The Wikipad – Paving the way for Portable Android Gaming?

I love Android, it’s my mobile OS of choice. It powers my phone, and my tablet, and technically my browser since I use Chrome. I believe Android has the most to offer as far as an OS, but it still has a lot of growing to do. The tablet market is of great interest to me, since it sees the most changes. A little over a year ago, almost all Android tablets were the same. Tegra powered, 10 inch, and averaging around $400 for price point. Now, we have such hits as the $200 Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, the innovative content creator Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, and lots more coming. No one has really tackled gaming as their focus with their tablet though, until now. Wikipad is bringing us their 10″ Tegra 3 powered, gaming focused offering. Will it be unique enough to be noticed in a sea of imitators?

The Wikipad is being marketed as a gaming tablet, but with the power to be an enterprise workhorse. Fancy words, sure, but after seeing so many Android tablets come and go, we know that specs are very important here. So what is powering this gaming and enterprise tablet? Here are the specs:

  • 1.4GHZ Quad-Core Nvidia Tegra 3 Processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 10.1″ IPS LCD with 1280×1020 resolution(!)
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 16GB Flash Storage with MicroSD Slot
  • Front 2MP and Rear 8MP Cameras
  • HDMI output
  • Unique Gaming Controller Dock

It is definitely an innovative device. The specs are all fairly high-end, except for having just 1GB of RAM when we currently have phones that have 2GB, and the 1280×1020 resolution, when we have devices running 1900×1200. Granted, you don’t need everything to be high-end to be a good gaming device, but this is something that is usually thought of when we imagine a device made for gaming. Still, it definitely has enough horse power to run anything today and probably for a long time.

One of the big draws for the Wikipad is that it is a Playstation Certified device. This means you can get games that are also available on the Vita, both new games and old Playstation 1 titles. This is a really good thing, since the controls on the Wikipad are just dying to be put to the test with some intense gaming. You will also be able to get games from the Google Play store and the Tegra Zone.

As the picture above shows, the Wikipad can be detached from the controller dock. This allows you to take the tablet on its own when all you want to do is work. This is a great concept, but herein lies one of my problems: it looks huge with the controller dock on it. This unit better be incredibly light to be able to game on it comfortably for long periods of time, and judging by current tablet standards, I don’t think that’s the case. I will withhold judgment until I can hold one, because if it is light enough, that means the core unit would be very light as well, and that excites me. The other barrier to entry is the price: $499. That is a lot to ask for for a portable gaming device, when you can get any current generation console for less. It is going after a very niche market, but if you are in that market, there is a good chance the Wikipad is a great option for you. If you are looking for a tablet to do some work, surf the web, but would like to game on it from time to time, the Wikipad would fit your needs. You are paying about $100 extra for the privilege, but if you’re already there, the extra cash may not be that big of a problem. The Wikipad will be available on October 31 at Gamestop, and later on at other retailers. More details on the Wikipad can be found here. Game on!

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