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Archos 7 internet-enabled PMP

Two inches can go a long way

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.

Archos 7 PMP

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.

Verdict

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.

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Archos 7 internet-enabled PMP

Proof that size actually does matter, at least when it comes to watching video and browsing the web.
Price: £352 (160GB) £430 (320GB) RRP