Pros Free Internet Radio and TV. Super Sharp screen, plays any video file, web browser fast than an iPod. Starts at 60GB.
Cons The email client acts fluky. They say it will be updated in next software release.
Summary OK, what the heck are the reviewers talking about? Did they take it with them everywhere, sleep with it, eat with it like I did. First off, the battery life is like way better than 4 hours on video. I put the screen brightness down to the middle level and got 5 1/2 hours of video playback. Why buy a dedicated internet radio from Terratec or Asus for $200-400 when it comes free on the Archos (OK, ya have to register to get it - big deal). 800x480 pixel screen is sharper than a tack - not seen anything better and any portable device. It plays .swf and .flv files. iPod cannot. This is major man!! I got the DVR Station and I play flash games on in my Sony 32" TV. Internet is lot faster than on the old 605 from last year. Don't know why davemhead couldn't get wifi working. Works great for me. Oh yeah, and you can get it in 250 friggen gigabytes! Archos plays full size DVD movie files and HD playpack plug-in to come. Hmmm, $349 for both itouch and Archos5. One has 32GB the other 60GB of storage. One plays flash game files and flash videos, the other doesn't. One does fake tricks to show you an internet site, the other shows you a real website. Excellent web and video portable device. The DVR Station really shows the beauty of the video playback watching it on a tv. Highly highly recommend this, it will not dissapoint (I read all 97 pages of their manual too, I bet cnet didn't). It rocketh my brethern, it rocketh.
Pros Best screen in the world, best processor in the world, best storage in the world, best codecs support in the world (now with HD), HSDPA (with Dongle), Flash video support in the browser Youtube/Dailymotion/GoogleVideo...
Cons The Archos 5G is going to be even better cause it has the HSDPA built-in, but storage, pricing and availabillity of the 5G model is not available yet.
Current firmware is slightly buggy, but should be fixed in firmware updates soon.
Summary Donald Bell posts several errors in his review. Video resolution support is 720x576 without the HD 1280x720 plugin installed, not 640x480. The Archos 5 has several advantages over the iPod Touch and the Archos 605 WiFi, not the other way around. Archos is the only company supporting Flash video the way they do, in pure full screen streaming. Try getting full Youtube, Dailymotion, Google Video, Myspace TV and more support on any other device the way this one does it.
The browser on the Archos 5 is 5 times faster then the iPhone 3G or iPod Touch browser. I don't know what Donald Bell has smoked when he is saying that the web browser dissapoints. Sure it's got 1 or 2 bugs in the current firmware, but it loads NYT.com in less then 3 seconds, Engadget.com in less then 5 seconds, it requires no horizonthal scrolling because of the 800x480 resolution screen.
Sure the mail client is currently beta, but it works fine for me. And you can easilly load the full AJAX version of Gmail anyways in the browser and use that very effectively.
Other then recommending people to consider getting the Archos 5G with built-in HSDPA, if that suits their HSDPA needs and convenience of having HSDPA built-in. Only thing I would say the Archos 5 currently misses is support for third party applications. But just as Apple took a while to release their app store as a firmware update, I am confident that Archos can release support for Android applications at some point in the next few months. This would make this device even more future proof, and would replace the need to buy an Android phone or an iPhone just to get access to HSDPA based social networking and instant messaging applications.
Also I believe this totally trashes the iPhone, cause you don't need a big screen on your phone. Just use a very cheap other $8 phone in your other pocket for your basic voice needs. And then anything that is about video or using the Internet, the Archos 5 is the best solution ever made.
You can find more information about this product on my site at http://forum.archosfans.com
Pros Extremely high-quality display (I get compliments all the time)
Great multi-functionality (this thing can do pretty much everything)
Easy to use
Endless customization options (minus an important one.. read cons)
Cons Still a little glitchy
Cant customize menus
Poor Support (if you need it..)
Not as many third-party add-ons as Ipod
Summary First off let me say I have read many reviews of the product, watched videos, read the manual, and did a lot of research before buying. I read what many reviewers commented as "bad" things about it, and I have found through personal experience that most of them are not true and are based solely on a faulty device rather than a working one. Granted they should be tested to work correctly before shipping, but still you can't give a product a bad review because you happened to get one that was broken. Get it replaced then review.
Assuming you have already read the Cnet review: you know what this thing can do and so my review is aimed at giving counter-arguments to the bad things some people say.
First of all, many reviews of the product comment on glitches. They note that it crashes a lot or has some other kind of processing issue. But you must know that these reviews were done when the product was first released. Since then Archos has provided many firmware updates which fix most issues. I've had it for over a week and it has only crashed once because I was trying to load too many websites at a time. A glitch? Yes. A big deal? Not at all.
The battery life on the Archos is always increasing with firmware updates. The product now states "22 hours audio; 8 hours video" and I can personally attest to the battery life. I started playing music in the morning; it played all day and through a party at night, and was still playing when I woke up the next morning. Over 22 hours.
The touch screen is very responsive. Many times I am amazed when I click a small link on a website expecting it not to work and the Archos knows what I clicked. It is really a joy to use.
Added cost of plug-ins? Yes its true that some file types require additional plug-ins to play. However, I have never encountered one of these file types because they are the less-common ones. All of my music files and videos have worked. If you do have some files which are a different type just use a free conversion tool on your computer and convert them to a working type. It's really not that hard, and it?s free.
Added cost of add-ons? I DO NOT understand why people complain about this. So you have to pay $90 for the DVR add-on. How much would a stand-alone DVR cost? A few hundred at least. You pay less money, and it?s more convenient because it?s all in one device. Archos never claimed it could do this out-of-the-box, so you have nothing to complain about miss-representation. I will challenge you to buy an mp3 player, a video player, a PDA, and a DVR and I will guarantee you that you will pay more money than if you had just bought the Archos and the DVR add-on. (Assuming you buy products that are similar, not a 1MB mp3 player and a 1gig video player, obviously)
A proprietary USB cable... I'm pretty sure all Ipods also use one and I haven't seen CNET complain about that. Biased much?
Fingerprint magnet... Yes the back (of the 60gb only, the larger ones have a rubber-like backing) gets fingerprints. But why are you looking at the back instead of the screen on the front?
The front does as well, but I would hope you would put a protective cover on it (as you would with any device with a large exposed screen) which will drastically reduce or eliminate this. So watch out those of you watching your wallets, this may cost you a whole 3 more dollars.
Yes there are still some glitches, but these are constantly being addressed via firmware updates, so don?t let that scare you away from this great device. This is the only reason I gave the product a 4.5 instead of 5 star rating.
People who post reviews full of only bad things probably got a bad unit. If they would have just taken it back for a new one and posted the review after I'm sure their review would be much different. Again, I agree Archos should test them before shipping, but it?s not a perfect world. If you happen to be one of the unlucky few, just take it back for a working one. It may be a small inconvenience but it?s not worth ditching the Archos altogether.
Hope this puts some of the false and/or exaggerated complaints to rest.
Pros it's advertised features
Cons some flash player problems
beta firmware (hopefully to be fixed)
Summary I own the ipod touch 1G and the Archos 5 as of 4 days ago
i've played around with it and it's absolutely awesome
keyboard is nice and better than the ipod touch and the video and music quality is a lot better
however the interface of the ipod touch is better. archos 5's interface isn't bad but it's not the best
other than its interface and the fact that it's still beta
i prefer the Archos 5
Pros Nice unit when it works properly.
Cons Quality!! Exactly one year to the day the hard drive failed. I waited over an hour on the phone and some one came on saying they will call me back in a few hours. I've sent an email regarding my unit needing repair yesterday and no response as yet.
Summary The product is great when it works. But for the money and price I expected much better quality and especially much better customer service. Looks are only skin deep.