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Archos 43

Archos 43 16GB Android PMP

iPod Touch worrier?

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Nice touch?

Though it's not growing as fast as I had hoped, Archos' own apps store called AppsLib isn't wholly useless and contains eBuddy, K-9, Facebook for Android, Aldiko and the Dolphin HD web browser, to name but five popular Android apps I use regularly.

Archos 43 Archos 43

Portrait menu and web browser

When it comes to gaming, the resistive screen does let the 43 down somewhat. The ToonWarz demo was certainly playable but I was always aware that the screen was only capable of analysing one input at a time, so you can run and sidestep or look around and shoot, but not both at once.

I also tried loading Gameloft's superb N.O.V.A. onto the 43 but it refused to run. It's not all bad news though, you will find Angry Birds in the AppsLib and that played a treat even without the pinch-to-zoom facility.

Other apps can, of course, be loaded easily enough if you can find an installation package. Skype, for instance, performed perfectly, though I needed to use the earphones to hear anything because, while the app worked with the microphone, it wouldn't talk to the 43's excellent mono speaker.

Archos 43 Archos 43

Widgets and music player

Take the low-rent bundled earphones out of the equation and audio reproduction is very good, with music sounding rich and warm with plenty of low-end power, but not at the expense of definition in the upper frequency ranges.

Archos 43

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Next page: Sound offerings

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