back to article Archos 43 16GB Android PMP

Archos has embraced Android with the fervour of a kid in a sweet shop and is in the process of releasing a range of devices with screen sizes ranging from 2.8in - called the 28 - to 10.1in - called, yes you guessed it, the 101, all running Google's mobile OS. Archos 43 Archos' 43: Android tablet or PMP? The 28 and 32 are more …

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Android.

I'm not surprised they embraced android with a vengance.

I have one of their MP3 players, and it has the most annoying user interface I have ever used.

I wouldnt choose their in-house software team to make a tablet UI if i had the choice either.

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Hmm... Temptation... temptation...

This is device is the right size to be mounted on top of a spare DIN slot using a big velcro strip resulting in a very reasonable auto stereo upgrade. The 7 and 10 inch ones are too big while the ipod-like ones are too small. This one looks about right. Pity it does not have GPS.

Tempting... definitely tempting...

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meh

Downside is its made by Archos... expect no updates,ever! If something isn't 100% working on the Archos now it never will be! You'll wait for Flash support for the next year and it will never come.

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Stop

101

Got a 101 in late November. Had two official software updates for it since then. Also about 2 clicks from the Archos site there is a patch that adds all the Google apps including marketplace, which in turn enables you to get Flash.

(Interestingly Google Maps locates my position to within a few meters, despite the lack of GPS or 3G. I guess it's using the MAC codes from local wifi spots.)

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your 101 may get patced for now ...

... but just wait until the model is replaced then you'll see nothing.

I would be tempted by this device however my mixed 604 owner experience would put that in question (when it works it's great, but support from Archos was useless even when they were patching it).

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Sounds great

Now what sort of 3G sigal does it get?

Oh I see, it's not a phone.... doesn't cut it for me then, device convergence is the way to go at that size, IMHO.

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Believe it or not.

There are people out there who still want traditional PMP's. Cost is the big attraction here. £169 versus £400+ for a decent large screen Android phone.

The only worry here is the company. Archos are notorious for poor support and promises of functionality that is then not delivered. They also shamelessly use their paying customers as beta (and with some devices even alpha) testers. This device is a classic example. They were touting it way back in June and accepting orders for a device that was months away from final completion. I wouldn't rely on Flash ever being delivered.

Still, even without Flash the froyo version of this device appears to be a whole lot better than most of the cheap Android devices being sold at the moment.

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WTF?

Significant price difference?

It looks like a decent device but it's only £19 cheaper than an iPod Touch with similar memory. I don't quite see that as significant?

The device is just as locked down as people say the iPhone/iPod Touch is as well.

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Terminator

Re: Significant price difference? (why isn't this added automatically?)

Similar memory? At least in my calculator 16 is twice 8, and that makes one hell of a difference. AND it accepts up to 32 GB from a memory card (sorry, iPod, I'm afraid you can't do that), which could make it up to 6 times more capacious.

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FAIL

No capacitive screen?

How old is the original iPod Touch now? It showed the way with the AppStore and capacitive screen.

No access to the Android Market is a little troublesome, but a decent 3rd party store can fill that hole.

Resistive screen though? Come on, it's 2011, and at this price point if it really wants to compete with the iPod Touch, it needs a capacitive screen.

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Not a good deal.

I'm pretty platform agnostic in that I've got an iPod Touch, but use a Milestone (now with Froyo beta) as my main phone.

I don't understand why this thing, with a resistive touchscreen, no google apps and no Android Market, no flash, would score so highly: You're getting a crippled Android experience compared to, say, an Orange San Francisco which you can go out & get for £99 from Argos & then never top up again.

It doesn't really compete with an iPod Touch either. You can get the 8gb iPod for a similar price which yes, has half the storage, but has a proper touchscreen and access to the entire iPhone app store.

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Silver badge

Well it is a PMP first and foremost

As a PMP it kicks the living crap out of an iPod Touch supporting way more formats. I think resistive is a poor choice though.

The issue with Google's apps & flash is resolvable but unfortunate. Google in their infinite wisdom mandate a minimum set of requirements that "compliant" devices must implement including compass, GPS to receive the marketplace app. Unfortunately that means this device is not compliant because it chooses to not implement a compass or GPS. Apparently 2.3 has loosened up the compliance on some of those things so perhaps Archos devices will be officially eligible for Google apps before long.

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completely agree

I actually have an Orange San Fran and it beats this Archos hands down. I have sworn never to buy anything from Archos since I bought an AV500 from them years ago. Customer support is non existent, they want you to pay for codecs and the very worst thing is that the AV500 still has some bugs on it that were there when I bought it because Archos never seem to bother about updates, or bug fixes.

Please dont buy anything from Archos - you will only end up regretting it.

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Resistive screen? WTF?

It was capacitive screens that made touch screen devices not just usable but enjoyable. I can't imagine anyone going back there just to save a few bucks.

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Linux

It's the UI, not the type of screen

It's the UI, not the type of screen that makes or breaks a touch interface.

This is true for the media player as it is for all other aspects of the UI including the web browser.

...and Archos does make a killer media interface despite what others might say. They actually make a proper video player that treats video as if it were something other than just an mp3 file or record album.

That said. The main advantage of Archos is they sell devices with much more storage than this one (or any Apple device).

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um, what about standard docks?

Already have a Touch and a Nano both share a nice little dock/speakers and I'm now looking at a Bose dock for the living room. What do people do about docks if they jump ship to another brand of PMP?

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Docks

Rue the day they bought into this hegemony?

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hj

answer

They (me) use the 3.5 mm standard head phone connector.

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Badgers

Sizes

Sorry, but I don't think this is the right size for me.

I need a 3.7, or maybe a 6.4 or 6.9 (for video), or even an 8.2, and perhaps a 7.9543 or a 5.345.

Seriously...enough with the sizes! It's all getting too complicated for my senile old brain!

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FAIL

Bought, played, annoyed then I gave in...

Being a guy who doesn't usually follow the pack and also wanting flac support, this device appealed to me a lot. Until I realised several things!

1) I did not know all the andriod app's were not availible for this device. That was a big hitter and I could not find bearly any useful app's I wanted. You can get around this (sort of) by following this link - http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=42067

Obviously not all the app's work and some crash the device. Look at it on an app by app basis.

2) The sound quality, imo was rubbish. I wanted this device to replace my recently blown up creative zen vision which had great sound quality but sadly no flac support (grrr to transcoding but for everything in 320kbs VBR mp3 it was great). This on the other hand had no real 'presense' of sound, it was lacking bass and reasonable mid-range which to me felt like it was tinny. It sounded (metaphorically) to me like a cheap stero rather than seperates, and that is not on.

3) The responsiveness of the screen was - annoying. I suppose you get used to these things but I just could not. Having played with iPods in the shop, everything scrolls as you want and there is no repressing/rescrolling when things go wrong. This has a big problem scrolling - particually the app menu. Once you have opened and if you have many apps to scroll up and down, half the time it would scroll far, far too much and others not the right amount.

So in the three days I had this device, I found three major annoyances. I gave up, took the device back and spent the extra £70 to get an iPod touch 32gig. Sound quality is much better and even better than my old mp3 player, app's are great fun and the size is suitable.

If you need the size, go for the classic.

Hope this helps you all - I would of only given this 30% at most, as the main thing it has going for it is the tv out and the great quality video.

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Happy

Pointless comparisons

Try playing a 720p MKV video on an Orange San Fran! And for watching video I'd want the extra 8/10inch the Archos has over that and the iPod. What I want from a PMP is a big screen, wide format support and long battery life.

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Size isnt everything...

...but if thats all your after, there are much larger archos tablets and other brand tablets. This device really seems it's competing with ipod's rather than a video unit.

Why bother with this one? (imo!)

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Video formats

Umm, you know that you can get VLC on the iTouch right, from the AppStore, for free?

Theres your formats sorted, so this is useless.

Edit: bugger, Apple pulled it, for about the 3rd time, 2 days ago. Maybe it'll go up again.

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Grenade

The iOS port of VLC was shit anyway...

... so is no great loss.

Air Video and Zumocast, on the other hand, are well worth the price of admission. Who cares how much storage your PMP has when you can just stream your stuff over WiFi? (In Zumocast's case, you don't even need to be on the same network.)

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Anyone tried this one?

Talking of Ipod alternatives, has anybody seen one of these anywhere? http://uk.store.creative.com/products/product.aspx?catid=948&pid=20276

Android 2.2 with a resistive screen...

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Archos aren't bad

I've had a PMA400 (430) for ages and it is brilliant imo. Ok so stuck a user dev firmware on it to get the most out of it, but it was a bit of kit ahead of it's time. Only prob with Archos kit is you never find it on the high street - so you can never go and have a play before buying it cheaper online! Very tempted by the 43

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