Archos Gmini 402cc Review
A mate of mine has had an assortment of problems with his iPod Nano, so he’s opted to flog it on eBay and buy himself an Archos Gmini 402cc and he was kind enough to write us a review. Over to you Alex.
I’ve had a disappointing experience with Apple and their iPod nanos plus their cheesy tech support. Long story short, Apple is very disappointing and so is their product line. So, I’ve decided to upgrade to something a lot better. One of my good friends Jon has a nifty piece of tech called the Gmini 402. So, I did some searching, and discovered that Archos just released their new Gmini 402 CC. Now, Jon’s Gmini is simply amazing. It plays video, music, games, and records sound, plus a lot more. But the Gmini 402cc has so much more to offer.
Simply amazing is all I have to say. This is the new feature on the 402cc model. The 402 does everything the 402cc does, but does not have a built in camera. The Camcorder lets you record DVD quality video for up to 50 hours, encoded in real time with MPEG-4. You can change the quality of recording to one of five different qualities. You can also take still photos. Now, there is one downside of the camera. Though it can record DVD/VGA quality video, the still picture quality is maxed out at only 1.2 Mega pixels.
Multi Format Music Player:
Basically what you get here is a full featured iPod. Everything you would expect, on the go play lists, Album Art, music information, and many supported formats. You can easily transfer songs from your PC and organize them with the enhanced ARCLibrary. Store up to 10,000 songs in the most used format such as MP3, WMA, WAV and protected WMA (PlaysForSure™ files). The Gmini 402 Camcorder also offers an audio recording application to record (encoding in real time) in WAV (PCM or ADPCM), from almost all analog stereo sources. You can also use the built in stereo microphone if you wish to record notes to yourself for easy access later.
You can transfer up to 80 hours of video to the Gmini through it’s USB 2.0/1.1 interface. It supports and video format, and plays them at extremely nice quality on its 2.2″ screen. Now, I know that sounds small, but I’ve seen it in action and the quality, vibrancy, and overall impressiveness is truly amazing. Everyone agrees, the screen beats the iPod 5th Generation (Video) by a landslide. It runs smoothly and effortlessly.
You can transfer up to 200,000 photos from your PC, or you can use the built in USB Host Port. That’s right, there is a second USB port that allows you to plug in your Mass Storage compatible camera, USB Key Drive, Portable Hard drives, or any other self powered mass storage device right to the Gmini and manage it’s contents right there! This takes digital photography to another level, especially if you don’t want to use the built in 1.2 MP camera. You can organize your photos in easy thumbnail or slide show views, and watch them on the Gmini 402 Camcorder screen or any external display.
The Gmini 402 Camcorder has a USB Host Port enabling you to copy, share, connect and transfer files directly from other powered mass storage devices such as digital cameras, card readers, USB keys, and powered portable hard drives. Play back directly any compatible contents on the external hard drive connected to your Gmini 402 Camcorder (no data transfer needed). The Gmini 402 Camcorder also features a high-speed USB 2.0 interface to connect your device to your PC or Mac and easily transfer contents. Additionally, the TV output will allow you to enjoy photos and movies on any external screen, and comes with all the cables and adapters you need.
That’s right folks. Play games! Very impressive games at that. Jon has a doom-like 3-D Shoot ‘em Up game for the Mophun engine (used by a lot of cell phones and other portable devices). There are a lot of games down loadable from the Archos website (link located below).
I won’t mention all the specifications here but you can find them all on the official Archos site
One of the downsides of the Gmini is the battery life. It does offer 10 hours for music playback, but only 2 hours for video recording. I do find this disappointing, but if makes up for that in the many other qualities.
Retail price for this bad boy is $399.99, but can be found for 340.99 if you look around. You can also find the Gmini 402 (without camera) for $220.00 or less at PriceGrabber. (All prices are USD).
If you want to see a SWF movie demo you can view it here