Archos 5 Internet Tablet Android-based PMP
The world's first Google-based media machine
File support has previously been an issue with Archos devices, with users finding they have to pay for additional plug-ins to gain certain codecs. This approach hasn't been eliminated entirely but is less of a problem. Out of the box, the Archos 5 can play HD 720p video in H.264, MPEG 4 or MKV format and WMV standard definition.
Better format support than before - but some codecs still cost extra
But if you want to play VOB files, or 720p WMV or MPEG2 files, then you'll need to purchase the HD Cinema plug-in which will set you back a further £12.22 but also adds in AC3 audio.
On the audio front, you'll find support for MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, Ogg and Flac. You can also view images in JPEG, BMP, PNG or GIF format.
Video playback is extremely good, and the 5 handles 720p material without a problem. While there's little advantage to watching that high a resolution on such a tiny screen, the ability to transfer files without transcoding them first is a big time saver.
Switching over to the audio side of things and the playback quality was again impressive. The unit was equally happy with bass-heavy tracks like Dare by Gorillaz or something a bit more laid back like Beethoven. The bundled headphones try hard, but they can't really handle the full output without distorting, so you're better off replacing them with something more up to the job.
Review your recordings... if you have the optional DVR add-on
There's GPS built in, but before you get too excited and chuck your TomTom in the bin, the maps included in the box are only there for you to try before you buy. You only get seven days to make you mind up - which is pretty short - and after that you'll need to shell out an extra £35 for a UK map and £45 for Western Europe.
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