At a press conference here in broiling London this morning, Archos showed off its currently gestating trio of MP3 players for the autumn -- the Archos Clipper, the Archos 2 Vision and the Archos 3 Vision.
Most interesting is the latter -- it's that thing up above in the photo, no less! -- which has a 400x240-pixel, 76mm (3-inch) touchscreen and will sell for £90 for the 8GB model.
The 3 Vision is a slim, metallic MP3 player with TV-out functionality (cables included for once), FM radio and FM transmitter, support for MP3, WMA, FLAC, OGG and WAV music format, and MPEG-4, WMV and FLV video formats. It'll launch some time in August with various memory options, but details for these weren't available.
In the brief time we played with it, it felt like a solid, if lightweight player, with a responsive capacitive touchscreen. We've never plastered oodles of hot sticky love over the cheaper Archos players, but this may be the first exception to the rule: despite bringing little innovation to the market, it's smart-looking, well-specced and decent value.
The Clipper is a screenless 2GB player, and at £20 it competes neatly with Creative's £20 Zen Stone. We didn't see one in person, but as with all screenless MP3 players, it's hard to get excited about it. It'll launch in August.
The Archos 5 and Archos 7 will be getting Archos 5 Vision and Archos 7 Vision brothers and sisters towards the end of the year, but no details were offered at the press conference as to what the bleeding hell that means. Watch this space.
Hands-on pictures of the Archos 3 Vision are overleaf.