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.
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.
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.
Next page: Sound offerings
Re: Significant price difference? (why isn't this added automatically?)
Similar memory? At least in my calculator 16 is twice 8, and that makes one hell of a difference. AND it accepts up to 32 GB from a memory card (sorry, iPod, I'm afraid you can't do that), which could make it up to 6 times more capacious.
Believe it or not.
There are people out there who still want traditional PMP's. Cost is the big attraction here. £169 versus £400+ for a decent large screen Android phone.
The only worry here is the company. Archos are notorious for poor support and promises of functionality that is then not delivered. They also shamelessly use their paying customers as beta (and with some devices even alpha) testers. This device is a classic example. They were touting it way back in June and accepting orders for a device that was months away from final completion. I wouldn't rely on Flash ever being delivered.
Still, even without Flash the froyo version of this device appears to be a whole lot better than most of the cheap Android devices being sold at the moment.
It's the UI, not the type of screen
It's the UI, not the type of screen that makes or breaks a touch interface.
This is true for the media player as it is for all other aspects of the UI including the web browser.
...and Archos does make a killer media interface despite what others might say. They actually make a proper video player that treats video as if it were something other than just an mp3 file or record album.
That said. The main advantage of Archos is they sell devices with much more storage than this one (or any Apple device).
Rue the day they bought into this hegemony?
your 101 may get patced for now ...
... but just wait until the model is replaced then you'll see nothing.
I would be tempted by this device however my mixed 604 owner experience would put that in question (when it works it's great, but support from Archos was useless even when they were patching it).