the above codecs, the device can play video files with the following extensions: .avi .mp4 ,mkv, .mov, and .flv
Audio formats MP3, WAV, APE, OGG, FLAC
Photo formats JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG

Please refer to our Super-HD Player application review on the MPMan MID74c for more details on the video player features, format support, 1080p and HDMI output.

Battery Life

On earlier Arnova FamilyPad FCC pictures, it looks like the tablet contains a 3 cell, 10500 mAh battery.

From a fully charged tablet, we played this video file big_buck_bunny_720p_AAC.mp4(Big Buck Bunny 720p, stereo sound in AAC format) in loop until the tablet battery gets empty.

More details about the test conditions:
– using latest firmware (20120924) available on the pre-production device
– machine started after a fresh reboot
– tablet fully charged (lockscreen says “Charged”, Settings / About tablet / Status says Battery level100%)
– media sound volume set to half (Settings/Sound/Volume, set Media bar to middle position)
– brightness set to half (Settings/Display/Brightness)
– Airplane mode (Wi-FI disabled)

During this test, on our pre-production Arnova FamilyPad, we have measured an effective battery life of 7 hours and 50 minutes. For comparison, most other Archos and Arnova tablets of all sizes give it up after 4-6 hours. We have used our ArcTools application to run the battery test for the details of the discharge curve, see below:

Charging time

Charging the Arnova FamilyPad can be done through the supplied power charger that delivers 2500 mA.  We didn’t measure the charging time exactly, but it should take about 6 to 8 hours. And yes, that’s long. Very long. You can also use the USB cable to charge from a computer, but it will then switch to a slow charge that double or triple the charging time.


Developed partially by YFTech, Arnova FamilyPad comes with a few enhacements to the stock Android system. The stock recovery is replaced by something looking simillar to CWM Recovery and just like CWM, it supports update .zip files. We have seen those recoveries earlier on some Prestigio tablets and well, it works pretty well.  There is an extra option added in the settings menu for rebooting into recovery, so no playing with the hardware buttons and reset pinhole is needed.

While the Arnova FamilyPad doesn’t support Bluetooth dongles, many 3G Sticks seem to be supported. Our friends from tested 3G and Ethernet support, you can read their review here(French).

Furthermore, the FamilyPad comes with the Google Play Store pre-installed(Arnova website doesn’t mention it) and most Google Apps(Gmail, Maps etc.) can all be enjoyed on the 13.3 inch massive screen.

Continue to Part 4: Conclusion.

We recently announced a series of custom Android 4.1 Jelly Bean firmwares for Arnova G3 devices. The Arnova 10b G3 tablet is the first tablet to receive a custom Android 4.1 JB firmware with root and few extra features. This firmware is based on the Oma JB, the work of OMA, a respected who has produced many great firmwares so far for Rockchip tablets, thanks a lot to him for that. We have modified this firmware to make the flash process easier on the Arnova 10b G3. While this firmware is already very stable and brings some great additions to the original 10b G3 firmware, it suffers a few limitations: the battery indicator isn’t working properly and the video camera picture is mirrored horizontally.

Update 2012/11/20: The battery level issue is fixed, thanks to Morka, Oma & Exelletor.

Arnova 10b G3 Android 4.1 JB firmware feature list

  • rooted Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean with SuperSU 0.96 by ChainFire (free version)
  • full Google Play and Apps support, including Google Now
  • full ext4 file system on cache, data and system partitions
  • /system partition fully writable
  • extended space for application (/data) to 2 GB
  • Picture in Picture (PIP) video player
  • super fast tablet shutdown (about 1 second)

Picture in Picture (PIP) video player

The Picture in Picture (PIP) function is a great new feature of the Video Player that let you put the playing video in a resizable and movable window, so you can watch a movie while you continue to use the Android tablet for other things. This feature is similar to what Samsung offers on their latest Galaxy SIII and Note II with the “Pop Up Play” feature.

Install procedure

Before starting, please make sure you backup all your existing apps, data and files that are on your tablet as they will be erased during the flash process. Also make sure your device is connected to the power.

Step 1. Download

Custom OMA JB firmware download (version 0.46), updated 2012/11/20

This firmware is specific to the Arnova 10b G3 capacitive model and should not be installed on other devices.It will not work on the Dual Touch (DT) resistive model.




Download the file above and extract the custom firmware image (update.img) on your computer hard drive.

Step 2. Install and run Rockchip Flashing tool

Please follow the Rockchip Flashing tool procedure: that will explain how to download Rockchip flashing tool, unpack the archive, put your device into flashing mode and flash the custom firmware file that you have unpacked in Step 1.

Step 3. Arnova 10b G3 flashing and restart

After Rockchip flasher has transferred the custom firmware to the tablet, the device will restart and install the firmware. Finally you will be back to Arnova homescreen, there is no setup wizard with this firmware.

You will find the 3 easy steps of the installation procedure in the following video, see how to get Google Play and root to the Arnova 9 G3 in less than 10 minutes, it works on a similar way with the Arnova 10b G3.

Firmware Limitations

we have observed that the touchscreen is sometimes not working just after flashing this firmware on the Arnova 10b G3, the source of the problem isn’t clear but it may be related to an issue with the touchscreen calibration routine that isn’t present in this firmware. Luckily, the fix is quite simple, just flash the stock firmware or one of our custom firmware based on it that contains the calibration.

Let us know how it works for you in our Arnova 10b G3 forum.

Release history

2012/11/20: version 0.46, the battery level issue is fixed, thanks to Morka, Oma & Exelletor
2012/10/15: version 0.45, restored original “host” file, advertisements are not filtered anymore, please use Adfree or AdAway on Google Play Store if you need ads filtering)
2012/10/10: version 0.44, updated to OMA JB v1.2.2 + fixed the ext4 partition setup
2012/10/08: version 0.43, first release

Great thanks to OMA for his work on this Jelly Bean firmware.

Amazon Italia is selling the new ARCHOS 101 XS tablet with magnetic coverboard at a reduced price of €287.33 plus shipping instead of €379 retail price.
Thanks to Amazon logistics, it is easy to order and get the product shipped anywhere in Europe and maybe beyond. Depending on your location the shipping should turn around 10 euros for standard delivery (3 to 5 days) or 30 euros to Express (1-2 days)
The devices comes with a QWERTY keyboard, you’ll need to check it corresponds to your local keys layout.

Don’t forget to check our ARCHOS 101 XS review

Archos 10 xs specifications

Operating System Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Linux Kernel Version: 3.0.21+
Build number: IMM76D 20120809
CPU Dual Core Texas Instruments TI OMAP 4470 running at 1.5 GHz
Integrated GPU: Imagination POWERVR SGX 544 (single core)
Flash Storage Memory Capacity 16 GB
Speed: Class 10 range (tested Read: 29842 Kb/s Write: 13780 Kb/s)
System Memory 1024 Mb
Additional storage Micro SD slot (SDHC compatible, up to 64 Gb)
Display 1280×800 10.1 inches LCD screen using MVA technology (Multi-domain vertical alignment)
16/10 aspect ratio
capacitive 5 points multitouch, 160 DPI density
Bluetooth Yes
Wi-FI 802.11 b/g/n
Gravity Sensor Yes
Camera 1 Mpixels (front facing)
Pictures resolution: 1280×960, video: 720p
HDMI Yes(mini HDMI, aka HDMI type c connector)
Interfaces micro USB Host, Mass Storage Class (MSC)
MicroSD slot
second micro USB connector available on the keyboard
Battery life Video playing: tested 5 hours 56 minutes (continuous video play, brightness at 50%, Wi-FI disabled)
More details on the battery life test will be published on another article.
Google Play Store / Android Market Yes The Archos G10 devices are fully Google Certified
Kickstand No (The supplied keyboard/cover acts as a kickstand)
Dimensions As announced by Archos: tablet: 273 mm x 170 mm x 8mm (10.7’’ x 6.7’’ x 0.31’’)
Coverboard: 273 mm x 170 mm x 5mm (10.7’’ x 6.7’’ x 0.2’’)
Weight tablet alone: 633g

tablet + coverboard: 901g
Official Product page on

Thanks 7&trang for the tip :)