It isn't just mobiles that are upping their game with the imminent launch of the iPhone, PMPs are at it too...
This week Archos kicked off its fifth generation of players with the '605 WiFi' and as you would expect it is tasty improvements all round. It sports the same massive 4.3in touchscreen as its predecessor but ups the resolution to a fantastic 800 x 480 pixels – the highest I have seen. As the name suggests, WiFi is also a staple of the new line with integrated 802.11g.
As is the norm with Archos products, format support is first rate with Mpeg4, WMV, Mpeg2, VOB, H.264, AAC, MP3, WMA, WAV, Jpeg, BMP and PNG working either straight out of the box or via optional software plug-ins and it can even be hooked up to a TV via the bundled DVR Station unit to rip content straight from source. Impressive stuff indeed. Users aren't let down on the battery life side of things either since – despite the additional features – it has been boosted to 17 hours for music playback and 5.5 hours for video.
30GB, 80GB and 160GB versions of the 605 WiFi will initially be available, but interestingly Archos will also be making a 4GB flash edition to cut size and weight. This is an important step because the downside to most Archos products is that the immense functionality adds bulk. That said the 4GB model will measure just 122 x 82 x 15mm and weight 150g, less than most smartphones. The 30GBer will also have identical measurements but the weight jumps to 190g while the 80Gb and 160GBers measure 122 x 82 x 20mm and weigh 260g.
Prices start from just £150 with the line launching in August. With Apple's concentration squarely focused on the iPhone its iPod line is certainly showing its age and I would suggest Archos' latest could be just the sort of devices to capitalise...
Archos has now augmented its fifth generation with the '105', '405' and '705'. Specs for these are thinner on the ground (and photos non-existent) but this is what I know:
The 105 is the baby of the range and comes with a 1.8in 160 x 128 OLED screen, support for Flash based video (think YouTube, etc) and even built in WiFi yet measures less than a centimetre thick. There's 2GB of RAM onboard and it will cost just £65 making it look every part the nano killer.
Next is the 405, which ups the screen to a healthy 3.5 inches and the resolution to a desirable 480 x 272. Again there's 2GB of memory onboard but this can be augmented via an SD card while WiFi and Flash based video support is there and it sounds great value at under £100
Finally we have the daddy, the 705, which comes with a monstrous 7in 800 x 480 pixel screen and choice of either 80GB or 160GB hard drives. The 705 incorporates all the features of the other lines but sadly we don't yet have a price for it.
Making waves? I very much think so...