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Archos' Swankiest Media Player Yet

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With Apple almost certain to enter the video market with its fifth gen iPod and Creative teasing us with the swanky Vision, it was to be expected that media player old hand Archos was also going to stand up and be counted.

Its latest offering is the AV500 and if the name rings a bell it is probably because the company briefly called one of its previous products (the PMA430) the same name. Weird piece of marketing to be sure, but unlike normal I’m not going to start a large rant about branding.



The reason for this is the AV500 is simply too distracting for me to discuss anything other than it directly. The lovely thin lines (124 x 76 x 18mm), silver styling and 4in 16:9 262k colour screen have left my mouth ajar and incapable of speech.

This uncontrollable expression is not helped either by the fact that Archos will be releasing the AV500 with capacities up from 30GB to 100GB and yet it will weigh just 256g. There is support for WAV, MP3, WMA, WMV, Mpeg4, DivX, Bmp and Jpeg formats, a built in mic and speaker, remote control (powered by two AA batteries), a TV docking pod and timer record facility to make scheduled recordings. Battery life seems good too with a purported 15 hours music playback or five hours video playback off a single charge.

The hit on your wallet will not be small at around £349.99 (including VAT) for the 30GB version (the prices of larger capacities have yet to be revealed), but it is immediately available. So if you want to make all your friends jealous, you know what to do…

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