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First Impressions

Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:21 am
by beuler

I have the device for one day now and can make some preliminary comments. Throughout the post always keep in mind that I paid Ôé¼87 for this device. You go try and purchase an iPod for that kind of money and come back to read this post with the proper perspective. Also keep in mind that my needs are very specific: a SSD Video player with composite video output. That┬┤s it. Everything else the 43 Vision can do is a bonus for me. Your needs will be different so adjust your perspective accordingly.

Packaging, accessories and manuals:
Small and simple packaging, easy to open, but well protected. Minimal accessories, not even a charger - just a USB cable and cheap headphones. The manual is thankfully very short and simple.

Look and Feel:
The design is great, just a screen surrounded by a brushed aluminum bezel with a brushed aluminum back. No buttons visible, which is very nice. It feels heavier than it looks, and feels very sturdy / robust. I have no problems handing it over to my sons to play with (18 months and 40 months old). My Archos 5 Internet Tablet has survived several rounds with the boys without any damage and the 43 vision actually looks and feels even more solid.

I was expecting a terrible screen on account of the low price and the low resolution (480 by 272 pixels). It actually is better than it seems on paper, but make no mistake: this is not a great screen. Its fine for music videos and cartoons, but do not expect Archos 5it levels of visual quality.

There are two minuscule speakers on the back. Nice! However, use the speakers for emergencies only. Headphones or external speakers are mandatory even for people who do not mind poor sound quality. As a reference, the internal speakers on the Archos 5it are better, but no by much.

Very basic Media Player features - Music, Video and Photos. Bonus features:
- A voice recorder with built in microphone (but no mic connection).
- A .txt file viewer. Why?
- A date and time widget with chronometer and calendar.
- Accepts microSDHC cards. Fantastic!
- Playlists, repeat and shuffle functions.
Missing features: there is absolutely no file management at all. I put in a microSD card full of video file that I thought I could copy to the internal memory, but there is no way to copy. All file management has to be done on a USB host computer such as a Windows PC. I think the new Archos Internet tablets have USB host capability and maybe that could work nicely.

User Interface:
Fast start-up, around 3 to 5 seconds. No buttons anywhere, just a touch screen interface. Not even a volume dial. The user interface is VERY VERY SIMPLE. There is no learning curve. Just turn it on and start using it. The touch screen is not very responsive. I do not mean that you must press hard. I mean that many times it fails to register your touch (slow cpu?). Just take it slowly and it works nicely. Do not expect iPod levels of functionality with this screen. If you browse you music library a lot then this will not work for you. Just turn it on, choose a song or video and sit back to listen/watch and it works as advertised.

Sound quality (external speakers/headphones):
Not yet tested, but expect usual Archos levels. I am not an audiophile anyway so my opinion here counts for little.

Video quality (external screen):
Not yet tested - no video out cables are provided in the box so I must go out and buy some! Realize that this is not an HD player. This is a DVD quality player - resolution tops out at 480 lines and higher resolution levels are not supported. Not eve the old European PAL standard of 576 lines. If you need HD or even HDMI output, the much more expensive Archos 43 Internet Tablet should do very nicely.

Miscellaneous observations:
I hate cable clutter so it is a very nice bonus that this layer can share the mini USB cable with my Tom Tom sat nav. I also noticed that the X-mini II portable capsule speakers also use the same USB plug so I am considering getting them as an accessory.

Overall conclusion:
I needed a dvd quality video player with composite output to connect to the screens mounted on the headrests of my new car for my kids to watch. Solid state flash memory is important because of the moving car. I also wanted a very portable player with built in screen that I can give to them to watch in a restaurant or hotel room when traveling (I already do this with my a5 Internet Tablet which is very risky since if it is damaged I lose my personal pocket computer). At first I thought it would cost me ate least Ôé¼300 for an iPod without the possibility to expand the memory, but it turns out I could solve my problem for less than Ôé¼90! Make no mistake: the 43 Vision is not a pocket computer with many apps like the iPod Touch or the Archos Internet Tablets. It is just a media player. It turns out the price to performance ratio of this player is very unbalanced in favor of the consumer. I am very happy!

Re: First Impressions - Upodate

Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:37 pm
by beuler
Battery life seems huge, still going strong and far far from needing a charge, even after copying some files and viewing some videos.

As for getting video out cables? Not that easy. I am now considering ordering them from the Archos Store for Ôé¼10.

Re: First Impressions

Posted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:20 pm
by beuler

Screen broke after the unit served as a toy for a young toddler for many hours. It actually survived being tossed on the floor countless times without damage, but finally acquired a long crack across the screen.

Still works fine though.

Also, I confirm again that battery life is very long - maybe due to the low rez screen.

The unresponsiveness of the touch screen is beginning to annoy me now.

Re: First Impressions - update and recomendation

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:59 pm
by beuler
Actually half the screen has lost touch sensitivity after it broke. The bottom half of the screen is not responding to any input.

It is also impossible to recalibrate, since the recalibration command can no longer be accessed.

Maybe if I hook it up to a PC via USB cable something can be done...

My final recommendation on this unit has to be...

The touch screen works so poorly that you will come to hate using it - even if you get it for free. This is a very big shame, because everything else in the unit was just awesome at the price. As it is, don't be tempted, even at deep discounts.

Re: First Impressions

Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:26 am
by mplant1999
The touch screen works so poorly that you will come to hate using it - even if you get it for free. This is a very big shame, because everything else in the unit was just awesome at the price. As it is, don't be tempted, even at deep discounts.
I bought one for my son this fall and intially was enamoured of it. however, after about two weeks I took it back because the touchscreen was that bad... this is a real shame because with a more responsive screen i think Archos could have sold quite a few of them. Of course, I would like to have seen higher res screen it as well... I wonder what the new 35's screen is like?

Re: First Impressions

Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:49 pm
by mnguyen18
Yes, that was pretty much my opinion when I purchased the player at Future Shop when it first came out end of last year (the serial number was 103XXXXXX). However, recently I had a chance to exchange my player during the new year. Archos 43 vision players with a later serial number (104XXXXXXX) have better responsive touchscreens and the latest firmware installed.

I haven't found too many reviews of the archos 35 vision and it's not sold at Best Buy Canada or Future Shop yet. I'm guessing it is a rebranded Ramos T8HD, just like the Archos 43 vision was a rebranded Ramos T8. When I googled 1 website (diplo something) said that it was efficient but felt fragile compared to the Archos 43 vision.

Re: First Impressions

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:20 pm
by Fontaine
Hello everyone, i purchased the archos just before christmas last year i've only had it about two months and its completely broke. The issue is the touch screen it will not respond to anything i click only it will respond to the opposit direction in which im clicking. I've tried calaborating it but it still doesnt work as the calaborator takes at least 1 hour to actually get it to go off. I dont think its supposed to take that long? So the screen has made it impossible to do anything on it. Also when i have my earphones in it plays outloud !
So im having to buy something different now and im devastated because it was a christmas present and so much money ! x :(