Gmini Jilickers!

We recently had the chance to spend some quality time testing Archos' new Gmini 400, a personal portable multimedia player that also allows you to play video games.

The $400 device also functions as a photo viewer and an audio and video player. The Gmini 400 has a 2.2in high-resolution LCD screen that can display 262,000 colours. This display was surprisingly clear and had a viewing angle superior to most competing devices we've tested.

It measures 10.66x6.09x1.77cm and weighs 160g. This means it's smaller than an iPod but around the same weight.

The 20GB hard drive can store up to 300 hours of MP3, WMA and WAV music files; store and play back up to 80 hours of MPEG-4 videos, and view up to 200,000 digital photos.

You can also purchase games for it, based on the Mophun console (www.mophun.com) - think newer mobile phone-style titles.

Archos says the lithium-ion battery can play up to 10 hours of audio and five hours of video on a single charge.

The bundled software allows for easy file encoding and transfers over USB 2.0 are quite quick. There's no need for drivers, as the device reports to Windows XP as a removable hard disk. The Gmini 400's navigation is pretty similar to that of its higher-specified AV400 series brethren: clear and straightforward. In all, a quality little player that's among the cream of the crop.

Archos Gmini 400;Price: $400; Distributor: i-Tech International;Phone: (02) 9261 8101; URL: www.itechinternational.com; www.archos.com

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