After a few days of teasing us, this afternoon Archos switched over to their new web site design, but more importantly unveiled some new devices. Not the 606 as many assumed but (as I sort-of correctly predicted) a range of ‘Internet Media Tablets’ – the Archos 5, the Archos 7 and the Archos 5g. Some initial observations…
- They make my 605 look like something Noah might have used as he waited for the floods to subside
- Archos had a quick look at an iPhone during their latest design process
- The Opera web browser is included for free, putting paid to one of the major whines about the 605
- The 60gb model is about the same size as a 30gb 605 but a bit slimmer… however, it weighs 60 grams more
- A 4.8 inch screen (as opposed to 4.3) making full use of the device’s dimensions
- It has an e-mail client
- The battery life states 4 hours of video playback… 1.5 hours less than the 605
- No removable battery (oh dear)
- No navigation buttons, it’s all touch-screen (cleaning cloth provided)
- It doesn’t appear that the 605’s DVR station will fit (oh dear, again)
- The Archos 5 will be available ‘early September’ and a 60gb device will be £279 (ouch)
So, there’s some negatives there. Firstly, I like the 605’s navigation buttons and don’t like having a mucky screen, so I’m not convinced that I’ll like a touch-screen only device. Less battery life? That surprises me, usually battery life gets better with newer devices – and without a removable battery that’s a double bummer. Weighs more? 60 grams is no big deal.
I think it’s a poor show that (as far as I can tell) the Archos 5 will need a new DVR station. Having invested in a DVR station and battery dock for the 605 if I move up to the new device I’ll have to buy completely new accessories. Archos, take note of what Apple have done… that connection slot on the iPods has remained consistent for years – the JBL ‘donut’ speaker I bought for the wife’s iPod Mini several years ago is still working with her iPod touch. That factor is not only good for consumers, but it’s also good for the third party accessory market, and ultimately good for Apple. Archos will suffer if manufacturers don’t have faith in them sticking to a connection format.
In summary… do I want one? Yes. Do I need one? No. Will I buy one? Undecided. We’ll see how generous Father Christmas is feeling.