Saturday, October 31, 2009

Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android. My Review

Now that Archos put Android on one of their touchscreen monsters I thought it was worth a look. The Archos 5 Internet Tablet (with Android) comes in 8gb (Radio Shack), 16gb and 32gb flash memory models, as well as 160gb and 500gb hard drive based models. The 500gb model is roughly $500 and a great deal per gigabyte. I don't have any need for that much space so I picked up the 32gb version. The flash memory models are thinner and have a microSD slot for add-on storage.

Dimensions: 143.2 x 78.8 x 10.4mm. Mine weighs 182 grams (6.4 ounces). The Screen is 800 x 480 pixels, 4.8" TFT LCD, 16 million colors. There is a nice little fold-out stand which holds the 5 up at a great viewing angle.
Source: BHPhotoVideo.com. Amazon.com and Newegg.com have them as well. Typically $380 for the 32gb model.

Media play includes:
- Music: MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, OGG, FLAC. Up to 22 hours. Gapless play seems to be there, at least with the MP3 files I've tested. - Video: MPEG-4 HD (up to 720p), MPEG-48 (ASP@L5 AVI, up to DVD resolution), H.264 HD (up to 720p), WMV (MP@ML, up to DVD resolution) including WMV protected files, MKV (up to 720p, 2500kbs, 23fps), M-JPEG (Motion JPEG Video) in QVGA resolution. Up to 7 hours. - Photos: JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF- Flash Games
- FM Radio (with RDS). You can find it after tapping on Music. I'd love to have a dedicated icon for it but haven't figured that out yet.

Media Input includes:
- Voice Recording with the built-in microphone.
- Stereo Line-In recording with the optional DVR Station or DVR Snap-on.
- FM radio recording.
- Video Recording with the optional DVR Station or DVR Snap-on.
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Radios:
- Wifi including 802.11b, g, and n.
- Bluetooth for wireless headphones and more. Bluetooth keyboard and mice work too.
- GPS for Navigation and location sensing (Google Maps).
- FM Transmitter.
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Other:
- G-Sensor
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Apps: I'm not going to list or review them here, but you can find a list at Archos.com. Many rely on you subscribing to their associated web sites. Email and contacts are there thankfully. You can also find many more apps and download them directly to the 5 using the AppLib application on the 5. The User Interface: Sensitive and reliable. Some actions take awhile to process and that can make you think the UI is sluggish, but once you are at the Home Menu or within the photo app you'll see there is plenty of horse power for smooth graphics and quick response when it is most important. The body has only three external buttons. Thankfully they included VOLume Up and VOLume Down along with the Power button.
Quality: As a media player this Archos has what it takes. Music, Video, and photos all take advantage of the hardware, sounding and looking great. Using Wifi you can also access shared folders on your home network to find far more than you might have stored locally on the 5. As a pocket computer the 5 is not completely there, but it's got the tools to improve with firmware updates. Support for a bluetooth keyboard and network printer would be all that's needed to eliminate one's need for a notebook PC. The 5 tends to attract fingerprints front and back, but so do most touchscreen devices I've tried. Seams between body halves are a little sharp. The built-in stand is a nice touch and is mounted stiffly enough to be adjusted to variable viewing angles. It will also prop the 5 up on it's right end but the 5's rounded end makes for a teetery perch.
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Conclusion? My Archos 5 is growing on me every day. So far the software has updated itself twice. It now runs on Android 1.5, and version 1.4.25 of the Archos firmware. While pricey, you are getting the largest screen that will still fit into a shirt pocket. There doesn't look to be too much the Archos 5 won't run eventually. It might be an amazing value in a year. At the moment though it is incredible but pricey.
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4D

8 comments:

  1. Now THAT is one shiny toy. I may have to get me one of those.

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  2. Is $350 CDN worth it for the 32GB?

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  3. I don't know what the exchange rate is now, but compared to the prices for a 32gb iPod Touch the price I paid in U.S. dollars seems fair.

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  4. nice blog, good, this is good information for me u can also u know make post about H.264 DVR, Digital Video Recorder.

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  5. Ken,

    Thanks for your comment. I wouldn't mind reviewing the DVR you linked to if they would send me one for free. I have no personal need for one like I do with everything else I've reviewed. In fact I've just picked up two more MP3 players to review.

    4D

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  6. hi 4d
    once again its about the screen type. earlier you helped me take decision of buying archos 70 it similarly.
    i want to know if there is a huge difference in archos 5 and the later released archos 48. the most important question is about the screen type. capacitive or resistive. plastic, fibre or glass?

    many thanks

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  7. please, could you confirm, are you sure this player is completely gapless? thank you

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