(Pocket-lint) - If I had written this review before the 5 September then it would have been completely different. The Apple iPod touch wouldn't have been announced and the Archos would have got a glowing review. So has our opinion changed overnight? Read on to find out.
The Archos 605 media player is apart of the company's 5th generation PMPs and its main focus is the touch screen display and the inclusion of wireless b/g connectivity allowing you to connect to the Internet whenever you find a Wi-Fi hotspot out and about or in your living room.
The wireless connection is used in two major ways, firstly allowing you to access information like downloadable content via a new content portal and streaming content from your PC to your television.
Sporting a large 4.3-inch 800 x 600 pixel resolution touchscreen display, the device is capable of playing back photos, video, music, and television programs that you've recorded direct from your TV via the included phono cables in the box.
In use, and the screen in incredibly clear, crisp and easy to use. Although you can use your fingers directly on the screen to control the menus and options, Archos has also included a series of hard buttons down the side of the screen for controlling things like volume. Those with fat fingers can chose to use one of the two styluses in the box, although they don't fit on or in the 605 itself, but rather the included leather case.
YouTube fans will love the fact that the model, which will be available in 4GB, 30GB, 160GB versions, gets one-up Apple's iPhone by supporting flash playback.
Why is this interesting? Because it means you can tune into WebTV channels like Megawhat.tv and via the wireless connection watch content on the go rather than just be restricted to YouTube application on the iPod touch or iPhone.
In practice and the shop interface is simple but basic, with little content of interest at the moment. The clips that were available downloaded quickly and thanks to progessive downloading, you could start watching clips before they had finished downloading.
An optional extra, the unit can come with a docking station for your television making it easy to record programmes from your PVR or Sky box via phono connections. The docking station also comes with a QWERTY keyboard remote that allows you to utilise the personal media player's features as well as surf the web, all via your television.
In use and once setup with the mindfield of cables, its really easy to use, although just like the video recorder timer option it replicates not completely straight forward, those looking to make things easier can opt to upgrade to an EPG and it then becomes a press of a button rather than a few.
Our first impressions of Archos 605 were impressive, but then the Apple iPod touch arrived. So how do the two compare? Well the Archos has a bigger screen and the added benefit of being able to record with the docking station straight from the television without a need for the PC.
As for the Wi-Fi, both offer the same options, however Apple's access to 6,000,000 songs makes it the better of the two compared to the Archos store's minimal offering.
There is also the question of design and interface. Apple's as you might expect is miles better with that gleam and sheen you've come to expect from the Curpertino based company.
Where the Archos does win out is the size of the storage, with the 160Gb version 10 times that of the iPod touch.
If recording from the television is your main priority and you need the large drive then this is the one for you, if you not going to use that feature, then iPod touch it is.