Archos 5: Android PMP, $389.99 at Amazon

Archos_5_Android_PMP_Internet_Tablet

Resistive The Archos 5 is a 5-inch portable media player (PMP) that uses Google’s Android as the OS from Archos. Unfortunately the beautiful 4.8-inch TFT LCD with 800 x 480 resolution is coupled with resistive touch technology. Not all resistive touch is terrible: there is one that is excellent but most are terrible and I’m hoping the Archos 5 is at least decent. The reviews on Amazon are not too flattering with only 1 of 5 reviews giving it a 5 star rating (at the time of writing).

The Bad Let’s see what the folks didn’t like first:

  • H.264, Resistive Pain: One reviewer couldn’t get H.264 video to work and later realized there was a $39.99 plugin to be purchased. The same reviewer the resistive touch experience as “a massive pain” due to its inaccuracy and being hard to drag. Note: You can actually get a “Free Pack (Web Browser + Web TV)” when you register and go to “Product Services” –> “Plug-in”.
  • Big: The Archos5 is much thicker than appears on the web. The hard drive version is huge.
  • No Tilt: All applications change orientation thanks to the accelerometer but the home menu doesn’t.
  • Lock Up: The Archos5 seems to lock up at times. Note: The iPhone does this too but with a firmware update this should be fixed.
  • Flash: PITA because it needs a separate window to play. Note: Flash 10 might be a solution. Fingers crossed. At least you can play Flash on the Archos5: not so with the iPhone or iPod touch.

The Good And then the good stuff (there’s lots):

Slick Interface (easy to navigate around), Simple Setup, Solid Battery Life, Intelligent Feedback (tells you if copied files cannot be played), FM Transmitter, Touch Works Well (?), Solid Web Browsing, PDF Support.

Almost There The Archos 5 seems to be about 90% there. With future firmware updates the Archos5 can fix some of the problems mentioned but what is confusing to me is how the reviewers are reacting to the resistive touch screen: some say it is good and others hate it. I guess there’s only one way to find out if you like it or not: You can get the Archos 5 for US$389.99 at Amazon.

Source:

  • “Archos 5, The Daily Companion” – Archos
  • “Archos5 Android PMP now on sale at Amazon” – Engadget
  • “Archos5 Internet Tablet with Android now available from Amazon” – pocketables

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