How do you know Opera isn't working hard with Archos to make the Opera browser work smoothly on Archos devices? Every time Archos releases a new product, Opera is quick at being proud in all types of press releases about their work in making it work.
Because every time I've seen someone asking a question about Opera on Archos, over on the Opera Community forum the mods over there (I'm talking about actual Opera employees) implied that they have little or nothing to do with the development of the Opera browser which Archos provide, and that any problems people may have (either in features or usability) need to be directed to Archos. In fact, they originally had all the Archos-related posts in the wrong forum and didn't know how to categorise this version of Opera - I was the one who suggested they simply put it in their forum called "Opera for other devices" (it may have changed by now), which they did.
The responses from Opera's people were actually so poor that I had to throw a lifebuoy in there once or twice and direct some frustrated posters over to this forum.
I makes me think that Opera churn out standard marketing blurb-style press releases just to give the impression of some deep and wonderful co-operation going on in the background.
I'm sure someone at Opera is being very helpful and working with Archos, but my guess is that it's more at a support level to enable Archos to make the most of Opera's SDK, rather than working together to add new features.
That being said, Opera would probably take note of any comments which Archos might make, but they have a lot of platforms to cater for and, with their current drive towards improving their multi-platform desktop version, I'm not sure this one is top of their task list right now.
It sounds like there is some improvement in the speed of the browser on the new Archos but that, otherwise, things are pretty much the same as before (only 5 tabs etc.), although I haven't had time to read the manual yet, and I'm interested in how this mail client is implemented - whether it is akin to Opera's M2 client, or just some web-based service.
Could it be that Archos have just simply got a bit more experience and know-how behind them and have simply managed to improve their implementation of the web browser using the same SDK? Maybe there's some hardware change they've made to make the same browser work better. I don't know, I'm only wondering.
Maybe you could ask Archos about it. Ask them for more than 5 tabs if you can, and ask them if this new superfast browser is something they could put in a firmware update for the 605/705.