Archos has been sticking with the personal media player market, gamely continuing to compete with the Apple iPod juggernaut by consistently offering players that offer more storage, better specs, bigger screens, a wider degree of compatibility, and a wider range of features. Now, the company is rolling the sixth generation of PMPs—dubbed “Internet Media Tablets”—that all pack Wi-Fi, and which include models offering HSDPA mobile broadband and up to 320 GB in storage. And they come with a new—some might say improved—look.
The new line consists of the Archos 5, Archos 5G, and Archos 7. The Achors 5 will be available with either 60, 120, or 250 GB of storage and sport a 4.8-inch 800 by 480-pixel display. The unit supports a plethora of audio and video formats (extensible to MPEG-4 and WMV HD via software plug-ins), supports POP and IMAP email, and once users register they can get the Opera Web browser with Flash 9 support. The unit offers USB 2.0 connectivity and up to 12 hours of music playback (4 hours of video) on a single battery charge.
The Archos 5G will only offer 30 GB of storage, but it will also feature a SIM card slot and an built-in antenna for connecting to HSDPA broadband services. The Archos 7 expands out to a 7-inch LCD (still 800 by 480 pixels), and offers either 160 or 320 GB of storage.
The Archos 5 should be available in the North American market this September for a suggested price of $250 for the 60 GB version; the 120 and 250 GB version will carry suggested prices of $400 and $450, respectively. The Archos 5G and 7 should ship later this year; pricing information isn’t firm, but expect to see the 5G for aroudn $550, and the Archos 7 for $450 (160 GB) and $550 (320 GB).