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Archos Targets touch With 3G Touchscreen PMP

Gordon Kelly


Archos Targets touch With 3G Touchscreen PMP

I said just a month back in the comments section that wouldn't it be nice if Apple made an iPod touch with 3G mobile broadband connectivity. Well - I'll fess up - I knew something you didn't...

Sworn to secrecy by a legally binding NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement - we get a lot of these), the inventive French PMP manufacturer showed us something rather special which we can share with you now: the 'Archos 5' and 'Archos 7' media players.

Seemingly styled with the attitude 'what would happen if we took an iPod touch to its logical conclusion' the duo sport superb 800 x 480 resolution 4.8in and 7in LCDs respectively and completely do away with the company's famed vertical buttons in favour of slim bezel, full touchscreen affairs that definitively enhance their raison d'être.

Equipped with 60-250GB and 160-320GB HDDs respectively the 5 and 7 series really cause a storm with WiFi, a fully scalable web browser, email and - in the case of the '5g' - integrated 3G connectivity (just buy a 3G sim card and you're away). Interestingly, 5 and 7 series models can also support 720 high definition playback and put this to good use with HDMI outputs meaning quality playback on an HDTV is just a cable away.

"Today we break the rules" said UK MD Tony Limrick. "We want to push the boundaries to meet the needs of the modern day consumer by delivering the Archos Internet Media Tablet, a device which truly redefines media on the move."

I must admit, from my hands' on I'm inclined to agree.

The Archos 5 goes on sale in September for a wallet busting £279.99 (60GB) £319.99 (120GB) and £359.99 (250GB) while the Archos 7 continues the theme at £360 (160GB) and a whole £440 (320GB) in October. The exciting Archos 5G meanwhile sees its price and availability hidden for now, but 3G add-ons will be launched soon for both the standard 5 and 7 series.

Archos, these could indeed be truly game changing. I just hope you haven't priced yourself out of mass acceptance...


Archos 5 5g & 7 Product Pages


August 20, 2008, 5:47 am

Have you heard of the iPhone 3G? It's an iPod Touch with 3G connectivity, who would have thought it?!


August 20, 2008, 1:08 pm

have you also heard? the 3g iphone is also an mp3 player you pay a monthly contract for... because of the phone bit?

anyway, what kind of touch screen is it? captive (like the iphone) or that plasticky touch film (like everything else). just interested


August 20, 2008, 1:10 pm

too expensive it will be a gimmick toy and apple will continue to own all

bring on the next challenger


August 20, 2008, 1:50 pm

the plus point of Archos players like this, though, is that the resolution of the screen means that you can play back DVDs at their native resolution without having to re-encode them - hell they even support playing the .vob files directly so don't even require ripping.

Can you say the same for iPod touch or iPhone? They have a lower resolution screen and only support one video codec, meaning transcoding every video you want to put on that you haven't already bought in piss-poor resolution from the iTunes store.

It's a shame Archos has priced themselves so high with these new players, their 605 wifi range is at a great price-to-ability point - plus they also have touchscreens...


August 20, 2008, 2:43 pm

They look ok (I'm not a fan tbh) the codec support is pretty good (though Archos are still charging you for some of them...). However seeing the rated battery life killed it for me. 12 hours for audio and 4 for video is pretty bad, combined with the really high price tag makes these a very niche product.

gareth edwards

August 20, 2008, 4:19 pm

I have never seen anyone out and about in the UK using an Archos - what kind of market do they have in the UK? And, what are the support services like? Does it have some kind of online store or it it merely an add-on bit of kit to allow you to use an already existing media store/library?

On the design side...

What the rock is that Nav doing? I do honestly believe that my ass and a crayon could do better - they could have really made exceptional use of the space and created a really sweet and beautiful interface that would really enhance the user experience.

Apple have set the bar for this kind of thing and I think if you are shelling out &#163400 for a gizmo the interface has to be at least nearly as wondrous as that now otherwise you might have that nagging "wish it looked more like an iPod' kind of thing at the back of your mind. Yes it is neat and tidy but so is a bus timetable. A digital device really needs to inspire not just serve up the bare minimum in terms of user interface. I think perhaps they need another revolution over there and this time 'chop chop' for all the bad designers. Seriously though you people who have written here on this thread - don't you think that you could imagine a better interface right now with just 5 mins thinking time? Nuff said.


August 20, 2008, 4:28 pm

@commanderspike - have you heard of something called an 18 month, &#16330 to &#16355 per month charge for the extra benefit of phone calls...?! Compare this to &#16310-&#16315pm for mobile broadband only...

It's about options, adding the option of mobile broadband to such a device makes perfect sense. But, as I mentioned, Archos' pricing may well prove prohibitive.


August 20, 2008, 4:30 pm

@gareth edwards - no, it's a lot better than it looks in this single snapshot. The UI however will always, always remain a key Apple strength.

To answer your other question: Archos has a niche, but loyal following in the UK. As for pricing, see my comment above.


August 20, 2008, 7:00 pm

Gordon, you've had this device in your hands, right? the website information says that the 5 series has a kickstand built in, but it's not obvious on the rotating 360&#186 view on the website. Can you confirm the existance of it? Is it thin and to one side or does a large section of the back flap out?


August 20, 2008, 7:59 pm

am i missing something &#163269 gets u 16Gb of ipod touch and this for &#163279 gets u 60Gb with 3.5G for internet everywhere and loads better codec support and TV recording. why is everyone saying it is priced out of eveyones league?


August 20, 2008, 9:15 pm

@ChaosDefinesOrder - It does indeed have a kickstand which folds out (at least the pre-release sample I saw did). To be truthful I can't remember whether it came from one side or not, apologies. It did seem sturdy however.

@Jay - its the age old battle of HDD verses SSD...

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