Archos 604 WiFi review

Discussion in 'Portable Devices & Gadgets' started by ElementalDragon, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. ElementalDragon

    ElementalDragon The One and Only

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    Ok... after playing around with the Archos 604 WiFi for a bit, i can honestly say it has to be the most fun MP3 player i've owned (though i haven't owned many (i stay away from iPods though)...... still rocks). If you have the money to spare, and have been looking for a high quality Portable Media Player (PMP), definitely look into this player.... if not at least the 604 or 504 series as a whole. The 604 WiFi isn't a cheap player though.... running around $440.

    Design: Let's see.... where to begin with the design. For one, it has very little plastic (only plastic i can tell is the buttons, and the mid-section of the player. the back minus the strip down the middle, and the front part directly around the screen appears to be brushed aluminum), it features a 4.3" widescreen touchscreen, built-in microphone, the proper LED's to show you when the power is on, when it is charging, when there is HDD activity, as well as an LED to tell you if the player is currently set to display on an external screen (usually a TV). It has a very neat, clean layout.... no excessive ammount of buttons, or buttons that are complicated to use. All of the buttons along side the LCD are rocker switches, which helped to cut down on the size of the unit, which is not much bigger than it's screen whether you look at length or height. There are only 3 plugs on it, one for headphones or TV output, and the two separate ones on the bottom, one which is for charging and USB data transfer, and the other which i believe serves mostly for the purpose of recording video off of a TV via the optional DVR Docking Station or Travel DVR Dock. It has a small built-in speaker just below the rocker buttons, which actually serves it's purpose rather well. people say the quality from it sucks, but what the hell... it's a speaker that you'd practically expect to have as a speakerphone in a cell phone. if you need quality sound, that's where headphones come in handy.

    Usability: When i was looking at a new Archos player to get from the Generation 4 line, i was mostly debating between the Archos 504 80GB, and the 604 WiFi which sadly the two 604's are limited to 30GB of storage. I had actually decided on the 504 80GB, but my mom had apparently already ordered the WiFi, since that's the first one i showed her. I was a bit skeptical at first... since i didn't know WHEN i would use the internet on it, let alone a touchscreen, but the WiFi part of it works for a bit more than just the net, which i'll get into later. The touchscreen actually makes the player VERY easy to use. Need to turn the volume up? just tap the volume up part on the screen, or drag the volume bar up higher. need to fast forward or rewind through a movie? just drag away. One thing i wish were possible... which i might suggest to Archos as trying to make possible in the next OS (Firmware) update is making it so that you can open files and folders with a single touch. You can only navigate to another section, or open a file, if the file/location you want to open/go to is already highlighted. get's a tad tedious when you're navigating through a few subfolders. The buttons aren't that bad to use either.... although i haven't taken the time to figure out how one would go about adjusting the volume with them. If i had to guess, it would be just like it's predecessors..... up and down arrow for volume, left and right for FFW/RW.

    Features: One of the neat things about the 604 series is the inclusion of a "kickstand" of sorts, allowing it to be propped up at a nice angle for watching movies without propping it up on a book or it's protective case and worrying about it falling. Even so.... the LCD on it is quite high-quality. Has quite a nice viewing angle... believe even better than my family's 52" widescreen plasma TV in the living room.... maybe even equal to the viewing angle of your high-quality LCD computer monitor. The battery is removable, and quite easily, just by moving a spring-loaded slider to the side, and popping the battery up along the back of the device, then pulling it out. In the pictures, the battery is the part to the left of the kickstand on the rear of the unit. Probably the most interesting features of the player is the WiFi capabilities. It's not like that of the Zune, where you can only transfer music to other Zunes, and wind up having them not be able to listen to it 3 days later due to automatic DRM signatures, oh no. This is basically a full-out WiFi service.... as if you have a laptop with a wireless NIC that's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. You can browse the web (which is quite easy due to the on-screen QWERTY keyboard that pops up whenever you click in a text field), browse other computers that are on the wireless network that you are connected to... even turn the 604 into a wireless file server! how freakin neat is that?

    Pictures: seeing as i can't think of any more information about it to provide right now, i'm gonna post a link to my Flickr profile where i uploaded the pictures i took. More convenient than posting a link to each one on Photobucket..... more space saving than having it show the images in the thread.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dragoncrew/

    As usual..... i'm ready and willing to assist curious readers in any way. need a size comparison pic.... say comparing it to a DVD case or something? just ask. Want a picture of another aspect/angle of the player? just ask. Have a question about something i may have forgotten to mention due to a brain fart? just ask.

    I also have this review posted word-for-word on the Guru3D forums.... so if they ask a question or request a picture that isn't requested here, i'll post a new reply saying so.... along with a reply or a mention of me having posted a new picture in the Flickr album.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2006
  2. madmatt

    madmatt Bow Down to the King Political User

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    That looks like one kick ass gadget. Good write up.
     
  3. ElementalDragon

    ElementalDragon The One and Only

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    apparently it was pointed out to me in the Guru3D forums that i had forgotten to mention the battery. it is a removable, rechargable, 3.7v Lithium-Ion-Polymer battery.
     
  4. Vanquished

    Vanquished Mr. Bananagrabber Political User

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    Thats a pretty neat gadget, and only 440 dollars u say?
    I like :)
    Good write up :)
     
  5. ElementalDragon

    ElementalDragon The One and Only

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    yeah.... definitely worth the money in my opinion. battery life isn't TOO great though..... if i remember correctly it's estimated at 16 hours audio, 4-5 hours video. but with a 4.3" widescreen..... who's complaining?
     
  6. poolguy

    poolguy OSNN One Post Wonder

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    Good Info, I was looking into buying an Archos (PMP) and can not decide between the 504 80Gb or the 604 WiFi 30Gb.

    So far was unable to find any detailed differences for these 2 models, apart from the touch screen, WiFi, kick stand and hard drive size is there any other differences that could sway my decision.

    thanks
     
  7. ElementalDragon

    ElementalDragon The One and Only

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    uuh.... i can't really say, seeing as i haven't used the 504. i think it has a slightly higher estimated battery life, but only by like... an hour. I kinda would have liked the 80GB, since i'd have been able to have more video's on it, seeing as now i have 2/3 of it filled mostly with music. The touchscreen though..... think it just makes it so much more fun to use. People will look at you like "what is he doing with his MP3 player?". it's also quite fingerprint-proof. usually the only way you'll see remnants of a fingerprint is if you look at it from the side and see it in the glare. staring at it head on you can't see them.
     
  8. zidge1751

    zidge1751 OSNN One Post Wonder

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    Is it better than the other archos including the dish player?
     
  9. ElementalDragon

    ElementalDragon The One and Only

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    well, the dish player as far as i know only come in the Archos Gmini402 fashion.... so i'd have to say yes. 4.3" widescreen on the 504 and 604 series, and seems to have much better video format playback.
     
  10. ElementalDragon

    ElementalDragon The One and Only

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    Haven't posted in here in quite a while. Figured i'd mention another plus to the i believe the Archos 504, 604, and 604 WiFi is that they are now open source. might see some nifty mods come along for the player now.

    take THAT apple. :p