Top positive review
70 people found this helpful
Thank you sir, may I have another?
on January 23, 2011
There's a little pain before the reward, but it's worth it!
My Archos 43 was a Christmas gift that my parents chose from my Amazon Wish List. Of course with the supply problems, I didn't actually get it until January 22nd. (It was ordered in November.)
I'll be using it to replace my 8 year old and failing Palm Tungsten C PDA.
You won't need my decades of engineering and programming background to make your Archos work, but you will have a glitch or two during the updating and software installation process. Just hang in there!
Out of the very well packaged box came my Archos, a USB cable, ear buds and the paperwork. My first impression of the unit was the solid construction. It doesn't feel cheap and flimsy like so many products do now days. Turning the unit on, I found the battery at 60% charge. Following the manufacturers instructions, I let the unit charge for several hours to top off the battery.
Once charged, the unit took me through a very simple set-up routine that only took a few minutes to complete. My Archos connected right away to my home wireless network, and indeed I can use my Archos 43 everywhere on my hobby farm. I've been over 200 feet from my router and still had very good reception.
First things first - Let your unit go out and find the updated firmware and install it. The download took about 5 minutes. After the Archos reboots with Froyo, the real fun starts.
After initial setup, select the "Market" icon and download the Arctools widget (which is called: com.arctablet.arctools.apk) and install it on your machine. This will give you the official Android marketplace and allow you to download the Adobe Flash 10.1 driver. This was important to me, as my pad will be used to monitor a 24hr ustream channel that I run.
Note: I had to do this process twice before Marketplace would work. The first install seemed fine but Marketplace wouldn't launch. Uninstalling and reinstalling Arctools did the trick.
Next of course, you'll want to add any other cool software that you fancy. I track satellites, keep ham radio logs and read Kindle books on my new Archos (to name a few.)
I'm not crazy about the audio player interface, however there are many others to choose from in the Marketplace so no worries on that. Sound quality is very good (to my over 50 ears) and video playback is smooth with the audio in sync. I run the very old Windows 2000 operating system, as well as Ubuntu 10.10 and both systems see the Archos 43 just fine. Dragging and dropping audio, video and picture files into the device is a breeze.
I've also been able to stream movies and audio directly from my 4tb networked file server. Of course this will eat your batteries pretty quick. Best to just watch video directly from the Archos with wifi turned off.
If you're up to it, download the Eclipse compiler and Android software development kit and start writing some of your own apps. It's not that hard and there's nothing like writing your own software.
After using my Archos for 24 hours, I can truthfully say that I would, and probably will buy another. My wife and adult son are already asking for one of their own.
Two Month Follow-up
I've had my Archos 43 for a couple of months now. I still love it.
Battery life is great and I've had almost no trouble with it. Every once in awhile, an app will cause a complete freeze (App's fault, not the Archos) but holding the power button for 10 seconds will force a reboot and all is well again.
The Google Marketplace patch works great, though I've found some apps that are marked not compatible with the Archos actually are. I'll get the appp directly from the author and side load it and it'll work just fine.
Would I buy another one? YES and I will soon!
3 month update
I bought another one, but the reason stinks. I got fumble-fingered and dropped my Archos. Of course, like buttered toast, it fell screen side down onto a piece of angle iron in my metal shop and destroyed the screen. Needless to say, I went right to Amazon and got another one, as I've become so attached to it I can't live without it!
I'll check into having my broken one fixed, as the display itself is fine and it boots up fine. I'll give it to my wife when it's fixed...