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Archos' 100GB Media Viewer

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Media viewers should be great, just like MP3 players but with big screens and the ability to play movies. The problem is they tend to be 1. Very expensive 2. Less portable than they should be 3. Suffer from poor battery life 4. Get fitted with inadequate screens. 5… you get my point.

Archos, however, looks to be making a real effort to fix these shortcomings with the AV700. Finished off in silver, it bears a passing resemblance to Sony’s PSP and features a field leading seven inch widescreen display. Incredibly, it is also available with capacities up to 100GB. So if hard disk based music players let us carry our entire music libraries around, this surely must be starting to make serious inroads into our movie collections.

The goodies don’t stop there either, a video output means the AV700 can be hooked up to a TV set so you can take it around to a friend's house to watch your movies on his 42in plasma (we all hope for friends like this). That’s not all. Via a docking pod the AV700 can also record directly from television, video, DVD or satellite.



Imagine dumping the full contents of your week’s Sky+ recordings onto the Archos overnight then passing those torturous journeys into work or dull lunches with the latest episodes of your favourite soap or newest DVD. You could go away for weeks at a time and never run out of new content.

Before we all start jumping up and down though, there are a couple of vital points still to be made. Namely, we don’t yet have details for the all important battery life, dimensions or weight. Now, looking at the image the AV700 doesn’t look overly bulky, but photography is a slippery medium. It can suck the fat out of Mariah Carey’s legs and the spots off Avril Lavigne’s face. It’s trixy stuff. Just ask Jalal…

That said, we’re keen to get a closer look at the AV700 before it debuts in June when two versions will become available. The 100GB monster mentioned above for a predictably huge £599.99 and a 40GB model for £399.99. Both prices include VAT, thank God.

Expect to see your first AV700 sitting on the living room table of some hip hop artists’ house while his giving a tour for MTV Cribs. It looks to be a serious piece of bling!

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