For a real world test of video playback we dumped a 700MB, MPEG 4 DivX movie with a resolution of 592 x 256 onto the 705, plugged a pair of Sennheiser HD25 SP-II earphones into the 3.5mm jack, and kicked back with a beer. The file transferred in a pretty swift one minute 50 seconds, and played with no hesitation. Both video and audio playback quality proved to be nothing short of excellent. You really can do so some serious movie watching on this thing.
As a music player, the 705 is equally up to the job, providing a sound every bit in keeping with its price tag, so long as you don't use the rather low-rent bundled earphones. We were, however, a little disappointed to find no Ogg or FLAC file support. In fact, out of the box the 705 will only play MP3, WMA and WAV audio files, and MPEG 4 and WMV video.
The slide show feature makes the 705 a fine digital picture frame
Purchase the Cinema plug-in for the princely sum of £14.95 and you can add MPEG 2 video and AC3 audio to the list of files supported. Cough up the same for the Video Podcast plug-in and you get H.264 video and AAC audio support. This is a bit steep when Cowon, for one, is loading its players with support for every video and audio file format under the sun as standard.
Still image reproduction - Jpeg, PNG and BMP files only - is excellent, both in thumbnail and full-screen format. The instant slide-show feature and rear kickstand makes the 705 a fine impromptu digital picture frame.
Archos' parsimony reaches new heights should you wish to take advantage of the 705's built in 802.11g Wi-Fi and surf the net - you'll need to shell out a further £20 for the optional video browser plug in. This, frankly, strikes us as taking the micturation when the 705 itself is a minimum £330 purchase. Our review copy came with the browser pre-loaded, but we couldn't ascertain if this was a one-off or a feature Joe Public can expect to find.
The browser itself is badged as "Opera-powered", and while it does a decent enough job of basic web navigation, and supports tabs, it's nothing out of the ordinary. It compares poorly with the Mozilla-developed browser Nokia have installed in the N810 tablet - reviewed here.
Closed Linux OS = Bad. Nokia's Open Linux = Better
The makers of the Archos have given the device a closed version of linux. You can not develop applications for it, so you simply won't find any of the common applications you would expect ... unless Archos makes it and slaps a price tag on it.
The Nokia N810 is far more flexible. the Maemo OS is open, hundreds of applications are available from people around the world for free ... although admittedly many of them should NOT be coding ... but if you don't like it, you can build something yourself, unlike with the Archos.
... For example, Mobipocket ... not available for either device. But thanks to the open source Garnet Virtual Machine, with some effort you can run Mobipocket for Palm on your Nokia N810, while the Archos owners keep begging Mobipocket for a version ... that Mobipocket can't make due to the closed Archos system.
The Nokia N810 has similar battery life, a good screen if smaller, is much lighter and comfortably fits in a coat pocket.
One problem with the screen..
....that put me off the 705 was that it's only 262k colours, where as the 605 which I got instead, with the same resolution is 16million and makes quite a difference. Plus the 705 is really too big for travelling on buses/trains or walking.
Also, it supports WMP for synching out of the box so you don't have to drag'n'drop, but drag'n'drop is usually better as you can use other applications to manage your collection.
I just wish it could internally resize video that's too large, within reason, rather than rejecting it.
Oh and I agree with the double tap nonsense - I wish they'd add an option to set it to single tap.
"Navigation around the 705 is pretty straightforward"
"The icons are not that intuitive"
lol, make your mind up...!
As far as I'm concerned, all of those chargeable extras should be standard out of the box. I'm sure it will do a very nice job, but I agree it needs marking harshly for being a con artist
"Creative and the like squabble over the mass market for MP3 players"
Do a bit of research mate before you knock out generic nonesense!
Creative own the only company that has made a chip capable of doing 720P HD output from 1watt of power and you think they arent interested in this market?
I have the similar but more portable 800x480 4.3" Archos 605WiFi
The Internet is MUCH better than Safari or Opera on the E65 phone. Phone displays are just too small.
But all these Archos are useless for DVR. They only record at 640x480
As PMP (video) and Web-Browers, great. I hope the rumour of Real Player or equivalent is true.
Unlike other PMP it will play 720x576 files as is. Though re-encoding to DivX is recommended to fit 2 to 3 times as many as straight DVD (which needs a plug in).
Indeed these are not DVRs.