Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Great PMP, Mediocre IMT, Inaccurate description.
on October 26, 2009
Video Player: A+
Music Player: B- (built in speaker); A- (headphones)
Battery Life: C+
I have owned the Archos 5 250GB for about 2 months now. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this device, but overall I have to give it a positive rating. I like the interface, storage capacity, video quality, and most of its features. I keep the Archos with me almost all the time, and as a PMP it performs admirably. I have whole seasons of TV shows, about a dozen feature length movies, and hundreds of songs at my immediate disposal, and the device is nowhere near full. The video quality is amazing, very crisp, and the screen size is about perfect for my needs. I also truly enjoy the kickstand, so you aren't forced to hold it all the time. The Archos 5 isn't without its issues, however. The one downside here is the built in speaker, which is low quality and sort of tinny sounding, but sound quality is good when outputting to headphones or a stereo system.
My first major complaint with the Archos is battery life. Both their official site and Amazon.com list the battery life at 22 hours music and 7 hours video playback time on a single charge. This is vastly inaccurate. A little research will show you that this was tested on the 60GB unit, which utilizes flash memory instead of an HDD. I can't swear to this, as I don't own a 60 GB, but I believe these numbers may be accurate for that model. As for the 250GB, 12 hours music and 4 hours video playback time on a single charge is more accurate based on my own testing. Frankly, that doesn't cut it for me, and I was vastly disappointed, but with the addition of a Duracell instant battery charger, it is acceptable.
My second major complaint is with the web browsing. While the Opera based browser works well, the system uses Flash Lite, a program developed for mobile phones. Flash Lite IS NOT COMPATIBEL WITH FLASH 10, so the claims that this player is fully flash compatible border on false advertising. This means that sites like Netflix, Hulu, and any network site offering full episodes will not work. Basically, web browsing works pretty well, but entertainment sites aren't going to function, which is pretty restrictive for what is essentially a portable entertainment device. The Wifi connection, however, works quite well and checking email and other such activities are easily accomplished.
Archos also makes a big deal about promoting their WebTV functionality, but that is really worthless. It works, there's just nothing out there worth watching. The demo video they show actually accesses a video that comes preloaded on the HDD, not WebTV content. Don't let this function persuade you to purchase.
Finally, be prepared to buy extras, the mini-dock is an absolute essential, as are some of the plug-in packs. These should really all probably be included for the price, but it's still a decent deal afterward, so it's not that big a deal to me.
Bottom Line: The Archos is an excellent PMP, but any claims to be more than that are exaggerated. If you are looking for a good portable music and video player, you will be thrilled. If you are looking for something for internet heavy applications, I would look around a bit more.