Integrating WiFi to non-computing devices seems all the rage over the past year; Archos joined the mobile fracas by adding wireless connectivity to their model 604 portable media player and the Iron Cook gives it a whirl in his digital kitchen. I’ve used a rebadged Archos before (an Echostar Dish AV700) and walked away less than thrilled with the screen. Unfortunately, on a PMP, a good screen tends to be my number one desire. The 480 x 272 resolution on a 7-inch screen left me underwhelmed but the 604 WiFi uses that same res on a 4.3-inch touch-screen: tighter pixel density helps with picture quality, all other aspects being equal. Possibly not in this case however; the full review at SpicyGadget shares some insights there.
Iron Cook also noticed some audio distortion out of the mono speaker, another possible disappointment to me in a media player. You’ll get a 30 GB hard-drive for media storage, which ought to be enough for most, unless you plan to carry a whole season of television video with you. Using a hard-drive in lieu of flash memory keeps the cost of the unit down but sacrifices battery life as well. Watching videos, the Iron Cook squeezed 4 to 5 hours out of the battery, but only 2 when surfing the web.
It’s not all bad to mediocre news for the Archos 604 WiFi; the stand worked very well. ;) Seriously, if you’re in the market for a PMP with a screen larger than an iPod video plus want the ability to wirelessly surf the web via a touchscreen, this review might help you decide if the 604 WiFi is worth the $400 or so. Me personally: that’s almost half of a base UMPC in terms of price, so I’ll stick with what I have and be able do so much more.