Sound modification is limited to bass and treble adjusters, six preset EQ lists and a 3D expander. Still, these do their job well enough and are also available for video playback. Indeed, the 3D expander put some impressive space around Chad Kroeger's vocals on a 720p video of Nickelback's Savin' Me.
Only a 2Mp stills camera but 720p video capture is supported
Despite being a basic 2Mp fixed-focus affair, the 43's camera can record 720p video in H.264 with AAC audio – a spec straight out of the iPod Touch playbook. The results aren't up to Apple's standards though, and the recording options are basic to the point of non-existence but the results are still quite watchable.
Archos says a full charge of the 43's fixed battery is good for 12 hours of web surfing, 36hrs for music and 10hrs of video playback. I found those last two figures to be about right managing 33 and 8.5 hours while looping 256kbps MP3 and standard def H.264 files, which is near enough the same as you will get from an iPod Touch.
At under £170 the 16GB Archos 43 has a significant price advantage over the iPod Touch, which will set you back £189 in 8GB and £249 in 32GB form. Yes, the Touch has a massively larger applications offering – and is by far the better recommendation for gamers – but if you want a device more for listening to music, watching video and browsing the web, the Archos 43 certainly has its appeal. ®
Thanks to AdvancedMP3Players for the loan of the review sample.
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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).