Nine free Opera widgets can be downloaded for the 705, and while one is an RSS reader it only has six built-in feeds and lacks the capacity to add more - though one feed is The Register, so we shouldn't perhaps complain too loudly. Other widgets available are a calender, a weather forecast application, a notepad, calculator, unit converter, currency converter, data vault and address book.
There's no streaming-media player, so internet radio stations are out. We also searched in vain for any sort of instant messaging support. We reckon these are both pretty major omissions in a wireless device that Archos needs to address pronto.
Navigation around the 705 is pretty straightforward. Fire it up and a home screen appears with eight large icons that take you to your video, music, photographs, files, the Archos content portal, web browser, recorder, and widgets and games. Just tap each icon twice to access the relevant sub-menu.
In video mode a tap on the bottom of the screen brings up the pause/start key and a play bar, which you drag across the screen to fast forward or rewind. A left-screen tap will bring up a volume bar, usable with the same drag motion, while a right-screen tap brings up the main menu bar. The icons are not that intuitive, so checking the manual to see what does what will be time well spent. Tap the top of the screen and all three UI areas show up along with the system status bar. As a UI it all works well enough, but frankly a hard volume control of some type would be a welcome addition.
One feature of the touchscreen that does start to irk after a while is that everything needs to be touched twice. If you open a list of albums by a particular artist you have to touch the album you want once to highlight it, then again to open it. To select a track you have tap once to highlight, twice to play. All a bit silly.
Add to this the fact that the screen surface has a fair amount of give in it, so that you push rather than tap, and rapid navigation can become a bit of a struggle. Not such a problem if media playback is your main intent, but something of a limitation if you want your 705 to be part PMP and part internet tablet.
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.