Archos 7 160GB Internet Media Tablet - Archos 7

By Stuart Andrews

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

This sort of miserly behaviour remains a bugbear for the Archos 7. As with the Archos 5, you can play SD MPEG-4 and WMV files, but if you want to play HD H.264, MPEG-4 and WMV files then you'll have to pay for a plug-in which - at the time of writing - isn't actually available to download. This isn't a disaster for anyone with some technical know-how a decent video format conversion package (a description that covers anyone who can rip a DVD to their PC anyway) but if you've already encoded your files for HD playback from a media centre or HDD-based playback device, you don't really want to have to re-encode them for playback on a portable player. It's not as if it's a particularly speedy process, after all.

Other issues with the Archos 5 recur with the Archos 7. The good news is that the firmware seems much more stable this time, with only one crash or stall while I was using the player, but the touchscreen interface still seems less than ideal. The actual GUI isn't bad at all; it's easy to navigate to files or functions, browse media libraries and move forwards and backwards through the interface - all things that some of Archos' Far Eastern rivals struggle to manage. Unfortunately, the touchscreen itself still isn't that responsive or predictable in its activity. Sometimes it needs a good, hard prod, while at other times an unintentional finger movement sends you somewhere you don't want to go. Basically, there are no guarantees.

Nowhere is this felt more than in what should be the Archos 7's piece-de-resistance, Web browsing. The browser is based on Opera and is flash compliant, and that large, relatively high-resolution screen is ideal for a little light surfing. However, I just found it too difficult to accurately click on links or use the onscreen keyboard. For every time the Archos 7 did what I wanted it to, there was a time where it zoomed the screen in or out or navigated to another page instead. Use improves with practice, but it really shouldn't be this hit and miss.

Chocoa

January 24, 2009, 6:40 pm

330 QUID!! and I still have to buy plugins for popular codecs !


Noooo Wayyy Archos!


- Revised buainess model required here.

Gnormie

January 24, 2009, 9:36 pm

@ Chocoa


It's a mixed blessing, on the one hand you're paying for functionality that really should be included from the get go, however Archos has to pay for the licenses to play these types of media and to include them as standard would raise the base price by quite a bit so people who don't need them are not paying for codecs they won't use - although personally I don't like the model either, it wouldn't be so bad if the codecs were cheap but with how expensive they are Archos is evidently making a good chunk of profit on top of the rights to use the codec.

smc8788

January 24, 2009, 10:55 pm

It's not that bad considering 𧷚 worth of iPod touch will only net you 32GB of storage, a smaller 480*320 resolution screen, weaker format support and worse video and audio quality.





So considering what it does and the capacity I think it is around right price bracket, but I would have liked to see it sub 𧷤 and offer better competition on price with the higher end iPod touch models considering it uses a cheaper HDD rather than flash memory and the touch interface is not as good.

Epic

January 25, 2009, 7:08 pm

I'm afraid Archos doesn't have the pricing power of Apple and should be looking at the prices of 9" netbooks rather than iPods if they want to sell many of these.

Bernard Miller

November 25, 2009, 10:19 pm

Beware if it goes wrong... i bought an Archos 7 and in 30 mins it froze permanently... i did a reccommended format and reloaded but it still wouldnt work.... i contacted archos who said it needed a repair and it would take 3 weeks at the european factory but if a part was needed it would take up to 7 weeks. i asked for a replacement due to the fact it was new out of the box, but they said i should go to the seller, (who hasn,t got back to me 7 days on) so i reluctantly opted for the repair. it cost £8.57 to send it back. i have had an email to say it may come back without the plugins i purchased and i would have to contact them to change them over... All i can say is this... the archos 7 looks an absolutly great piece of kit IF IT WORKS, but honestly you guys at archos 3 to 7 weeks is unacceptable in this day and age...with a faulty product out of the box there should be a quick returns policy and a swift resolution to a valuable customers problem...as for the internet seller (who reports to be reputable) ill be waiting to see what happens, after all a purchase of almost £300 is a small investment

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