Putting aside the teething issues with this device, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet is a very well featured portable media player, that is, in many respects, a joy to use. The 4.8in screen makes this a first rate video player, while the extensive codec support means that you’ll be able to playback pretty much any files that you have in your video library. Music playback is also impressive, while support for both Ogg and Flac should make audiophile types happy.
However, despite the plethora of firmware updates since launch, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet is still far from perfect. The resistive nature of the touch-screen is no match for the capacitive screens favoured by Apple. The result is that navigation of menus and lists isn’t as easy as it should be. Likewise, the accelerometer is somewhat temperamental in its operation and I still find my device randomly switching from landscape to portrait for no apparent reason. Then there’s the general speed of operation, which is nowhere near as swift as I’d like it to be. To be fair, it’s no slower than my iPhone 3G running the 3.0 firmware, but being as slow as a previous generation iPhone is hardly something that Archos should be shooting for.
Whether you want the Archos 5 Internet Tablet really comes down to what you need from your portable media player. If you see yourself watching a lot of video, and you want to be able to playback pretty much any file format without conversion, then there’s a lot to like about this device. The drag and drop nature, coupled with expandable storage thanks to the microSD slot also make this Archos appealing. Those benefits alone go some way to making up for the device’s shortcomings, and if you’re willing to look past those shortcomings, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet is an excellent portable media player.