Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Archos 43 with Android. My Review!


Image from Archos.com

Hints of the new Archos 43 media player caught my attention the last month or so. From the early press releases it seemed like the one to get.   It is now available, so I ordered one to see if it would live up to the specifications.  The name gives away the display size, as it has a 4.3" (diagonal) screen with 480 x 854 pixels and 16 million color support.  All the basic underhood technology seems there with WiFi and Bluetooth, Accelerometer, Camera, a graphic accelerator, and Android Froyo 2.2 (soon) as the operating system. I've been tricked by specs from Archos before.  Will the 43 be any different?  It is a beautiful beast with a mirror-finish back to compliment the big glass front.  Very sturdy, with an overmoulded stainless steel interior structure.
Archos didn't leave much out when they built the 43. The missing GPS and 3G (phone) chip are the only things that keep the 43 from being a smartphone.  Some hardware specifics below.
 
- External Controls:  You get a volume level rocker and a power/sleep/reset button.  That's it.
- Ports:  MicroUSB for syncing and charging, a mini-HDMI  port, and the expected 3.5mm headphone jack. You'll need a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable to connect to a TV.  About $10 if you shop around.
- RAM:  16gb internal (roughly 14.3gb for your use).  A MicroSD-HC slot on the side for up to 32gb more.  Media on the microSD card is merged with any internal media, and shows up together in the media apps. The Files program lets you browse content on both the internal an microSD memory.  
- Wireless:  WiFi (802.11 b/g/n) and Bluetooth (2.1 EDR)
- Display:  Single touch (not multi-touch) screen, resistive (pressure sensitive), 480x854 pixels (FWVGA), 4.3'' TFT LCD, 16 million colors
- Dimensions:  135 x 65 x 9 mm – 5.3” x 2.6” x 0.4”
- Weight: 132 grams (4.65 ounces).  For comparison my new iPod Touch weighs 103 grams (3.63 ounces)
- Kickstand (Fold out leg stand)
- Speakers: Above and below the screen. Mono output however.  Sound good. Better than most phone speakers.  Not as good as most headphones. 
- Microphone: Should do fine when shooting video. There is also an included voice recording app.
- Camera:  2 MP - recording format: 720p H264 / AAC .MP4.
Sample taken from the 43.
The camera is best used holding the 43 upside down IMO.  I can confirm that it isn't good enough to use with barcode scanning apps. I tried three different barcode scanning apps, and none could focus well enough on any barcode I tried to decode it.  No autofocus or macro mode.  This isn't as good as most cheap pocket cameras.  Video would be best take outdoor and on a tripod if the 43 had such a tripod mount.
This is at best a token feature. It may come in handy when no other camera is available, but I wouldn't buy the 43 just for the camera feature.  You'll be disappointed.  Camera gets a C from me.

- G-Sensor: Works as expected. Detects screen orientation. The Whole UI will re-orient quickly unless turned off.  You can turn it off in Settings.

- Bluetooth: I've had a chance to check out the Bluetooth capabilities now. I succeeded in pairing with and using my Freedom Pro keyboard with the 43. I had an initial conflict when both WiFi and Bluetooth were turned on, but a reboot cleared it up and the keyboard was usable entering text in any app that required it, including the web browser, email, and the trial document editor that came with the 43.  I also was able to pair three different Bluetooth headsets and one Bluetooth speaker dock with no difficulty.  There was the occasional signal glitch. I believe it relates to WiFi being on and email notices distracting the 43's attention. I couldn't get it to reliably repeat though, and I was able to use the bluetooth keyboard, listen to music over bluetooth headset, all while browsing the web or sending emails.  I have no doubt a bluetooth mouse would also work, but don't have one to test. I was able to do a file transfer over bluetooth using a dedicated app for that purpose, as well as "bump" a contact to my cell phone using the Bump apps on both devices via bluetooth. I give bluetooth on the 43 an A.

From Archos you can expect complete Music, Video and Photo Players.  These are NOT the standard android media applications.

- Music: Supported formats include Stereo MP3 CBR & VBR,  WMA, WAV (PCM/ADPCM), AAC3, AAC+ stereo audio files, OGG Vorbis,  and FLAC. It will also play consecutive song with no audible gap in between.  The display rotates with the device, and you'll get larger album art playing vertically, or the now playing song can fill a screen with it's art.  You can sort by albums, artists, songs, playlists, or by folders.  Sorting a large collection of songs brings up a thumb tab that when used displays the alphabet as you pan up and down through the list. Songs from the microSD card are integrated with any songs that are on internal memory.  You also get a nice cover roll of the recently played album songs. You can add to playlists or favorites.  There is a Party Shuffle option.  Very detailed Info is available about any song, album, or folder.  As far as I can tell the only shortcoming of the Music app is the lack of sorting by genre. As such, Music gets an A from me.
Music playback time: up to 36 hours.

- Video: AVI (480 x 272)(720 x 404) (320 x 240), WMV (1280 x 720)(720 x 416)(540 x 360), MP4 (1280 x 720)(640 x 480) are the resolution and codec I was able to play with no trouble on the 43. Nothing larger than 720p would play. The video player gives you all the info that matters. Simply listing the files there are options for All Videos, Recently Played, Not Player Yet, and Folder Search. You can browse for and play videos on locally accessible network shared folders as well as media servers.  Fast-Forward/Rewind and relative positioning within a file are both supported. You can call up detailed file info, set bookmarks, resize video to fit the screen or not, and adjust brightness. A Settings sub menu also provides Play mode, Sound, and volume/title display toggles. Play mode lets you choose Single, Folder, Repeat Single, or Repeat Folder options. Choosing Folder lets you play in sequence all the videos the same folder.   Sound options include setting the EQ Presets, Bass, Treble, 3D, and L/R Balance of the audio output.  You can send video out through the (optional) HDMI cable to a big TV too!  Video playback get an A+ from me.
Video playback time: Up to 10 hours.

- Photo Gallery: JPEG, BMP, PNG, and GIF files can be displayed. You get a panning array or sorted group view of the available photos, both using the creation date of each photo to sort by. In the arrayed view the entire collection is show by date from left to right, with the dates appearing as you use the slider bar to move over the group. Once you've selected a photo, zooming is great. Zoom in to what appears to be one-to-one pixels displayed on the screen. Smooth Pan and Zoom is easily handled by the graphic processor. You can zoom in five steps to full resolution, or double-tap the screen to zoom all the way in/out instantly. You can slide show with transitions and music in the background. All the basic features seem to be there.  You can crop, rotate, Set as (contact icon or wallpaper), You also get a SHARE option with sharing via Bluetooth, Email, Touiteur (Twitter), Facebook, or Gmail, shown as well as any other choice related to apps you may have installed.   I'll give Photo viewing an A.
- Web Browser: Web surfing: up to 12 hours on a battery charge. A double-tap on any web page paragraph enlarges it to fill the screen. There are several "Favorites" already stored for you, and you can add your own page to the favorites/bookmarks page.  Not quite as nice as the Safari browser on the latest iPhone or iPod Touch, but easily second best.  I've seen far worse browsers. This web browser gets a B+.

- App Store:  There is a decent selection of applications already on the 43. They include Webbrowser, Email, Contacts, Appslib, Twitter, Wikipedia, Weather Channel, Ebuddy, Deezer, Mewbox (UK), Napster (US), Racing Thunderlight, Weather Channel, World Newspaper, and more.  The Appslib program gives you access to hundreds of other applications.  A search on the web will find you can also add the Google/android market app as well, which gives access to almost every other android app out there.  A+

UI: The screen reacts quickly to the touch of your finger or a stylus.  Graphics flow smoothly, and there are five home pages to layout anyway you want.  Add widgets or shortcuts.  Arrange them anyway that makes sense to you.  Delete apps you don't have a need for.  I found that using my thumb isn't the best at controlling the screen, but any other finger works fine.  This may be peculiar to just me and not you. I love that the whole UI and most apps will re-orient themselves as you rotate the 43.  You can change screen brightness. You can turn on or off any audible alerts or notices.  This is as good as any other android device I've used, and better than many. I give the UI an A.

Conclusion?   Archos has a winner here. I highly recommend this to anyone who want a better media player than an iPod, yet doesn't want to give up the apps store or web browsing that come with WiFi. Now to find a case for mine.

4D

118 comments:

  1. Thanks. Good review. I would like to see more about Camera with an actual test shot and testing the barcode scanner. Also nothing was mentioned about the soft buttons covering some things or compatibility with standard android apps like calendar. These are things I'm concerned about. Also probably should mention that it ships currently with Android 2.1 (eclair) but an update to 2.2 (froyo) is expected this month.

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  2. Great overview, I have ordered mine today....where can we find a case?

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  3. You mean "16GB of storage". 16GB of RAM would but 99% of all desktop machines to shame. I believe it only has 512MB of memory (RAM).

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  4. Good review.I have read everything I could find on Archos 43 and I am ordering mine this week. Here is a test video recording done with Archos 43
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSY_6MFN9ms

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  5. Thanks for your comments. RAP: I plan to add a few test images and maybe a short video today, all from the camera. And yes, I'm expecting 2.2 any day now. There have been a few odd errors showing up in a few apps, but I chock that up to the app creator more than anything else. Nothing critical/repeatable to far.

    For a case, I've been looking at phones with similar sized screens. There aren't many if any cases for the latest ones yet either. Check in your local cell phone stores. Report back if you find one. I'll do the same.

    4D

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  6. Thanks. This really cleared my doubts on the 43. Just wondering are the app on the 43 as good as the Iphone/ipod apps. Great reveiw!

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  7. Could you try an USB gamepad and an emulator on it? :PPP

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  8. Nonac2009: Some apps are great, some so-so, and some lousy. Same is true for the apps available for the iPod Touch. Get the Android Market app for it though. The AppsLib app that comes with it is limited.

    Anonymous: I won't be testing a gamepad or emulator on it as I personally have no interest in either. If you get one and get an emulator/pad to work then please post another comment here for the benefit of others.

    4D

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  9. Thank you, of course I will do so... just waiting for 43... out of stock :'(

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  10. Great review I have been looking at this since September or so seams less resistive and more on the iphone type of touch feel. Looking forward to getting it for business purposes. The android OS is a huge plus for me to keep track of my emails. Check out www.zoogala.blogspot.com Learn all about my new website launching December 15th. We are reinventing the classifieds industry by adding some awesome features

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  11. 4DThinker: Can you give me a link to the Android Market app. I can't seem to find the correct one, also I new to android.

    Thanks

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  12. Nocac2009: http://www.android.com/market/

    4D

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  13. 4DThinker: Sorry, I meant where can you download it from.

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  14. http://rapidshare.com/#!download|977|423872528|gApps4Archos.apk|7904

    1. Download gapps4archos.apk

    2. Connect your Archos to your computer via provided micro USB cable.

    3. Place the .apk file onto your SD card (I made a folder named APK)

    4. Click the 'Files' icon on your home screen and locate the gapps4archos.apk

    5. Install the APK

    6. Locate the installed Gapps4Archos application in your App Drawer and open it.

    7. Then there will two options, click the Install Google Apps one.

    It should install them, at which point you will need to reboot, and there you have it.


    ( source: forum.archosfans.com )

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  15. I'm guessing you mean the app that adds the android market to the 43? Try here: http://www.mediafire.com/?7xkrb2a4go7w9iv

    4D

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  16. I currently own a fourth generation iPod touch. I'm looking to selling it in time for Christmas and buying an Archos 43. I'm getting bored of Apple in general, mostly its corporate attitude. Would you recommend the 43 to me?

    BTW, very nice review. ;-)

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  17. Maxime,

    I am enjoying my 43 more than my 4th gen Touch at the moment. Although the 43's resistive screen isn't quite as nice, it is bigger. The 43 also is more capable if you're one who takes full advantage of what a device can do. Archos has updated it to android 2.2 now, and a way to install the regular (full) android market and the rest of the typical Google/android apps is also available.

    Shortcomings include finding a case for the 43, although I've seen at least one leather case for it now.

    If you can swing it, I suggest keeping the Touch for some overlap time with the 43. Then you'll be able to do your own side-by-side comparison. You can then sell whichever pleases you less.

    4D

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  18. Hi 4D, thank you for these reviews, they're very helpful! I have a question about 2.2 (Froyo) - I've been monitoring the archosfans forum and note that some users are having what appear to be significant problems post-upgrade. How have you found 2.2 vs. 2.1? My 43 is on order and I'm wondering if I should upgrade to 2.2 when it arrives?

    Cheers,

    Mike

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  19. Mike: With 2.2 on my 43 and 32, performance has sped up, the screen seems more reliable/sensitive, the UI is more evolved, and I highly recommend it. During install of the update you get a chance to RESET the device. Do it. Choosing not to brings many of the problems mentioned in forums.

    4D

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  20. Thank you 4D... Now if only it would arrive!

    Mike

    PS love your other reviews as well

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  21. Here is link to anyone who is looking for accessories to this device.

    http://www.newmp3technology.com/prota43it.htm

    I personally have not tried it, because I'm waiting for the device to get in stock. Anyone have any tips as to when it will come in stock...yes I did the "notify me".

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  22. Thanks for the link. I have no connections with Archos, so can't do anything but guess when they'll get more. I do sugggest checking their store every day. Their "notify me" didn't work to tell me they had the 70 with 250gb hard drive, yet they got some in.

    4D

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  23. Hi 4d, i love your review's of the archos tablets,and i wanted to know if you plan to order the archos 101 or the 70 to review.

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  24. I've order the 70, and should have it tomorrow. Expect a review in a week or so. I won't be ordering the 101 though.

    4D.

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  25. Thank you very much for the review!

    Could you tell me: which device is better from Archos 43 IT and iPod 4 touch 32Gb (with JB) for that use cases (in the order of priority):
    * ebook reading
    * web surfing
    * mindmapping
    * podcast listening
    * music listening
    * video vieweing
    * map navigaton with a bluetooth GPS receiver
    * gaming

    How long is the battery life in the reading mode (Wi-Fi is switched off, display brightness about 50%)?

    Is it really 12 hours of the battery life in the web surfing mode? Unbelieveable.
    Do you miss smooth pinch zooming while surfing?

    Thanks in advance!

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  26. Hi Arcanum. Thanks for visiting my blog.
    ebooks: Archos 43.
    Web surfing: Touch (but 43 has a bigger screen)
    Mindmapping: ? Tie I suspect.
    Podcasts: Tie
    Music: 43
    Video: 43
    Navigation: 43.
    Gaming: Touch has a slight edge, although the 43 is very good with 3D games. Easy to send them to a HDTV too.

    I haven't done and real battery tests. My 43 seems to last quite awhile between charges though.

    I don't "miss" pinch zooming, although I appreciate it when it is there. A double-tap on the 43's browser does (almost) the same thing.

    Hope that helps!
    4D

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  27. Thanks a lot and privet from Russia :)
    It's clear that 43 rocks!
    Is the build quality good and compareable with the iPod?
    Is the display resistant to any scratches? Does it need a protective film?
    Is the back side of 43 resistant to any scratches? As you know, iPod does not.

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  28. Plastic molded over steel frame. Well built in my opinion. Glass screen. If it will scratch glass, it will scratch the screen. I don't let sand get anywhere near mine though to test it for you. Plastic back. Will scratch, but won't look as bad as the Touch back does when scratched. Real fingerprint magnets though. True for both devices.

    4D

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  29. Thanks!
    So I have to find 43 in the web stores. It's quite hard for shipping to the other country... And now it's not available everywhere I know. May be wait until 2011 ;)

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  30. Good job for the review!
    While it's out of stock elsewhere in France, lucky me, i manage to get one Dec 24

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  31. Will videos bought from iTunes work on this?

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  32. They should, so long as they don't have any DRM in them. I never personally bought a movie from itunes, but the file format is supported.

    4D

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  33. Great review. Short, and to the point.

    What about MKV 720p videos? Can it play them?

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  34. Yes, the 43 can play 1280 x 720 MKV files.I had one sample to test for you, and it played flawlessly.

    4D

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  35. thanks for the review. ive been trying to find out to see if this would be a good replacement to my Zen Original. i do have few questions though.
    is the music quality on this device better or worse than the cowon j3??
    Is it hard trying to read text on this device??
    does this device fit well in pockets? ive been hesitant because of the screen size and im really looking for something to take with me nearly everyday.
    If u put a screen protector will the screen still be responsive??
    thank you again for the review

    Anthony

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  36. 43 and J3 are nearly tied to my ears. The J3 plays gapless 99% of the time. The 43 plays gapless about 90% of the time, depeding on what else it is doing in the background. Wi-Fi on the 43 adds considerable capability, but also brings background activity that sometimes distracts the music player.

    As for screen protector you'll have to try that one yourself. I don't intend to use one. Fits in any pocket except that tiny one some jeans have for watches.
    4D

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  37. Interesting review!

    As I am mainly interested in watching anime and asian dramas on the A43, I would really appreciate if you could play videos with external subtitles (srt, etc.) and let us know if you detect any problem.

    Thank you.

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  38. The specs at Archos.com list that it supports subtitle files with .srt, .ssa, .smi, .sub extensions, and MKV / VOB embedded subtitles. I don't have any .srt examples, so you'll either have to trust that they work or buy one and test it out yourself. When you confirm it, please comment here again. I'm sure others will like to have it verified.

    4D

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  39. Thank you very much for the review, I was fairly skeptical about whether or not I should order or not. But your review was thorough enough that by the time I was through reading, I was ordering it off of Archos' website. The only thing I'm really curious about is whether or not it ships with headphones of any sort...? Sounds trivial, I know.

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  40. Yes, Tonie. The 43 comes with fairly standard Archos earbuds. That and a USB cable.

    Thanks for your comments. ;)

    4D

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  41. Hello,
    good review, nothing wrong with, i bought i archos 43 and i like it.
    I also can confirm that the archos supports .srt files for subs, you just put an .srt file in the same map as the movie, if right you get when you start playing the movie a button with textballoon and if you click on it, you get a menu with tracks, size, delay and coding.
    I hope this is enough for you?

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  42. Nice review 4D. Very detailed and thorough. Do you know when the Archos will be availabe? All stores seem to say it is temporarily out of stock. I was wondering where you ordered yours from?

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  43. Try

    http://store.archos.com/archos-internet-tablet-p-5003.html.

    They had them available when I posted the link.

    4D

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  44. I'm interested primarily in knowing if the Calendar app works and if it syncs properly with Google Calendar. I'd be looking at this device primarily as a more full functioned replacement for a very old Palm device that I carry in my pocket to act as an alarm for all of the meetings I have through the day. Do you have any opinion on how it would work for that? Does it need to be fully powered down between uses, or does it sleep more like an Android smartphone?

    Thanks for a detailed review.

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  45. Thanks for the review 4D. Do you know how difficult it is to replace the battery on the 43 when the time comes? Also, I want to mount the 43 in my car as a replacement for my GoPro video camera, any good suggestions on how to mount in the car? Thanks. Keep up the great work.

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  46. @bsceason: Yes the calendar works. I can't answer for alarms though as I don't use my 43 for that and always keep the sound turned off unless specifically listening to music.

    @RFan: No, I don't know how difficult it would be to replace the battery. Getting the case open is only half the battle. Finding a new battery would be the hard part, and I don't think I've ever seen replacement batteries for sale at Archos.com. You're on your own for car mounting. There is no tripod socket, and the 43 isn't designed for that use of it. If you get it working check back in.

    Thanks for visiting.
    4D

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  47. Hey 4D, I just bought the 43. Very excited. I also just ordered a Universal GPS Car Mount which I think would allow me to mount it inside my car and use the camera to record track videos. For $4.95 including shipping, I guess its definitely worth a try.
    http://www.shop4tech.com/user.htm?go=view_item&id=8622&r=185

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  48. Hi 4D, great review. I have been planning to order the 43 for some time now, but have ben hesitant for a couple reasons.

    Does the lack of Multi-touch make gameplay less interactive?

    It says it has a resistive screen, is it still manageable though? I have a touch screen Polaroid (like a rip off iPod) and it is TOO resistive. It's like I'm going to break it just to get it to recognize my touch.

    Also, i was wondering what comes included when you buy the 43?

    Thanks in advance,
    ~~Caiti~

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  49. Hi Caiti,

    Includes a USB cable and headphones.
    Best resistive screen I've experienced.
    I miss multitouch a little in maps, and the occasional game, but not enough to prevent me from enjoying my 43.

    4D

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  50. have you tried to use bluetooth to connect to the internet thru a 3G phone? Did that work well?

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  51. I have no phone that will tether its data plan, so I can't tell you if it would have worked for me. Several others report no trouble. Many report they can't connect. Depends on the phone.

    4D

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  52. Alright, so I finally received my Archos 43 tablet and it worked FANTASTICALLY!

    For about a week.

    My complaint is that it has stopped registering all the music that I put onto it. Since I phrased that horribly, here's what I mean. I put 5,800 songs on my 32gb microsd card to put on there. It registered them all for awhile. Now all it registers is roughly 900 songs. I've gone through and did the full reinitialize, rebuilt the library, and all that other stuff. But it just doesn't show up in the library. It shows up under the file browser, but not in the music application itself. Any idea what the problem is? I haven't been able to get ahold of tech support to help me...

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  53. @Tonie: Make sure you have the latest firmware. You can find it at

    http://www.archos.com/support/support_tech/updates.html?country=us&lang=en&#firm

    Database problems were reported in earlier fimware, but most have been fixed in the latest.

    Hope that helps.
    4D

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  54. Hm, I asked you three months ago about emulators and gamepads. Now I have my Archos 43, and:

    - emulators are working perfectly, (except PSX4Droid, normally I can use it only without sound...)

    - and bluetooth gamepads: I still didn't bought one of them, but I've seen reviews - some (maybe all?) BT gamepads are compatible, for example the Wiimote.

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  55. Updated the firmware. Didn't help.

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  56. If you have contacted Archos, be patient. I did the same and eventually got a response from them.

    As for 32gb cards, you might try checking the card for errors with your PC. I don't have 5,800 music files, but the 1900 or so I've put on my 43 all show up. There are some counterfit memory cards out there too.

    There is also an option in settings>Repair & formatting to Reset the mutimedia library. It will rebuild the database. Check the card for error first. Then have a look to see if all the music is still on the card using your PC. Re-sync it to the 43's memory if it isn't, then rebuild the database.

    I don't work for Archos and don't make get paid for writing this blog. You can also wait for Archos or visit their support forums. A google search ("Archos support forum") will find them. Good luck.

    4D

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  57. Hi I've stumbled across your review and found it very useful. Do you know if it reads pdf files? I'm looking to get this or the ipod touch or the cowon d3. so far, this is in the lead.

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  58. Adobe makes a free app for android, and if you dowload it to your 43 then YES, your 43 will open and display PDFs.

    4D

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  59. IMHO Adobe Reader is not the best PDF reader for A43, ezPDF is way more comfortable and it has more function too.

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  60. Is USB the only way to charge this device? Or can you buy a wall plug?

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  61. Any AC-USB wall charger should work with your included USB cable to charge the 43. Make sure the output is 5v DC at 1 amp or so.

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  62. Thanks for your review, it is very helpful to me.

    Regarding playback of video media, the max resolution appears to be 720p. Does this mean:
    1. It cannot playback 1080p video at all?
    2. I would have to convert existing video to 720p, and then it would playback ok?
    3. It can select to playback existing 1080p video at 720p?

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  63. 1. True.
    2. Probably. Not every audio/video codec is supported.
    3. No. See #1.

    4D

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  64. I plan to expand my HD with an SD card. Does the card fit completely inside the device or will it stick out?

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  65. There is no cover, but the microSD-HC card is flush to the surface when inserted properly.

    4D

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  66. Dude, Awesome review! And to answer all these peoples questions is pretty cool as well. I plan to get this device as soon as funds permit. I'm having a hard time deciding between this and the Archos 70 though. I guess the only thing that makes the 70 appealing compared to the 43 is the capacitive screen and that's it. I don't care about multi touch or pinch to zoom, I just want a screen that is responsive to fairly light touches, and something that wont frustrate the hell out of me. Does the 43 fit that description?

    Thanks,

    Devin

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  67. The 43's screen is the best resistive screen I've seen on a device. I find it easiest to use by tapping with a fingernail rather than the pad of my finger. Keep your receipt in case you aren't satisfied.

    4D

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  68. 4D, thanks for your clear and in-depth review...I'm going to order myself a 43 soon!

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  69. You forgot to mention the processor speed. some sites say that the Archos 43 has a 1GHz processor while others say it is only 800 MHz.

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  70. From Archos.com: ARM Cortex A8 at 1 GHz with DSP. The firmware slows down the processor when it isn't needed to run at 1 GHz, so that's where the conflicting reports stem from.

    4D

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  71. The 43 has a 1GHz CPU, the 32 has the 800MHz...

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  72. I was looking to purchase a new MP3 player and wanted one with the andriod network on it. My ipod touch just broke to no repair. I know this is about the 43 but anyone know if the 32 can download apps from the android network?

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  73. Hi 4D, Based on the your review, I went ahead and purchased A43IT. I should say I am quite happy with it, but I have couple of concerns.

    1. The display seem to be pretty poor compared to my earlier J3 (album art & photos appear just pale bright without any contrast and no crispiness)

    2. I cannot modify the audio settings when I am playing music either through speakers or through Bluetooth headphones (the player says, settings can only be modified when the wired headset is connected). I am wondering if this issue is only with me or with all A43IT.

    Thanks.

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  74. Your points are valid, Anonymous. The J3 has an OLED screen and the 43 doesn't. You'll need to spend far more to get a less capable android device from Cowon with an OLED screen (their D3) though. The 43 is a different class of device, having WiFi and apps in addition to decent media codec support. It's got a larger and much higher resolution screen, even though the technology used isn't as pretty as OLEDs can look.

    On the 43 EQ settings are not available over its internal speakers or bluetooth. Their logic is that the quality from the speakers is so bad any enhancements won't help, and bluetooth is another layer of compression that limits most benefits of EQ settings too. True or not, that's where they seem to stand.

    4D

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  75. Does it have a vibrate feature?

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  76. @TooTall: Not that I've found.

    4D

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  77. Very good review 4D thanks for it. I'm currently on shopping for a music and video player and I'm left with "Cowon J3" and "Archos 43". Which one has the better sound quality? And, which one has the better video output?

    I hope you can help me decide.

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  78. @Skysurfer: Between those two I recommend the 43 for video. It'll do HDMI out to an HDTV, and has a considerably higher resolution screen than Cowon's J3. The screen is also larger.

    4D

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  79. Thanks for the advice. And what about sound quality? Are they on the same level? Or is J3's superior to that of the 43 or viceversa? I've had a Cowon D2 and I fell in love with the sound, unfortunately I lost it recently, that's why I'm looking for a replacement. Perhaps you coud give me an advice on some device (besides the J3 and the 43) that has better sound quality than the D2's? But in a price range just like the J3 (8GB) or 43 (8GB).

    Thanks in advance.

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  80. Best sound is the J3. Not by much though. Most users would probably say they sound the same with the same headphones. The J3 does gapless playback though. Great if you have live albums you like to listen to with no breaks bewteen tracks.
    4D

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  81. Thanks for the review I am looking for an mp3 player to match my sennheiser IE8 headphones and i didn't want to shy away from android platform. It was between this and the regular boring ole Ipod touch, and thanks to for your review you tipped my balance toward purchasing and Archos 43.

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  82. Hello 4DThinker. I just want to know if the archos 43 is worth having..

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  83. Worth having? Don't know about that. The 43it is a great pocket media player though, and worth the money they are asking for one.

    4D

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  84. Does It play mpg video files. Can you download a facebook app and can you also chat on facebook on the archos 43. Do you know how long the life of the battery last until you have to change it.

    Nice Review By the way :)

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  85. mpgs, no. At least not natively. You might be able to download an app that will though. Facebook app yes. Check out the amazon android app store for the facebook app. No need to change the battery, but I recharge mine every 3-4 days.

    4D

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  86. Thanks 4D. One more thing if I get an Archos 43 do you mind writing instructions on how to get google market on it..

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  87. A google search led me here, Anonymous:

    http://armdevices.net/2010/10/09/google-marketplace-now-works-on-archos-gen8-internet-tablets/

    4D

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  88. I love the Archos 43
    It kicks butttttttttssssssss off apple

    www.tech3point3.net.tc

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  89. is the 43 any good for doing and editing powerpoints. im kinda ify about purchasing one but u have about convinced me

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  90. All it takes is Documents_to_go or a similar office apps bundle to view powerpoints. I haven't tried to create or edit one on any Android device, so I'll leave that puzzle up to you. Doesn't seem like it would be much fun on a 4.3" screen.

    4D

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  91. I just ordered mine today, I'm bookmarking this page because if how useful it is! I really like how you keep responding to people 4D, I believe I speak for many, THANK YOU!

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  92. Can you please tell how to put the added recently widget on one the main screens? Thank You!!!

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  93. Anonymous: That image was a promotional photo from Archos, and shows a "medium" Video widget that apparently never made it only the retail 43s. There is a small and a large video widget, and both have a "recently added" option. Neither is the size of the one shown in my first photo though. Perhaps in the Android market.

    4D

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  94. While playing music do the Archos 43 lock, so the song don't change on accident when its in the pocket?

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  95. If you turn the screen off or it times out, you have to wake it up with the power button before you can control the music. Just turning the screen off with a tap of the power button lets the music keep playing though. Should work just as you want it to.

    4D

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  96. I love your blog 4DThinker! it gives me all of the information i need to choose my new mp3 player! :) i have one question, does the Archos 43 Internet Tablet (the item on this page) play videos at a resolution of 1080p?

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  97. Thanks for visiting, Anonymouse. From the post above: "AVI (480 x 272)(720 x 404) (320 x 240), WMV (1280 x 720)(720 x 416)(540 x 360), MP4 (1280 x 720)(640 x 480) are the resolution and codec I was able to play with no trouble on the 43. Nothing larger than 720p would play."

    4D

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  98. i am thinking of either getting an latte ice smart or this, wat is your opinion on what i should get? Is there anything else like these two that can fit in my pocket and is run by android without phone. i would rather have android than apple. i would like to know what you think

    thanks

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  99. Between the Archos 43 and the Latte Ice Smart, the 43 is a better all-around device.

    4D

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  100. Is there any other system that is like the archos 43 where it is pocket portable and runs off of android that doesnt have phone but is a little more up to date?

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  101. Is there a lock screen where i could put a passcode into the archos43 so my brother and sister can't get into it?

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  102. Yes, you can set up the screen lock to use a pattern, PIN, or Password. Or disable it completely.

    4D

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  103. Android PMPs are coming out from Samsung and Sony. Look for the Samsung WiFi 4.0 and 5.0. Look for Sony's Z1000 (not available yet).

    4D

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  104. Can you upgrade the archos 43 to android 2.3?

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  105. how is the battery for this device?

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  106. does the archos 43 run fast or does it lag too often to get annoyed with it?

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  107. Latest firmware is Android 2.2.1. Any further updates are up to Archos.

    Battery lives up to listed specs. Actual performance depends on your use patterns.

    The 43 is not noticably slow unless it is updating its music database. It only does this if you've just added more music to it.

    4D

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  108. would it make sense to buy this device as it stands or would you recommend another device?

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  109. how is the customization on the archos 43?

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  110. @Ryan: This over the Zune HD. Why? Android app store.
    Customize all you want. Same as any other Android device.
    The Archos 43 is almost a year old. A few new devices will be showing up before Christmas. I'd wait for the Sony Z1000 myself, but there is no guarantee when it'll show up.

    4D

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  111. barcode scanner does work, try ixmat scanner from the android marke.

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  112. Thank you for your review. My Samsung YP-P2 MP3 player has quit working after a strong 3.5 yrs of daily use and was looking for a more universal devise for mp3 use. I think this may be the winner for me. Up to 36 hrs of music playback is about right where the P2 held as well. Great review.

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  113. Hi, very nice review. I would like to know, can the 43 work as a watch. I mean does it keep counting even when its off or has no network?

    And since i realise this review is 1 year old, is there anything more actual. I couldnt find the galaxy 4.0 or sony are they released in america?

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  114. @Nath: All android device that I know of keep track of time even when off. They update their time once connected to the web, but don't reset to 12:00 like an old VCR when off.

    Samsung's 4.0 and 5.0 are available at BestBuy, Amazon.com, and no doubt most other tech stores. Being newer than the 43it I recommend either over it.

    4D

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  115. Hi great info the only thing missing is a front camera to skype

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  116. hi i was looking for a good pmp and i was looking at this device and this review answered any questions i had on it.Great review,liked the grades a+ a- etc.thx for writing this review:)

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  117. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)

    ReplyDelete