Conclusion: The Archos 604 is a very good portable media player, but it doesn't quite live up to its predecessor's high standard of sound quality. Also, many of the features that were standard on the AV500 are now optional extras, particularly the ability to record video from analog sources.
Pros: Lots of features. Very good video-recording capabilities. Excellent audio quality. Very good video quality. Removable battery. User manual is right on the device. Has an on-board PDF reader.
Cons: Button layout still isn't great. Many features that were included on its predecessor are now optional extras, including video recording and USB Host.
Conclusion: Fed up trying to watch tiny videos on an iPod that take an age to rip and format? Take a peek at the brand new Archos 604, with its large 4.3" LCD screen and simple WMV playback, and it's only £225!
Excerpt: PVRs are traditionally chunky set-top boxes, but Archos has come up with a revolutionary fix, a docking station that turns its portable media player into a fully-functioning personal video recorder - a sort of portable PVR, if you will.
Excerpt: The 4.3in TFT that takes up the bulk of the front of the Archos 604 has a resolution of 480 x 272 and is impressively bright. It's also a touchscreen, so getting around the operating system couldn't be easier. Browsing the internet via the built-in 802.11g wireless adaptor and the Opera web browser is a pleasant experience, while navigating songs and video is equally simple.
Summary: The do-everything Archos 604 WiFi is completely stacked with great video playback, Web surfing and other useful features, but the sluggish processor keeps the experience from being totally satisfying
Pros: Access to the Web and email, Good touchscreen experience, Vibrant widescreen display, Can record audio and video with the optional kit, Has a removable battery, a built-in speaker and a built-in kickstand, Sophisticated interface, Can view photos and listen to music simultaneously, Compatible with subscription services, Durable and compact for its screen size, Excellent photo viewer, Can be used as a wireless file server
Cons: Limited to 30GB, Must purchase separate kit to record audio/video and to get power adapter, Must purchase plug-ins for certain types of video files, Weak bundled accessories, Proprietary USB cable, Not easy to operate blindly, Sluggish processor, Nowhere to store stylus without case, Cannot listen to music and surf Web simultaneously, Battery takes a major hit when using Wi-Fi
Excerpt: One of the most prominent features of the Archos is its 4.3in touchscreen, which enhances the viewing experience without adding unnecessary bulk. It's also got a sturdy design, making this device perfect for playing media on the move.
Summary: The do-it-all Archos 604 with its improved design is slightly marred by mediocre audio performance. It's an amazing PVP, but not a great audio player.
Pros: Decent choice of accessory options, Sharp and vibrant display, Can record audio and video with the optional kit, Has a removable battery, a built-in speaker, and a built-in kickstand, Nice tactile controls and well-designed interface, Can view photos and listen to music simultaneously, Compatible with subscription services, It's durable and compact for its screen size, Excellent photo viewer
Cons: Limited to 30GB, Must purchase separate kit to record audio/video, Must purchase separate kit to get a power adaptor, Disappointing audio quality, Must download plug-ins for certain types of video files, Weak bundled accessories, Proprietary USB cable
Summary: Archos kick-started the portable video revolution back in 2002, while most of us were only just waking up to the charms of the first-generation iPod. The latest addition to its growing family is the 604 WiFi, a 30GB media player with built-in wireless connectivity – a hot feature right now thanks to the hype surrounding Microsoft’s Wi-Fi enabled Zune.
Summary: The slimmed-down features list bothered us at first, but what Archos has done is given you the choice -- if you don't want to record TV shows, you don't need to buy the dock and can save yourself £70 off the price of an AV 500.
Pros: Neat and elegant design, Much improved user interface, Excellent screen