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Archos 43 Internet "Tablet"

So I'm looking for a replacement for my Zune 80, and I don't really want an iPod touch.

I'm trying to find some cool alternatives and I'm really liking the new Archos line

The Archos 43 internet tablet specifically looks nice
-Android 2.2
-4.3" touch screen (not AMOLED Sad )
-HDMI out
-10 hours of video, 36 hours music, 12 hours web browsing battery life (that's great in my book)
-16GB flash + SDHC slot

I know it sounds like something I should look for in a phone, but I don't want the more expensive data plan right now, and I can get wifi in a lot of places.

So does anyone have experience with Archos as a brand? Or has anyone tried their other similar PMPs? I know it's not that great as a tablet as they call it, but it looks nice as an ipod touch alternative for mostly music, some video, and some web browsing/games.

Plus I want to do some Android development and this could be fun (if I ever had the time)
Hardware-wise, Archos has usually been well ahead of the curve. When it comes to multimedia abilities, they've been amongst, if not, the best. Software-wise, though, they're known to selling products with "unfinished" software. As in, the software has bugs, it's a bit clunky, and you have to purchase codecs if you want more media support. This should be less of an issue with the Archos 43 because it runs Android. As for support and customer service, Archos is pretty bad, in fact most of their negative reviews come from their lousy support. I know a couple people with old Archos PMPs, and they haven't had had issues, but then they've never had to contact support.

Now, on to the player itself. Hardware-wise, Archos lives up to their old players. It's armed with a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, so it's quick, especially with the speed improvements Froyo has brought. The only problem you may find is the screen. For movie watching and general viewing, it's great. It's 16:9 and it's relatively crisp and vivid. The problem, however, is that it's a resistive touch screen. It's a responsive resistive touch screen, but it doesn't stand up against the capacitive screens of other devices. There are only two reasons I don't have an Archos 43 right now, and the lack of a capacitive multitouch screen is the main one.

On the software side, it supports a wide variety of media formats (albeit missing some from the older PMPs) and Android, in general, is a very solid OS. The problem, however, (and this is my other reason for not owning one right now) is that it doesn't come with the Android market. The reason is because Google has a number of requirements for a device to have in order to be compatible with the market. The ability to make phone calls and a GPS are just some examples. The Archos 43 doesn't meet these requirements, so it doesn't get the Android market. What it does get is something called AppsLib, which comes with about 5000 applications. You'll find most of the important applications here, so to many it won't be a problem. If you wish, you can technically install the Android market by yourself, and it'll work, but just remember not all applications will work properly. Partially because the Archos is missing features found on the phones and partially because the applications may suffer glitches caused by unsupported hardware.

Anyway, besides the resistive interface and the lack of the Android Market, the Archos 43 should be a very good player. I can't say anything about build quality or reliability, so you may want to check out some reviews for that. The movie/video experience, like all Archos PMPs, will be the main highlight. This is one aspect where it will blow the iPod Touch out of the water. With music, it steps ahead with more format support than the Touch and no iTunes. The browser is also good (and has Flash). So long as it doesn't have any reliability issues, it makes a very good case. I just wish they'd give it a capacitive screen.
Wow, the Archos 43 Internet tablet looks like a phone, and runs Android.

Would love to see it live and in play.

Wow, thanks for the awesome feedback.

I was a bit concerned about the resistive screen, although my current phone is a Samsung Impression and it's really not all that bad. The customer support thing sounds kind of annoying, but I've found I rarely need support (knock on wood), and everything else sounds impressive.

I'm still not sure if I want this or if I should just finally get an Android phone. My only issue with phones is that AT&T kind of sucks, and also, if I want to replace my PMP with a phone, I'd like to find a phone with builtin memory + SDHC so I can fit my library on it. I suppose I'll keep this around as an option, while I take a look at what phones I could get on AT&T.

Again, thanks for all the info!
Well it does seem from this video that even though it's resistive, it's fairly responsive. Looks more responsive than the older Archos players I've tried. It still lacks multitouch, though. I would definitely try it out in person before buying it.

I have to say, I've always loved the Archos PMP's multimedia abilities, and this certainly looks like it won't disappoint.

And I hear you on AT&T. They now do have a very competent phone (Samsung Captivate), but getting stuck with a contract is annoyin. The Captivate does have 16 GB of ROM built in and a MicroSDHC card slot for another 32 GB, so I think you'd be good on that front.
william wrote:

And I hear you on AT&T. They now do have a very competent phone (Samsung Captivate), but getting stuck with a contract is annoyin. The Captivate does have 16 GB of ROM built in and a MicroSDHC card slot for another 32 GB, so I think you'd be good on that front.

Good to know. I do like having my cheap $10/mo unlimited data plan (for being on a family plan with texting), but I could probably do the $15 smartphone plan pretty easily.

Maybe I'll consider the Captivate over this PMP...
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