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Archos AV700
Portable Audio/Video Players | First Looks
Tue 27 Sep 2005



One For the Car or Long-haul Flight

 
Archos AV700 comes with a remote control and docking pod.

 
Tired of holding up the AV700? It has a built-in stand.

 
Archos AV700 is one of the biggest portable media players in the market.


7-inch portable video players are quite a rarity in the market today with the Mobinote DVX-POD 7010 being a notable mention. In comes portable device specialists Archos with their brand new AV700, which has an even bigger appearance due to built-in speakers on each side of the player. Much to our satisfaction, the stereo speakers actually pass off for decent listening with sufficient loudness. The pair of speakers are among some of the new additions found on the Archos AV700, so let's take a look at what else it can do for you.

Refreshing New Design

Taking a spin-off from its predecessors, the plastic look of old has been replaced with a sleek, metallic brushed metal shell that extends around the whole player. Because of the size of the AV700, Archos has included a practical little pull-out stand to prop up the player. The AV docking pod has also been redesigned to be thinner, yet without forfeiting any AV connections. Users can connect to an analog video source through composite or S-video to schedule MPEG-4 recordings of your favorite TV show or DVD, but a Y-adapter will be required for mono-out devices because the unit does not support mono audio recording.

Unlike the Archos AV400 which has a built-in CF card slot for backing up digital photos, the AV700 has the ability to connect directly with powered USB devices like digital cameras though a dedicated port. It also features a regular USB 2.0 port to interface with PCs. Both Windows and MAC OS X operating systems should recognize it as an external storage device without need of driver installations, though there are times where Windows would fail to recognize the AV700 correctly. If you face this situation, switching the USB Port mode from “Windows Device” to “Hard Drive” in the System settings should fix it. 

More New Features

In addition to basic DivX and XviD support, the other new feature of the AV700 over its predecessors is the ability to play Windows Media Video files as well as its DRM-protected variations (as long as they are recorded in the WMV9 Simple Profile format that is). However, it is sad to note that Q-Pel (quarter-pixel motion estimation) recording and regular MPEG files are still not supported. On top of its basic media player functions, AV700 is able to load Mophun-based games for times when you are bored with just playing back media content.

Of all the new features added to the unit, Archos has finally included the ability to create bookmarks with the AV700. We also noticed that the three-button interface seen on the AV420 has been redesigned to suit the longer side menu length of the AV700. Because of this new format, users can adjust video settings on-the-fly while they are being played. Even its already user-friendly interface has been improved with the addition of two small buttons surrounding the four directional buttons for speedier vertical scrolling.

Final Thoughts

On the whole, we loved the Archos AV700 with its large screen, great viewing angle and loud stereo sound, ideal portable for sharing a movie with friends. It has a decent battery life that lasted just shy of its rated four hours in our tests. However, due to its size and weight, the AV700 becomes too uncomfortable to hold for long durations, but would possibly make a relatively cost-effective companion for a long road trip.

There are two versions of the AV700 – one sporting 40GBs of storage (AV740) and the other having 100GB (AV7100). Both are available now retailing around US$596 and US$835 respectively. 


 

Product Specifications

  • Storage: 40/100GB
  • Display: 7-inch LCD 480 x 234 pixels, 262k colors
  • Video recording: MPEG-4 SP and AVI format
  • Video playblack: MPEG-4 SP with B-Frames (compatible with DivX 4/5), AVI, WMV9 SP (including protected WMVs)
  • Photo viewer: JPEG and BMP
  • AV Connections: Docking pod with video pass-through, AV In & Out cables, SCART In & Out for European version, IR emitter jack, Earphones, Audio/Video line out
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 10.7 x 20.9 x 1.9cm
  • Weight: 590g