Archos 105 - Mp3 Player
The small MP3 player is incredibly lightweight and supports full-screen WMV video. MP3, WMA (protected and unprotected) and WAV files are all supported, and the player will display any JPEG photos you find yourself inclined to store on it. Not bad for a player that''ll only cost about £60 when it''s released in a few weeks here in the UK.The small MP3 player is incredibly lightweight and supports full-screen WMV video. MP3, WMA (protected and unprotected) and WAV files are all supported, and the player will display any JPEG photos you find yourself inclined to store on it. Not bad for a player that''ll only cost about £60 when it''s released in a few weeks here in the UK.
Instantly, we noted how lightweight the 105 is. Archos has kept this player slim and weightless, without compromising its generally rugged feel. It''s encased in a peculiar matte-finished plastic that feels like a sort of pseudo-metal. A standard mini USB port sits next to a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top of the player. We were sad not to see a physical hold switch -- you''ll need to press and hold the power/menu button to lock the plastic keypad.
The only out-right disappointing aspect of the 105''s design is the screen -- it''s seriously low-resolution. It does its job but it''s hardly putting its back into it. This was obviously a corner seriously cut in order to keep the player''s price below £60.
The 105 sports the same simple icon-driven interface used in other 5th-gen Archos players. Navigation is easy and menus are laid out intuitively. Music is sorted in the typical album>artist>song format, but can be browsed by genre or release date too. Videos and images are sorted in the same text-based way. While this is simple to work with, thumbnails would''ve been a nice touch.
Audio format support is quite average; only music in MP3, WMA or WAV is supported. Again, while this is understandable considering the player''s low cost, AAC or FLAC would''ve been appreciated. Videos in WMV are supported at 160x128-pixel resolution. There''s no software provided so you''ll need to handle conversion yourself through Windows Media Player. JPEG images aren''t restricted -- even a 2,304x1, 728-pixel photo didn''t look too bad on the small screen.
We started our test by playing the lovely Kate Nash. Her lyrically unusual track, Mouthwash, sounded fairly average. The overall brightness of the recording is lost with this player; cymbals lack their crystalline tones and the subtle sparkle of tambourines doesn''t shine like they do on competing players, such as Sony''s NW-E013. On Dream Theater''s Endless Sacrifice, the general muddiness across the audible spectrum was disappointing. Even for £59 we''d expect better performance.
A 160x128-pixel video running at just over 200kbps is only ever going to look very average. For such an affordable player, the video performance is acceptable; it''s not great, but it''ll do. The odd music video or downloaded You Tube clip will look fine.
Files can simply be dragged and dropped through Windows, Mac OS X or Linux, or using Windows Media Player. Thanks to poor data transfer speed, the whole process will require you to sit around twiddling your fingers. Battery life is a little below average at 18 hours for audio, but we got an acceptable 4 hours and 20 minutes of video playback.
Sound quality was superb, which we expected given the great performance of other Archos models. The 38mm (1.5-inch) colour screen is the only thing we''re a little disappointed with -- its size is adequate, but the resolution is a little lower than we''d have liked. Videos play well though, and the traditional icon-based Archos navigation system will guide you through the various menus.