Pros The device has a nice screen
Cons Poor battery life, buggy software, cannot reinstall old firmware, and contrary to what Archos claims this device does not work with and is not supported by Cinemanow.com for online movie rentals
Summary I bought this device after reading many positive professional reviews. I became very disappointed as soon as I started using it. Here is why:
1- The battery life is poor. It only lasts for about two and a half hours. The battery in built in and cannot be removed so you cannot take multiple batteries with you to use on long flights.
2- Even though Archos claim you can download movies from the content portal directly over a WiFi connection, I could not use WiFi out of the box to connect to hotspots that require logins such as T-mobile. The content portal does not open the hotspot webpages needed to enter the hotspot userid and password. The same applies to pay by the hour hotspots. The WiFi connection does however work with my encrypted home WiFi hub.
3- I was only able to rent a single Cinemanow.com movie from the content portal. 6 other movies did not work. Cinemanow.com refused to refund the cost of the 6 movies saying they do not support the Archos generation 5 devices. They only support generation 4 (as of October 2007.)
4- One day, the device prompted me to download the latest firmware. As soon as I did that, many wmv movies stopped working. I could not revert back to the older firmware.
5- I tried several times to contact customer support via email but got no responses.
Stay away from Archos. Buy an iPod instead.
"Great Video Player"on by Rizman
Pros It's as easy as using a PC
Cons May have to buy a couple of plug ins
Summary I have an iPod 80GB Classic in which I had stored movies. But the screen was too small. I considered iTouch but way too expensive for the amount of available storage. I read about the Archos products. I almost did not buy because of the many negative opinions. I'm glad I went ahead and bought the Archos 605 Wi-Fi 160 GB. It was simple to set up to connect with my PC. The Archos works just like a computer...it attaches via included USB cable. I was able to drag and drop my mp4 movies (which I had converted from dvd's via Cucosoft ipod video converter) right into the Archos' "movies" file folder. I did have to purchase, from Archos, a plug in to play aac files but cheap.
The movies play great, picture is great, sound is great (by the way, the Cucosoft video converter has capability to jack up the volume up to 500% so that I have no problem hearing the characters talk, even during soccer games), there is no lag time like some opinions have stated.
I am purchasing a separate battery charger (cheap)because the USB charger included needs to be connected to a computer that has to be powered on--I like to hibernate my computers as much as I can. But the battery charger allows me to play the videos onto my television--ala iPod.
The touch screen is good, just need to double tap an item to open it, just like Windows files. The on screen menus take 5 minutes to get used to, as well as the really handy finger buttons on the right side of the machine.
I chose the 605 over the 705 because I think the 705 would have too many pixellation issues related to its viewing size and not enough resolution.
The music sounds good too...I use a music program with equalizer capabilities to increase everything so that the volume coming out of my iPod and Archos are loud enough even in crowds.
I do not use the Internet capabilities since I have a laptop which I prefer to use.
"Fantabulous!!!"on by fcsquire
Pros HUGE hardrive space; great video resolution
Cons expensive add-ons (although this was expected)
Summary Many of the reviewers seem extremely upset at having to buy all the little extras. If you had read any reviews before buying it, you would have expected this, I know I did. It really just makes the base product affordable.
I bought this device as a way of taking my music with me wherever (it's absolutely perfect for this). Even though you have to buy an add-on to play certain types of video files (like iso), it still plays most avi and wma files out-of-the-box with no problems. And it's GREAT picture quality.
When I initially bought it (at a store in town), it stopped working 2 days later. After waiting about 1/2 an hour on the phone to talk with customer service, I got a pleasant customer service rep. He tried his best to help but nothing worked. Upon his suggestion, I simply brought the machine back to the store that I bought it from and exchanged it for a new one, no questions asked. I've had this new one for over a month now and it's working perfect; I haven't had a single problem since then.
I don't really care about the web browsing, yet, so I haven't tried it. I happen to like the fact that you can pick and choose what extras you want. I may end up buying the DVR dock, but I don't need it at this point.
The only extra that I think I'm going to get at this time is the battery dock for the extra battery life (which isn't too good - about 2 days - , but I knew this already from reading reviews) and to be able to attach the Archos 605 to my TV.
I LOVE this product: 160 gb; touch screen AND normal buttons; comes with a case (I had to cut a hole in the bottom for the headphones, but it's great other than that); comes with a stylus; it's a little big, but still fits in my pocket with the case (the HUGE screen is great for watching video on the go); AND, best of all, you don't have to have a special program (i.e. i-tunes or windows media) to synch it up to a computer.
I would take this product over the Apple i-Touch any day!!! In my opinion, the only thing that the i-Touch has over the Archos 605 is the interface. But, the interface on the Archos isn't really that bad, and it's equal or better than the i-Touch in all other categories.
Pros Great user interface; nice size; video out to TV; quality built; 160Gb storage!
Cons Expensive; extra $$ for Opera?!; battery life so so; $100 for DVR cradle?!!
Summary Great device if you have $500 to blow. This would be a 10 if it weren't for the nickle and diming by Archos. $30 for the Flash enriched version of Opera. Another $30 for the plugins. Another $100 for the plastic DVR cradle. Ouch!!
Now the good: GREAT user interface. Absolutely fantastic! Wonderful touch screen. And no matter how many times you touch it, it will not show smudges. Great sound quality. Throw on a pair of Shure SE530's and the sound is better than theatre quality. Quality built (although I would prefer a rocker mechanism to the up-down left-right buttons). 160Gb! What does the iTouch hold for virtually the same price? I think its 16Gb. What a total joke. This thing easily plugs into your TV with the $100 DVR cradle. The cradle is a necessity. It also charges the device in a fraction of the time it takes the included USB cable. It takes all night to charge it with the USB cable so plan on spending the extra $$$ for the DVR cradle. Movies look great on this thing! I can't image going any smaller than this to watch a 2 hour movie. It also plays a multitude of video formats (as mentioned above, extra $$ for the plugin though).
Summary: Great device! Easy to use. Very versatile. Great user interface and wonderful screen. Expensive when you add up all the necessities.
Pros Beautiful screen, tons of features
Cons Plugins cost extra, Flash 7, Battery life
Summary First, if you don't own it, don't write a review about it. It's annoying to read a user review only to realize they've never even used the device.
I've had the 160GB 605 for about 5 days now and have had a chance to use it fairly extensively. First impression is it's substantial. It just barely qualifies as pocketable and weighs quite a bit (the 30GB version is lighter), but overall I'm happy with the size. The screen is gorgeous and begs to be touched. And I'm not sure how Archos did it, but this thing completely hides fingerprints. They're virtually invisible. Videos look great and web pages look just like they do on my desktop. I also like the Content Portal concept, although the movies available are way too expensive. Hopefully that will change in the near future.
Now to the negatives. My first dissapointment is that the web browser only supports Flash 7. It does work great for a number of sites like Youtube, but anything requiring 8 or 9 won't work. I'm hoping for an update like the Nokia N800 recently got, but I'm not holding my breath. I have also been a little dissapointed with the battery life. It's not horrible, but I seem to get about 4 hours of video and charging with the included USB cable takes upward of 8 hours. I'll be buying the battery dock to hopefully alleviate both problems. And that leads to the next problem, everything costs extra. I spent $400 on the player, but have since spent $50 on plugins and will spend another $50 on the battery dock. That's $500 total and I still can't record with it. That's another $100. While this modular approach is good for those that don't need any of the extras, it's expensive for those that do. One last problem is bugs in the firmware. When I first got the device I upgraded the firmware and had a number of lockups. Archos has since released an even newer firmware and I find it to be much more stable, but it still locks up about once a day, usually when browsing the web.
After all that though, I still think it's the best PMP on the market right now. If Archos fixes the remaining bugs in the firmware and upgrades to Flash 9, I would give the device a 9. As it stands now I think it's a solid 8.