Pros Great video player; beautiful screen; terrific sound quality; has all of the PIM and other software anyone could need
Cons Slow performance; some minor bugs that you just need to figure out thru use; picture viewer software lacking; PIM software not nearly as good as Pocket PC/Outlook and Palm OS PIM software
Summary Just got mine from Amazon yesterday. It's a great unit for those who want to combine PIM and serious audio/video playback. It's elegant, well thought and promising. The wifi, browser and e-mail all work great -- much faster than my 624 mhz Pocket PC - Hmmm? Perhaps I should have waited to buy until other manufacturers come out with similar models, but I've always thought highly of Archos, so I took the plunge. Have really enjoyed my AV420 as well.
A couple of things: The audio library appears not to acknolwedge WMA files -- though the unit plays them with no problems -- you just have to navigate to WMA music by exploring folders. In addition, the unit performs slowly. Programs take a bit of time to open. The drop down menu in e-mail flickers on and off if wifi is not enabled. Though the PIM sfotware serves its purpose, it's bland and not as user-friendly as Pocket Outlook on PPC. Also, handwriting recognition is a little wonky -- Guess I'll have to tap the keyboard!
Pros Great potential
Cons Horrible execution
Summary I bought this device to use as a mobile messaging platform: I wanted something small and light that I could use to check email at remote locations.
Well, checking email isn't a problem. But there's no way to actually SEND email unless you can get to a wide-open SMTP server.
To put this another way: If you're at home, logging into your own wireless router, you can probably send email. If you're somewhere else, logging into a wireless router at, say, a hotel or an airport or a coffee shop, the chance that you'll be able to send email will be close to ZERO, since the version of Qtopia email that ships with the PMA400 doesn't support authenticating to SMTP servers.
This is an absolutely critical omission, and there's absolutely no excuse for it. Don't even consider buying one of these devices until someone can tell you categorically that this problem is fixed. It's more or less useless until then.
Pros It does 95% of its job
Cons pop email dont work for hotmail, yahoo or gmail pop3 accounts
Summary Overall I love it and am glad I bought one. . Plays video,music and games flawlessly. and email on location using dunkin dounts or starbucks WiFi to log into my gmail account using opera web browser.I am always on the go and at different locations so the sher portability of the pma 400 is priceless. You can even swap in any usb keyboard to type out long emails. Quick mention that the pdf viewer works but is slower the watching 14K modem load a webpage and the lcd just isnt practical for pdf viewing.
in short It does it all!!!
(well almost, at least its better then anything any other company is putting out )
Cons The price :-((
Summary In all the description and the comments everybody forgot to say the most important thing. All the system, video, audio, USB master & slave, input channel and touchscreen, WI-FI, anything, is controlled by the OS, the OS is Linux! This mean you can use, change, create all the software you want. You can use already most of the software for the Zaurus system, from the chess to the calculator, from the old games emulators to the... well, to whatever you want! In a couple of weeks will be released two SDK... in a couple of mounth I'll play MAME on the PMA400! Whit the next generation, with embedded UMTS, USB 2.0 master and a general tune-up, this will be 10 star toy!
Pros Easy to set up... Good quality where it matters - photos, mp3s, video recording and playback. Love ability to use connect to TV system as music center. convenient touch screen
Cons not cheap. response lag when loading programs. software decent, but not fantastic...
Summary Was going to buy the AV400 last year, but held off when I heard the touch screen version was going to be released soon. Well worth the wait. Don't expect everything to be perfect. I give this device a 9 because the KEY features - music and video functions - are of excellent quality, and yet there's so many other benefits. No 10 cuz it's $$$$.
- had the device recording shows within 5 minutes. Love it.
- remote control makes it easy to turn ur TV into a media center. Convenient since my good speakers hooked up to my TV, not my computer.
- music quality great, video quality very good.
- touch screen navigation...
- all this is portable?!!?!
Summary: The Sony PSP would be sweet if it could record tv shows, or housed an internal hard drive for mp3's / videos. But it doesn't. So I'll stick with the Archos for now. None of the other possible options, the creative, iriver etc... offer such a wide feature set. It's a unique device that needs to be evaluated as a whole package. Price will come down within a year - this device at $500 will be a good deal for those who can wait. I couldn't. I expect convergence btwn the PSP and the Archos PMA within the next 2 years - the ultimate combo. Start saving now.