Or rather it sounded warm and natural when we plugged in a decent pair of earphones. The 7, like the 5, comes with a pretty unimpressive pair of buds that really are inexcusable at the price.
Archos say the 7's battery is good for 39 hours of audio or 10 of video, both numbers considerably higher than those quoted for the 5 and suggesting that the 7 has a far more hefty battery stuck up its behind. Our tests came out at 32 and 8 respectively which were far, far closer to the manufacturers claims than were our results with the 5.
Volume and power controls are situated at the top - much like the 5
Of course that video duration is for playback of files stored on the 7's hard drive. Start playing video that is being streamed over a UPnP network and the Wi-Fi radio's power draw will cut that number in half. The audio playback time is also conditional on the screen being switched off for the majority of the time – a 7in LCD sucks up a fair amount of juice.
The 160GB 7 will set you back £352 which compares well with the £313 price tag on the 120GB Archos 5. The 320GB model comes in at an eye-watering £430 as compared to the £352 that a 250GB 5 will set you back. Expensive, but then you do getting a very nice bit of kit for your hard earned and a bigger hard drive than the majority of laptops. We were a little shocked that Archos don't see fit to supply the 7 with any sort of case or cover, though.
The Archos 7 is an expensive box of tricks, no doubt about it, but on the other hand it comes with a huge – or in the case of the 320GB model a vast – hard drive and is very competent. Worth the extra over the 5? On balance, yes - assuming that absolutely portability is not an issue.
More Media Players...
Archos 7 internet-enabled PMP
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?