The Bottom Line
- Great audio/video playback
- Wireless Internet Web browsing
- Good battery life
- Proprietary USB cable
- Fingerprint smudge factor high
- Delayed start up time
- Display: 800x480 pixels, 4.8'' TFT LCD, 16 million colors
- Audio playback: Stereo MP3 decoding @ 30-320 Kbits/s CBR & VBR, WMA, Protected WMA, WMA pro 5.1, WAV (PCM/ADPCM).
- Video playback: MPEG-42 (ASP@L5 AVI), WMV (MP@ML, included WMV protected files), M-JPEG
- Photo display: JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF
- Storage: 60GB (up to 80 Movies, 600,000 photos or 30,000 songs) up to 250GB (300 Movies, 2.5 million photos or 145,000 songs)
- Connections: WiFi (802.11 b/g), USB 2.0, 3.5 mm mini jack for headphones
- Minimum system requirements: Microsoft Windows Vista/XP, MAC OS X and Linux (with Mass Storage Device Support)
- Accessories: DVR Station (record live television), GPS car holder (GPS functions), Battery Dock (extended playback time)
Guide Review - Archos 5 Portable Media-Internet Player Review
Start up of this player took a long 20 seconds, but the wait revealed a well-designed interface which is finger-navigated. There are a lot of options to choose from, so it does require a learning curve to fully master the Archos 5. This mastering allows though for fully using this device's great array of features.
The Archos 5 supports a nice array of audio, video and digital image formats. Tests showed the 5 performed well for a portable media player. The audio quality was great as were videos of movies and digital images of family members. Audio enhancements like an equalizer and several video display size choices further made media viewing enjoyable.
Wireless Internet functions went off generally well also. On-screen web browsing allowed for viewing of Web sites in their regular form, though some zooming-in is required to get a better picture. Streaming audio quality from Internet radio stations chosen from a list varied, but were mostly solid, as was wireless video viewing.
Battery life for audio/video playback was around 6/22 hours, falling within what Archos advertises. Charging the player is done through a proprietary USB cable connected to a computer, which could be a real problem if it is lost. Earbuds included with the Archos 5 sound above average for what is found to ship with most products of this type.
Archos' crack at an Internet-enabled portable media player, despite some issues, is a worthy first shot across the Apple's iPod bow. Those seeking cutting edge should consider it.