Pros Screen Quality, Touch Screen, User Interface, Wifi, Content Portal, Internet, Music, Photos, Videos, DVR and More
Cons No FM Tuner Built in, Average Battery Life, proprietary connections
Summary I have owned and or used multiple mp3 players over the years (Creative, Archos, Irvier, Ipod, Sansa...) and I have never been so pleased with a purchase. The Archos 605 has it all. I have owned the Archos 605 for a little over a week.
Screen and UI:
The screen quality is very high and is higher than what I have seen on any other player currently on the market. The screen shows amazing detail and the coating for the touch Screen is great because it decrease glare. The touch screen is very responsive and UI is simple through the touch screen and slight less easy through the buttons on the side but having both touch screen and side buttons seems to aid in navigation and makes this the easiest player I have ever used.
The videos are clean and clear. Amazing quality and since you are able to adjust videos to multiple sizes screen you are able to see videos in great quality. Also when you highlight a video in your browser the icon gives you a preview of your video which is a great little touch and the Archos 605 is filled with little extras like this.
The music interface is great and with the touch screen you get amazing search capabilities similar if not better that the ipod. The sound quality is good but I do wish the volume could be higher, but I also tend to play my music a little too loud anyways.
The screen quality assists any displaying your pictures in the best possible way. Touch screen gives you an easy way to zoom in and out and to go from picture to picture. You can also save your pictures to the main screen and you can even zoom into a particular part of a picture and save that. You can play music during your slide shows which has multiple transition effects and you can download and save pictures from the internet (web browser plug-in needed).
Archos comes with its own content portal which you do not need to purchase the web browser to connect to. The Content Portal gives you content where ever you can find wifi. You get cinema now which allows you to buy or rent movies, TV shows, music videos and Daily Motion which is like youtube and is free. And other providers are on the way.
Wifi and Web:
Connecting to your wifi is easy and you can also connect your network and stream music, video, and pictures to your player. The web is a fun and easy to use but you will have to buy a plug-in to utilize. The touch screen is easy to use, and the screen quality makes it very easy to read pages without zooming in, you can also double tap on any screen and enlarge a page. The pages load at a decent rate and you can view pages like youtube (that run on flash 7, future firmware upgrades will allow for higher levels of flash) and view the videos on full screen. The Web Browser is a plug-in so it will cost extra but I figure if I did not want a web browser and I had one I would dislike having to pay for one, especially when I could have saved the built in cost of 30 dollars.
The DVR is easy to use like all Archos players to have owned. I purchased the travel adapter, so I just plugged in the AV into my TV and pressed recorded. Record quality is very high and process is very easy. The DVR function is great because you can copy anything on TV and take it with you on the go. But it should be known that the Travel DVR does not come with a charger.
Overall the Archos is the best PVP out now. Everything functions at a high level. Other bonuses are you can also connect the Archos as a Hard Drive (which I have always preferred) or allow Window Media to manage your files. The Archos can view PDF and while I do not buy music for I tunes the Archos can play AAC files and there is a plug in to play video podcast I may get in the future. I like the idea of buying plug-ins instead of having features I would not use but have to pay for. I would have preferred that the battery life was better but it is also not terrible. I have always dislike proprietary connections and that is a big minus in my book but since most players if this capacity have it now, I guess it is just the way thing must be. I would have also liked a built-in FM turner. I also hear the internet radio will be coming out later this year. I do not see how anyone can still be interested in other players that are in the PVP market – Apple (including the new touch), Creative, Cowon and all other challengers have a lot of catching up to do.
Pros One great PMP
Cons Screen washes out like a PC in sunlight.
Summary I'd like to address all the misconceptions from other reviewers first. Yes it has a place for the styli inside the protective case supplied with the unit. Yes it has Wifi you don't have to buy a antenna plugin for it. The plugin is for the opera web browser ($30.00) it is software not hardware. If it locks up like any other brand it has a reset button on the bottom. It does video out of the box (Avi) you only need the video plugin if you want to add mpeg2 playback.
First thing you need to do after charging is download the newest firmware for the unit. Mine was three versions past. This alone makes a big difference in how the unit preforms. They seem to upgrade the operating system monthly with bug fixes and new features. They finally added the free Widgets today (calculator,currency converter,weather forcast,note writer,unit converter,news reader,data vault).
The screen resolution is fantastic. With the browser plugin you can view web pages in full width without scrolling all the time. The letters are very small but there is no problem reading them in the resolution this incredible screen has.
This PMP does so many things it is incredible. Without plugins you can stream any content in Windows media player (10 or 11) from any PC on your home network. I have the DVR Station (less than $70.00 on the internet) hooked to my Bose system and stream music to it. The little remote with full keyboard works 65 feet from the unit through a screened inclosure from my backyard and I can see all my music picks on my big screen TV. That's another thing, once you sync the unit with the music you have on WMP you have all the artwork but you have to set the Archos in WMP sync mode in settings. Too bad these people give the 605 a bad rating without reading the manual. It took me several days to learn all the things the 605 can do yet these ignorant people return it the next day not knowing what a great piece of hardware they have. To them I say buy a ipod and munch on a apple while you light up your next joint and leave the hi-tech toys for us.
Pros Price; Puts together features that used to be on seperate devices, and adds useful new ones; High res display, great for web and hd videos
Cons buttons are still the same, never was a fan of the strange arrow alignment; High res display, would make my collection of lower res videos look bad
Summary The usual complaint is that Archos charges for everything. We'll guess what, if it all came free, this unit wouldn't cost an amazing $300. What they charge for is what Archos would have to pay other companies for, for example Opera for the web brower. And even with everything it still stands as a good value. How many other PVPs can stream YouTube videos directly, play HD video files, and surf the web with a touchscreen?
Aside from the new features, the 605 WiFi combines the basics of the 604 WiFi with the 800x480 resolution of the 704 and the large harddrive sizes of the 504 all while actually being smaller than all of them. So a few more months and I won't have to decide
Pros superb visual&audio quality, no windows drivers or application needed. low purchase price
Cons computer usb charging is slow
Summary truth about archos 605 wifi 30g
1. It wont cost you 299 euros. Sooner or later you will have to buy:
(a) a carrying case. archos provide a very well built leather case with a stylus slot for 24.99 euros + P&P
(b) a charging station. charging archos through computer usb needs 8-10 hrs. Archos provides a charging a mini dock for 29.98 + P&P , but you will most probably go for the battery dock (which also offers an extra battery) for 49.98 euros. Both these "docks" cut the charging time in half (apprx 4hrs). Note that buying a 5 euro universal mains usb charger will also speed up charging time, based on my personal experience
(c) web browsing plugin. you purchase this from archos for 29.98
(d) the so called "cinema plugin" to listen to ac3 encoded music (mainly useful if you have divx movies with ac3 sound). Archos obscurely states that cinema plugin plays DVD but it only plays VOB files. If you copy a dvd structure to your archos it wont recognize the dvd menus even with the cinema plugin installed. cinema plugin will cost you 19.99 euros
(e) you will most probably need a pair of quality earphones. If you dont already own these , a pair of creative aurvana i personally use will cost another 100 euros
(f) archos usb cable is not standard on the archos connection end. You get one special usb cable with archos but you will need most probably at least one more to keep it at your work. An extra cable costs 4.99 euros.
So archos will cost you 299(player)+49.98 ( battery dock)+4.99(extra usb cable)+ 29.88 (archos leather case)+P&P(apprx 15 euros)+29.98(web browsing plugin)+ 19.99 (cinema plugin)+ quality earphones(100euros)= 548,72 euros.
You can reduce this price to apprx 400 euros if you dont buy a battery dock but a universal mains usb charger, a non archos carrying case and cheaper earphones.
2. After you've spent something between 400 and 550 euros you will own a device that will :
(a) connect to any computer in your wireless network (even to your Network HDD) and copy, rename and delete files & directories (mass copy available). Archos 605 wifi supports wep, wap, wap2 security and is really fast and easy to connect.
(b) browse internet at almost desktop quality due to the archos 800x480 resolution)
(c) a non replaceable battery lasting somewhere between 3hrs ( net browsing, wifi enabled) to apprx 10 hrs (music listening with limited screen access). Charging the battery is annoying unless at least 5-10 euros are spent for a universal mains usb charger. Archos also states it offers battery replacing services but no charges and timeframes are specified.
(d) an extremely quiet and rather fast HDD with a bit less than 30GB capacity
(e) a bright 4.3inch 16million touchscreen with a 800x480 resolution
(f) a very neat touchscreen user interface + side buttons to quickly operate the player while listening to music.
(g) a device that needs no windows drivers/software to operate, can be configured as usb hdd, plays divx/xvid and mpeg/vcd avi files (+vob files with cinema plugin), displays photos with a acdsee pro style photo viewer with touchscreen functions for zooming and changin pictures , plays music with a multifunctional music file player which features 5band EQ, bass boost, playlist creation and album art and even displays PDF format files (which means that if you have free ebooks and can save them as pdf files you can read them using archos
"buyers beware"on by HuskyDude
Pros attractive design
Cons you have to buy plugins for you to play video, browse the net, etc.
Summary I got this 9-22-2007 and returned it the next day and here is why...
out of the box, you won't find an AC Adapter. you have to BUY it separately.
they included a stylus but they did not include a slot to put it in the device? hello!? do i have to keep the stylus in my pocket? If there is a stylus, have a slot to put it in!
Now let's go to the software....
the browser... yes this device can surf the net if you BUY the freakin plugin. Don't know how much but isn't this supposed to be included in the $300 price?
It is a video player... yes when you BUY the freakin plugin. Again, this should be included in the freakin price.
records TV... yes when you BUY the dvr pack. this I understand should be a separate purchase.
at this point i am pretty much disappointed in this freakin product but wait... there's more...
I spent alot of time putting the album artwork in all my mp3s but this freakin device would only get the first artwork on the list and puts it on every freakin song.
after all this, i tried to make myself feel better by listening to the mp3s i just put in this freakin device. Guess what, It freakin freezes. not even holding down the freakin power button works.
So, after ending up not being able to use this freakin device at all aside from being a very expensive paper weight, i rushed to circuit city, returned it (still frozen) and got my cash back immediately.
This could have been THE PMP device for me if the plugins were included and i don't have to buy them.