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Archos 7 internet-enabled PMP

Two inches can go a long way

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Secondly it has a power jack on the lower right hand side so you can charge it through the supplied mains adapter while you are using it. This however is rather a case of Archos giving with one hand and taking with the other as the 7, unlike the 5, cannot be charged with a USB cable.

In the vast majority of respects using the 7 is really no different from using the 5, the underlying Linux operating system, performance, capabilities and touch screen user interface being identical. When browsing the web the extra screen size really does pay dividends though, the layout and appearance feeling for more akin to an 8.9in netbook screen than a standard PMP.

Archos 7 PMP

The power jack is on the right-hand side, but it can't be charged with a USB cable

Tapping hyperlinks was never an issue on the 5, but on the 7 it's just that bit easier to touch the right link without having to double tap the screen to zoom in. The virtual keyboard, being larger, is even easier to use than on the 5.

Before we get deluged with yet more comments about Archos PMP's going titsup and crashing every other five minutes, it's worth stating clearly that in the week we had our 7 it didn't need resetting once.

We looked at the 5 before the arrival of the firmware update that added Ogg and Flac file support, so focussed our 7 listening tests on the new codecs. Adding Flac file support to music players is not straightforward as one might expect - some players that generate a perfectly decent sound from MP3 or AAC files can sound harsh and edgy – or “too digital” as someone in the office once complained - when playing Flac files. Not so with the 7, a Flac encoded version of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon sounding both warm and natural.

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Next page: Verdict

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