Archos 5

The Archos 5 touch-screen media player offers spectacular video and music playback to go along with its elegant design.

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Archos 5
  • Archos 5
  • Archos 5
  • Archos 5

Pros

  • Elegant design, spectacular video and music playback

Cons

  • On-board e-mail client is still in beta, awkward to hold

Bottom Line

The Archos 5 is a beautifully designed portable video player with a stunning screen and very good audio and video playback.

Would you buy this?

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In our tests, the Archos 5 registered a signal-to-noise ratio of 81 decibels (in this ratio, a higher number indicates a cleaner sound). This is an improvement over the 5's predecessor, the 605 WiFi, whose ratio was 75 dB. We found that the audio improved significantly when we swapped the included earbuds for higher-quality ones.

Archos 5 uses both MTP and MSC transfer modes, so you have some freedom in managing your media. We transferred files using both Windows Media Player and Media Monkey (both are MTP-based players), and both worked fine. We also used MSC mode, which works like a portable hard drive: you drag-and-drop your files into the player.

The Opera Web browser included on the Archos doesn't have Flash 9 support, so many websites with video or audio content won't work. Archos had two firmware updates for this device during our loan period, and the on-board e-mail client is still in beta. (I was able to log in to my Gmail account and access my inbox, but I couldn't send any outgoing messages.)

Because the Archos 5 is advertised as a media tablet, it's disappointing that the e-mail application is not fully functional.

The Archos 5 touch screen media player offers spectacular video and music playback to go along with its elegant design.

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