I do so love it how the world of technology is converging and the newly released Archos 5 and Archos 7 portable media players are perfect examples. The idea behind these two handhelds is rather iPod Touch. I’m utterly loathed to continually reference Apple in comparisons but it’s a good place to start with this one. The difference here is that Archos are offering something a little larger and more luxurious.
The Archos 5 and 7 come with 4.8″ and 7″ TFT LCD touchscreens that begin to separate the electronic sheep from the old digital goats. They resolve at 800×480 pixels that can display up to 16 million colours but I’ll believe that one when Archos can name them all.
In terms of its video and music playback, these media tablets play all the file types you’d expect and will support HD at 720p, with a plug-in, which is a bit of a shame given that they have HDMI ports designed for connection to big screens, many of which will be aching for the full 1080p.
As for connectivity, both tablets are Wi-Fi enabled and, if you opt for the third model, the Archos 5g, you even get HSDPA thrown in as well for all your 3.5g mobile pleasure, provided you’re plugged into the Mini Dock – the pretty small an inoffensive bit at the bottom in the picture below…
…I could cope with that.
It may be worth considering the Archos 5g given one of the purposes of the tablets – and indeed one of the claims from the company – is that you can browse the internet, viewing non-zoomed, non-compressed pages with all the processing power of a laptop; i.e. just as you would on a full size PC.
All the devices are capable of recording audio and video as well as playing back and the only real differences between the three models are how much storage and for how much money.
Well, surprise surprise, none are cheap. It starts with the 60GB version of the Archos 5 for £279.99 with £319.99 for the 120GB and £359.99 for 250GB. Ok.
If you feel the need for that extra couple of inches, then the Archos 7 will cost you £359.99 for 160GBs and rather substantial £439.99 for a rather substantial 320GB. These may sound expensive but for what you get I think Archos has got it about right.
The one that that’s utterly ridiculous though is the Archos 5g. That only comes in a 30GB model, but that one will cost you £359.99. That’s a rip off.
That blip aside, this launch is actually quite exciting. I could imagine us feeling all Star Trek walking around with these tablets and exchanging duty rosters and such, but don’t worry if you’re stuck for content. Archos also have a media library for you to download from as well – at a small rental cost of course – or you can purchase a DVR add on to record any live TV you wish to appreciate on the train on the way to work whilst trying to forget the armpit of a large sweaty man currently pressed into your face.
All of the tablets come with headphones, adapters, USB 2.0 cables and the rest of the norm. The Archos 5 is available next month, the 7 in October and the 5g some time before the end of the year.
By Daniel Sung | August 19th, 2008