Thursday, March 13, 2008

Archos 605 vs Nokia N800

One of the first things I did when I got my Archos was to compare it to my Nokia N800. Even though their focuses are different, I put them in the same usage category as secondary gadgets (i.e. you would have a phone/pda as a primary device). Size-wise, here are some shots of the two side-by-side.
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From a size perspective, they are not too far apart. Each of them comes with a nice functional case which is enough to protect the device.
Here are some of the first glance differences between them:
1. The Archos does not have a built-in holder for the stylus. It seems like an odd omission.
2. The Archos' default onscreen keyboard has keys that are easily used without a stylus. This is a welcome change from my Nokia N800 which sports a tiny initial keyboard which can be made larger by pressing the 'enter' key.
3. Where the N800 is designed to stay connected to the Wifi if you let it, the Archos will disconnect after a period of idleness.
After playing with them both side-by-side I've come to the same conclusion that most others have arrived at which is simply that the Archos 605 is an media-centric device, while the Nokia N800 is an internet-leaning device.
To wit, the Archos has been able to play every movie and music format that I've thrown at it. Even the streaming media incorporates seamlessly into the video, photos and music folders. The built-in media players work nicely, even if the navigation is not the most intuitive. And, as a nice extra feature, you can clip a scene from a movie or video and make a picture or wallpaper from it. If you've purchased the optional DVR station (and believe me, you will want to pick it up) you can also record shows from your satellite or cable and watch them on your Archos. I have a TiVo, so this isn't the most used feature for me, but it also works the other way around, letting me watch movies from my Archos on my TV. As advertised, I can also surf the internet from the TV using the remote control:

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The Archos also has a really neat way to handle YouTube videos. When you select a movie to play, it opens up in full-screen mode. Although, to be fair, yesterday I discovered the mYTube, which is a YouTube player specfically for the Nokia N800:

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So far, my decision is to keep both of these devices. We'll see what happens as time goes on.

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