Archos 7 160GB Internet Media Tablet - Archos 7

By Stuart Andrews

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

The other functions beyond movie and music playback remain a mixed bunch. Email support is excellent and easy to set up, and that lovely screen makes the Archos 7 a great photo viewer. On the downside, the games I sampled were laughably poor, the selection of movies and music available on Archos' download service, Media Club, leaves much to be desired, and the 'Widget' applets aren't too exciting either. Web TV is a nice idea, but in practice I couldn't find much in the Archos listings worth watching beyond a few streamed BBC News programmes. To balance that, I should point out that the Archos 7 makes a good wireless media streamer, though with Wi-Fi limited to 801.11g, you need a decent signal to make the effort worthwhile.

It's also worth mentioning that the Archos 7 provides a strong foundation if you want to explore Archos' range of add-on modules, all of which plug into the two expansion ports on the base. The most desirable is the DVR station which allows you to connect it up to an existing set-top-box to record video and your TV (through HDMI, Component or S-Video) for output. Here again, however, the need for optional software plug-ins to playback HD video or use the built-in program, is an irritation. The fact that Archos also sells an add-on radio module only rubs in the fact that the 7 doesn't include FM reception as standard, while also making you wonder why the module isn't DAB.

All of this comment seems a little negative, and I wouldn't want you to come away thinking that my feelings about the Archos 7 reflect this. The Archos 7 might not be a great Web tablet, and I still find something penny-pinching about Archos' approach, but this is still far and away the best portable video player I've come across, and one I'd happily purchase just for the pleasure of being able to take one box wherever I wanted to enjoy my flicks. Whether the bed, the bathroom or the shed, the Archos 7 turns your hidey-hole into your own personal cinema, and I can't recommend it highly enough just for that. If the touchscreen interface and some minor irritations didn't hold it back from greatness in other areas, I'd be rushing out to buy one myself. As it is, I'm just about holding back.... for now.

Verdict

The best portable movie player around, albeit one that's too big to be carried anywhere and everywhere on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the touchscreen interface and additional features don't quite measure up.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Value 8
  • Usability 7
  • Sound Quality 8

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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