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Why so? Well, to be perfectly frank, when I first received this device it simply didn’t work properly – it refused to output audio properly via headphones, it locked up and crashed all too frequently, it stopped playing video files mid flow, stating that the file format wasn’t supported when it clearly was, and it had a nasty habit of spending hours checking the hard disk (which is actually solid state memory by the way), leaving me with no media player for my entire train journey.
However, a couple of months and many firmware updates later, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet is finally a device that’s worthy of its specification. In its current state I can honestly say that this is a very impressive personal media player with a feature set that other devices can only dream of. Unfortunately the early teething problems that I experienced with the Archos 5 Internet Tablet are not unusual for the brand, which is why I chose to wait a little while before tackling the review.
Of course I could have reviewed it with the original firmware, but experience told me that there would be numerous updates in the early life of this device that would, for the most part, solve the litany of problems that plagued it in its formative days. Looking at the big picture though, where this review will stand forever, it made more sense to give you an idea of what this device was really capable of. That aside, Archos as a company really needs to start shipping products that are stable and usable from day one, rather than leaving it to early adopters to perform quality assurance duties!
Looking at the hardware, it’s clear that this is a serious portable media player. There was a time when Archos devices were all about features, with design seeming like a distant afterthought, but the Archos 5 Internet Tablet looks fantastic and feels great in the hand too. The device is dominated by the 4.8in screen, which is a real beauty – the colours are rich and vibrant, while blacks are surprisingly deep, making this a truly excellent movie machine. Add to that the excellent viewing angle, and the Archos 5 Internet Tablet can happily entertain more than one person.
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