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Summary:

Web-surfing takes another step towards convergence with portable media players today. The Opera folks announced today that Opera 9 will become freely available to owners of the ARCHOS 5, 5g and 7 line of devices when they arrive. The ARCHOS 5 (shown) is due out this […]

Archos5Web-surfing takes another step towards convergence with portable media players today. The Opera folks announced today that Opera 9 will become freely available to owners of the ARCHOS 5, 5g and 7 line of devices when they arrive. The ARCHOS 5 (shown) is due out this month, while the 5g and 7 models are expected to follow in October and December, respectively. ARCHOS is actually calling these ARM-based devices Internet Media Tablets since they not only play audio and video content locally stored on the hard drives, but because they also offer wireless connectivity through WiFi and 3G, depending on the model. Here’s a quick run-down of the ARCHOS 5:

  • 800×480, 4.8-inch touchscreen
  • 60-, 120-, or 250-GB hard drive
  • Integrated 802.11 b/g
  • Audio support: MP3, WMA, protected WMA, with optional software plug-in: AAC, AAC+
  • Video support: MPEG-4, WMV, protected WMV, with optional software plug-in: 720p MPEG-4, 720p WMV, MPEG-2, H.264

The ARCHOS 5g adds wireless broadband to the ARCHOS 5, while the ARCHOS 7 boosts the screen size to 7-inches, increases the hard drive options to 160- and 320-GB and adds a small kick-stand to prop the unit up.

Having used Opera on my older Samsung Q1 ultra-mobile PCs with the same 800×480 resolution, I’d expect the web experience to be enjoyable on the ARCHOS line. It’s a shame that they didn’t opt for a 1024×600 display on the 7-inch unit though as that would have reduced some horizontal scrolling. Then again, Opera offers that nice "Fit to Width" option, which is a huge help for smaller-screened devices.

  1. Opera on board makes them that much more compelling. Had dismissed them, now they’re worth a look. Wonder if pricing has been announced… I’m off to Google.

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  2. 60GB Archos 5 is $350 on Amazon – competitive with the Nokia N810. Obviously you give up a few things for a more media-centric device, such as keyboard and GPS. The $100 DVR accessory looks pretty hot – you can record TV stuff with included guide and then take with you. AND display web stuff direct on TV – comes with a keyboard mouse remote thingy. Wonder how Opera/Flash handle Hulu? Hmmmmm…

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