Features dealt with, the acid test is always the performance. The Archos handles audio files deftly, with a warm and subtle quality to music. The on-board speakers are, as always, laughably inadequate and crumble under any kind of volume, but when we paired the 605 with our Creative in-ear Aurvanas, we were very pleasantly surprised by the sound quality. It easily rivals the iPod - and indeed matches it as the Archos too lacks an FM radio.
Archos' 605 Wi-Fi: peripheral connector on the base
The Archos' screen has been bumped from its predecessor's 480 x 272 resolution to an eye-crackling 800 x 480 and the difference is frankly amazing. Moving and still images are incredibly detailed and smooth, with vibrant colour reproduction and barely any pixelation in even the darkest and fastest-moving scenes. Zooming in on still photos is simple, and scrolling around is just a case of dragging your digit across the screen.
It's instant too, which is a big bonus, as we always hate that lag that comes with a cursor. But if you don't want to tarnish the screen, full functionality is still available through the side keys.
Archos' 605 Wi-Fi: side view
A built-in - and non-removable, tssk - lithium-ion polymer battery provides a claimed 17 hours' audio and 5.5 hours' video playback, which we found to be fairly accurate, give or take an hour depending on the files we were watching and listening to.
The Archos 605 represents the cream of the current PMP crop, and no mistake. It looks, feels and performs like a professional, with an intuitive and even fun UI, great features and the capability to bring the PMP into the mainstream the way no other device really yet has. Its screen is scintillating - show it to someone's who's not a gadget buff and we guarantee they'll be slack-jawed at the quality on offer.
Its one major failing comes with the peripherals issue - having to pay for the plug-ins and TV dock is a pain. We'd rather Archos upped the price and bundled it all, since they're as essential as eyes if you want to make the most of the 605's manifold talents.
Even with these hidden costs however, the 605 still represents great value for money and will keep you entertained for hours, no matter where you are.
Archos 605 Wi-Fi personal media player
30GB: €300 (£203)
80GB: €400 (£270)
160GB: €500 (£338) RRP Archos' 605 page
How about SDK?
If only there was an SDK available, or SSH I could manage my web sites without a bulky laptop...
Archos and EXTRA stuff needed..
I personally get very pissed off at all these reviews and their constant complaining about how Archos wants to charge you for the Browser or the Dock or something as opposed to bundling them.
Not ONLY are you getting the Archos for the same price as previous models EVEN if you bought the DVR station, plug ins or whatever but you also get MORE for your money than previous models.
Why the hell is that so hard to understand?
When you do a review and you harp about this fact THREE times, you are effectively misleading the people and getting them to think the way YOU think which is not necessarily correct.
Objectiveness would be nice. Say something like, "I don't like the fact that they do this...but in all fairness, the initial price IS much lower than it would be for bundled..." now THAT would be more accurate..
I think it's a good idea and you HAVE a choice. NOT going to record from TV? Save yourself $99.
Hell, I had the station with my AV500 and only used it a couple of times.
I don't see how it's better to ship it all with the player and charge $150 more and besides, the review would look a lot better if you quoted the actual cost for the player and not the higher cost you quoted.
Second, it's head and shoulders above the pathetic offerings from Apple. It's simply in its own league as the apple only Plays music and video, that's it.
I'm sure you know what you are talking about as far as you are privy to the information - but I doubt that will include the intricacies of the deal struck with Microsoft...
foxyshadis: pity that document doesn't even mention that royalty-free options exist.
Codec license fees:
It's just a nickel & dime profit center for Archos, you have to decide for yourself if it's worth it on principle.
I am not a representative
But I am webmaster of http://archosfans.com and http://forum.archosfans.com
So I know what I'm talking about.
I guess Ogg can technically be added, though it might not be easy to add, but probably that the firmware engineers have a ton of other priorities.