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Archos' Mr. InBetween

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Archos is perhaps an underrated manufacturer in the MP3 player market. Riyad raved about its Gmini XS 200 back in December and it has produced consistently good products for about as long as we can remember. That said, its Gmini XS 100 is a curious little thing.



The reason I say “curious” it because Archos seems to have found a market between the Flash memory players (typically up to 1GB) and the minis of this world (up to 6GB). The XS 100 is an inbetweener in every sense: it has a 3GB capacity, weighs 79g (an iPod mini is 103g, a Shuffle just 22g) and the controls look remarkably like a hybrid of Apple's various iPods down the years.

Size-wise, it is breaks from this middling stance by being a lot closer to the mini than the Shuffle (which is not surprising given it is hard disk based). Both in length and depth (9.1cm by 1.3) it is identical to the mini, though at 4.1cm wide it has managed to shave off a centimetre.

You won't get a colour screen with the XS 100, but it is reasonably large at 1.5in across and it’ll support the usual MP3 and Windows Media formats (no Ogg). There’s no word yet on the all important battery life and UK pricing (US is $179.95), but it should arrive in the UK in June in all the colours you see above you.

Has Archos successfully managed to find yet another subdivision in the jam packed MP3 player market? Looks like it.

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