Without banging on again about Archos's habit of charging more for certain audio and video codecs, let's just say that out of the box the 7 supports Flac, Ogg, MP3, WMA and WAV audio along with WMV and MPEG4 AVI – divX and Xvid – video and that those will probably satisfy the majority of purchasers. The 7 will also display JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF and PDF files.
It's a shame that the 7's screen can't be changed from landscape to portrait while viewing PDF files as it can when viewing JPEGS - if it could the 7 would make a decent little impromptu PDF eBook reader.
Two speakers significantly improve the sound quality
Turning from one page to the next is a simple matter of making an up-swipe on the screen. Of course a future firmware update may address this - Archos has already released three updates for its internet media tablets since October 13.
Physically the 7 has a couple of clear design improvements over the 5. Firstly it has two very respectable speakers, one on each side of the screen. While the single speaker on the 5 was frankly a waste of space, the stereo set on the 7 produce a more than capable sound and churn out a decent volume.
Set it up on your desk and you can quite comfortably watch video without headphones, though as you would expect everything is a bit too bass-light for serious music enjoyment.
I've had an AV500 for more than 2 years and I love it. I'd also love the new 5 or 7 but I simply can't justify the money when I could get high spec Netbook (Samsung NC10) for less money ... and I wouldn't have the hassle of buying extra codecs / hardware. Archos really do make great bits of kit but they're asking too much now. I'll keep my AV500 until it eventually dies but in the meantime my money is going on a netbook, not another Archos.
same old issues
i have the old 500, it's great except for a couple of issues which still have not been addressed in the new range. It can't handle AC3, or Qpel, and it can't down-size HD
i'd sat don't bother
(mine's the one with 20 Epsom in the pocket)
Beware using it as a DVR
For the third generation now, the clock still loses minutes every day. Not good when you have scheduled it to record your favourite program!
Also, still after three generations, you still cannot record back to back programs. You get awful video/audio sync problems when you try to do it.
As the DVR station is an extra £80 on top of the already expensive device, these issues really are taking the mickey and Archos seem unable to fix them (The 5 suffers from the same problems as well see www.unofgadgets.com for discussions about this)
One final thing. Archos have been promising the HiDef plug-in for a very long time now and there's still no sign of it.
Im with AC... whats wrong with a laptop?
Why would you buy this at that price when you can get a laptop down your local high street for the same price. So many more advantages.... and only the loss of battery - trains and planes now have plugs in the seats you know!
..handle MPEG Transport Stream files? i.e. can I copy recordings off my digi HDR and play them on this?