There was something for everyone at Archos’ stand at IFA 2007 – well, if you wanted a PMP, that is – with a broad range of new media players catering for every spec-demand and budget. Since I’m nothing if not greedy, I’ll start at the top with the brand spanking new 605 WiFi and its swanky DVR base-station; we knew it was coming after it received FCC approval back in July, but there’s nothing quite like seeing a 4.3-inch touchscreen toting, web-surfing, media downloading masterpiece in the flesh.
Available in four capacities – 30GB, 80GB or 160GB using traditional hard-drives, or a 4GB flash-based version – the 605 WiFi can obviously play both music and video in a variety of formats (MP3, WAV, WMA and protected WMA; MPEG-4, WMV, protected WMV, MPEG-2, VOB, H.264) but it’ll also function as a digital video recorder (DVR) when used with the DVR Station Gen 5. A built-in EPG makes scheduled recording straightforward, and shows are captured in MPEG-4 format for easy transfer to your PC.
Of course, having a WiFi connection means you can also locate and download content online, including paid content at Archos’ store, and if you have a home network with media shares on it you can stream those too.
Meanwhile, the Archos 405 is a video-centric PMP complete with 3.5-inch LCD screen, 2GB of built-in flash memory and an SD slot for expanding that. It’s also compatible with the DVR Station Gen 5 for directly recording TV shows to the device, and has the same music/video/photo playback support as the 605.
If your pockets are particularly small, however – in both financial and spacial terms – then you may be curious about the Archos 105 ultra-mini media player (pdf link). Measuring just 7mm thick, it nonetheless packs a 1.8-inch 160 x 128 colour OLED screen and 2GB of flash memory; in synchronises with Windows Media Player via USB 2.0, and comes in black, red or silver.
The 105 is available now in Europe, priced at €99.99, with worldwide availability this Fall priced at $89.99 US.
Both the 605 WiFi and 405 are available now.