Thursday, 28 August 2008

Archos 704 WiFi Multimedia Player

(Review) - Portable multimedia players are not necessarily a luxury these days; however, compared to yesteryears, they have certainly improved with additional features and a better user interface. The Archos 704 WiFi A/V player, for instance, is a step in the right direction with a multitude of impressive options, in addition to the standard support for various audio and video formats.

Before we delve into the device’s heart and soul, let’s take a look at its built. With all aluminum, well polished exterior, it’s difficult not to be impressed with the unit’s sleek and sexy appeal. It packs a 7-inch display with matte finish and 800x480 resolution that’s also touch sensitive. Thankfully, you can either use your fingers or the included stylus to work with the device. Unlike other devices though, the 704 WiFi also sports a big enough virtual keyboard to make typing a breeze. We can’t say that for every device we have tested recently.

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In addition, the 704 WiFi is limited to two buttons on the left for Power and TV/LCD output and a switch on the right edge for removing the battery. Working with the integrated buttons and the minimalist design was pleasant, as the menus flowed from one to another without lag and an effective user interface. The integrated speakers, even though you could plug in earphones in the headphones jack, are remarkably good sounding as well, and the device also comes with a back stand, which makes viewing it easier.

Perhaps the only disappointment we have with the 704 WiFi and its exterior is the lack of a stylus compartment. Unlike the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet with an impressively hidden stylus compartment in the back, the Archos 704 WiFi has absolutely no place to store it. Anytime companies require us to keep track of various accessories for their products, we are not thrilled about it, and obviously this time is no different.

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