Archos 605 wifi
Since I travel into London each morning from Huntingdon which is a 50 minute journey each way I have started to watch a LOT of video to pass the time.
At first, I used my Nokia N95 and an application called Smartmovie . This was perfect as I was keen not to have to carry around a lot of tech, and having your phone as a movie player was perfect. The downside was that I had to convert each XVid into a smaller format that Smartmovie could display on the N95's it's 320x200 screen.
After a few months, a friend upgraded my redundant SPV M5000 to Windows Mobile 6 which ran the excellent TCPMP player. After getting used to the small N95 screen, having my shows displayed on the bigger 640x480 screen was a big improvement. It could also play the movies without conversion, but there was a problem. Even though the M5000 has a 600Mhz processor, it still had problems playing video when there was a lot of movement on the screen - explosions, cars and panning shots all used to drop frames or even stop. It also had a max 2Gb storage which was proving to be a problem.
Enter the Archos 605. After looking around for a replacement video player, it soon became apparent that the Archos range was the direction I should head. Anything by Apple was out of the question as 16Gb was not enough and I also wanted something as simple as a stand to prop the device up. Great design choice!
I read some reviews of the 605 and decided that was the baby I wanted. It came in SD card, 30Gb and 80Gb and 160Gb versions. SD was out of the question as was 80Gb and 160Gb - I didn't need that much room and there was a bit of a cost premium on those models. Then I noticed some places had a 40Gb version - even though the Archos site didn't list that. It soon became apparent that the DSG group of companies only sold the 40Gb version but for the same price as the 30Gb. Perfect - a quick trip to Currys and £199 spent (I did have gadget fever!) and I had one in my grubby hands.
So, how is it? I love it!
The screen quality is excellent. Colours and definition are perfect with the touch screen making the display look kind of 'creamy' is the only way I can describe it. Boot up time is only a few seconds and the sound quality, whilst a little lower than I'm used to, is comfortable with a proper set of Shure in-earphones.
Battery life is good at around 4-5 hours but you have to get a proper charger which is extra. The USB charger works but takes almost 8 hours to charge on the tickle of power the USB bus puts out. Also extra is a DVD codec plug in which allows VOBs and AC3 soundtracks to be played. I had to pay an extra £13 for that as some of my files (tends to be movies split into 2 files) had AC3 and would not play. There are extra plug ins for web browser and pod cast readers, along with various add ons to allow play back on your TV.
Long term issues - I am worried about damaging the hard drive so I do treat it with care.