Archos 604 – with wifi!
Al and I spent a few hours at the “best of stuff” show yesterday, checking out the new toys that should arrive in time for Christmas. One of the more innovative things we saw was the new Portable Media player from Archos.
The Archos 604 is the latest in a long and successful line of media players from Archos. In comon with their other devices it will play back MP3 and AVI files and it will also record from an external video source when paired with the (optional) dock shown in the photo so you can capture TV footage for posterity. Storage is via an internal 30GB hard drive.
Physically it feels solid and well made with a brushed metal exterior that looks like it could take a few knocks. The screen is bright and vibrant, the control layout is intuative and the unit operates from a rechargable battery. A plus point is that the battery is changeable so you can carry a spare for those long trips (Apple, are you listening…?).
The Wifi model pictured adds two things over the standard model: A touch sensitive screen (handy for very intuitive navigation of movies) and a web browser! As a concept this takes the Archos out of the strictly PMP territory and places it into competition with internet devices like the Nokia Internet Tablet.
Unfortunately Mr. Murphy cropped up at the show and scuppered the internet access so we couldn’t actually evaluate the “browsing experience” From what I could tell the Archos has a much snappier feel about it (the Nokia tablet felt very lethargic in use when I played with it) but that’s about all I can say for now.
This is one device we’ll be keeping an eye on though, as I have the feeling it could go places. More details on the rest of the Archos range can be found at www.archos.com.