Archos A5 250GB - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 11-14-2008, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
Paul Bigelow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,334
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I am in awe of this thing.

With that out of the way....

Purchased an Archos 5 250GB, didn't purchase any of the accessories (yet). But since this is my first touchscreen device I bought some HP styluses to get accostomed to using the interface.

The A5 package itself is minimal: box, some instructions, earphones, USB cable, cleaning cloth (no case, no power adapter, no TV connection dock). To these eyes this device is beautiful -- some will complain about the glossy surfaces being fingerprint magnets (which they are) but matte surfaces have a habit of becomming unevenly glossy with daily use. (Look at your keyboard's space bar to see what I mean) The build is solid and actually deceivingly heavy. The battery is non-replacable but can charge through the USB connection. In addition to the standard MP3, with a firmware update (no charge) the Archos 5 can play back .ogg Vorbis and .flac files. This is a feature that has been asked for years from Archos and they finally deliver. Album Art is supported either embedded in MP3 or folder.jpg file within the album's subdirectory. There may be other ways also. The device can sync with WMP11 or one cas set it to disk mode and just drag and drop. The Archos ARCLIB (database) updates and you're ready to play!

The interface is clean, simple, and fast. There's some computing going on under the hood as this device can get a bit warm. Navigation can be done by finger or stylus and there is a built in calibration program. Background "wallpaper" can be used -- even those with moving images. The music quality is good, not quite as loud and powerful as the older Archos AV500, but lound enough with some heft to the bass and some sparkly highs. We're still talking compressed music here so I don't expect sonic miracles. Even so, the .ogg feature works well. Plenty of space left over after adding 12,000+ .ogg files. With 250GB there is so much space, some bitrates on certain music (The Beatles!) are going to be increased when re-ripped.

Video is smooth and the color and clarity of the demo material is amazing. The screen is of very high quality. No dead pixels or sub-pixels and the panel probably isn't a cheap TN, either. Color and contrast are quite good from above, side to side and below. PVA or S-IPS? Anyway, quite amazing. I have not converted any movies yet so I don't know what that experience will be like. With the increase in detail (800x482) over the AV500 I'm expecting a very good colorful, picture, with quite good black levels.

WiFi works. I'm still getting used to the wealth of material for web TV and radio but can state that the feature works. Watched some TV from Hawaii and listed to a few internet oldies stations. Quality can vary wildly depending upon the bitrates so don't expect HDTV or SACD from these connections. Internet browsing is OK. I'm getting used to the virtual keyboard so "surfing the net" is a bit slow on my part. The network speed and website loading seems pretty fast. The CNN page can be very detailed and small but a couple of presses magnifies a portion of the screen and one can scroll about without too much effort.

Can't say about the battery life. The Archos 5 is supposed to get about 14hours audio and about 7hours video after the battery has gone through a few cycles. We'll see. I've had enough juice to have some fun and learning this fascinating device.

If there is one complaint, it's the lack of a case -- evan a simple rudimetary one. Archos sells one for $24.99 but I've seen some forum postings about using a 4.3" GPS portable case that should do for general protection. There seem to be plenty around and not that expensive so a quick trip to Best Buy or the like should turn up something that works.

All in all, a very pleasant experience and I expect to get much use from the Archos A5.

Thank you for reading.
Paul Bigelow is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 Old 11-24-2008, 11:46 AM
Advanced Member
 
Th3_uN1Qu3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Posts: 714
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Thanks for the review. My first MP3 Player was an Archos Ondio, around 5 years ago i think, and it sounded awesome. Then i found RockBox which truly "made my box rock", it unlocked the full potential of the Micronas DSP inside (i remember buying new earphones every month since they would blow...), not to mention games, a customizable UI and other cool stuff.

Too bad my Ondio suffered from a hardware flaw (bad voltage regulator) which started to exhibit itself after a couple months of use, in that the Ondio killed the batteries after 1-1.5 hours and got REALLY hot. I was just 12 back then and eventually threw it away, now i feel sorry i did that, i could've gotten it fixed now.

But it still was an AWESOME player, and i look forward to buying some of their new stuff. At the moment i'm hooked to my Meizu M6SL tho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Beaver
The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.
Th3_uN1Qu3 is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 11-25-2008, 04:07 PM
Advanced Member
 
DeeKaye07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 690
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for the review! I went to the Archos web site and I think this is more like what I've been looking for...something to download TV shows to that I can bring with me and watch them on. They have some models that are less expensive but will still suit me for what I want. Now I have to decide between one of these and a Zune View...or an iPod Nano... good grief.

Anyway! Archos make great media players, it looks like! Thanks again.

DGK
DeeKaye07 is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 11-26-2008, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
Paul Bigelow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,334
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
You're very welcome!

I know what you mean about Rockbox. It's a great alternative for those players that can use the program. I have it on an iPod Video.

The Archos 5 is still working great. This device does so much and it takes quite a learning curve for those not used to touch panels and portable internet browsing. Mainly, I'm just slow with the touch panel.

For those unfamiliar with Archos, have a look! It's really fun to use.
Paul Bigelow is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 12-12-2008, 06:11 PM
Advanced Member
 
chengbin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 653
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Excellent review! I have one too, and I can't praise it enough! Internet is awesome on it. The screen is incredible. Everything is just so good. I'm running out of space though, why can't they offer a 320GB HDD with the 5? But still, having 250GB in my pocket is pretty sick.

Oh BTW, the screen is a Samsung S-PVA panel.
chengbin is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 12-22-2008, 10:20 AM
Senior Member
 
styxx_78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 361
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Well, I also have an Archos 5 but I have the 120GB version.

My first impression was not as good as yours. In the box, before you even get the unit out is a bright green paper that states the unit is pre-loaded with a Beta firmware and that it should be updated immediately. Well, in following the instructions it crashed twice and I had to hard reboot it both times. Also, I could not get connected to either my friends, or my Wifi network with the Beta firmware, so I resorted to downloading the firmware update on my PC and copying it to my Archos. The hard drive has a number of folders at the root of the drive and I was unsure where to put the new firmware so I thought tried "System". That didn't work. Then I tried another. Didn't work, then I put it at the root of the drive and it detected it had a software update available and proceeded to update itself (10 mins).

Well, other than that few first initial hours of fiddling with it, it is actually growing on me.

One REALY BIG feature missing that you have to pay extra for is the abolity to play .vob's (DVD video). You actually have to buy a codec pack (Cinema Plug-in) for $20!!!! Can you believe that?!

Also, keep in mind that this HDD is formatted with FAT32 and will not let you copy a file larger than 4GB.

I have only had this system for a day now and am still playing with it. If I run into another hiccup I will probably take it back, even if I really don't want to. But when I pay $400 for a device, I shouldn't have to pay extra for codecs.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
styxx_78 is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 12-24-2008, 01:58 PM
Senior Member
 
styxx_78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 361
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Well, my opinion is slowly changing for the better with this device. I was floored at it's ability to do Web TV and Internet Radio. I thought that these features are aso cool and am enjoying all of the preloaded stations and podcasts.

I also have since went out and bought the DVR Station so that I can record TV stright to my Arcos 5. I have yet to try it yet as I am still going through the podcasts and really enjoying them over Wifi.

More to come as I explore all of the capabilities and features they have jammed into this little sucker.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
styxx_78 is offline  
Reply Portable A/V

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off