What's not to love about an affordable, WiFi, touchscreen, high-res portable video player? The Archos 605 WiFi is the top must-have gadget for anyone spending a lot of time in planes, trains or automobiles (passengers, of course).
In hindsight, I realize that choosing the nebulous purple background image seems a little odd. Fortunately, the 605 lets you assign any image or video frame to the background for easy customization. One of the coolest features on the 605 WiFi is the addition of the Content Portal (bottom left icon) that allows you to wirelessly download movies and music over WiFi.
Even though the Archos 605 WiFi uses touch screen navigation, you can just as easily control all the player's features using the contoured buttons that line the right side of the screen. We found that the touchscreen was ideal for using the Web browser (necessary, actually, when using the touch screen keyboard), but video and music playback control was more reliable using the button navigation.
Dumping out the contents of the Archos 605 WiFi's box, you'll find the player, a padded cloth case, earbuds (pretty good), styli for the touch screen (fingers work fine), and the proprietary USB cable.
One of the biggest mistakes PVP manufacturers make, is putting a glossy screen on their product that creates so much glare that video is either impossible to watch, or you spend half the time distracted by your reflection. Archos really nailed the anti-reflective screen on their 5th- generation players. The fact that you can't see our photographer's camera reflection in this photo is a testament to that.
When the airplane captain announces you can put your tray tables down, the Archos 605 WiFi's built-in metal kickstand really comes in handy. Nothing is more irritating than having to hold your PVP for an hour-long movie.
For an extra $99, you can make the 605 WiFi the center of your home entertainment center. A Tivo-esque programming guide allows you to easily program video recording times and the full QWERTY remote control lets you browse the internet on your TV from the comfort of your couch.
While most PVP are too brick-like to stuff in your pocket, the 605 WiFi's dimensions are smaller than a Moleskine notebook. The recessed screen and button lock function will make insure that the 605 doesn't accidentally start playing in your pocket.
Here you can get a better sense of the unique, wavy contour of the 605 WiFi's buttons. The left-to-right button is convex, rather than concave, offering a tactile cue to differentiate from its neighbors.