Archos PMA430

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Archos PMA430

Pros

  • Wireless options, TV recording, organiser functions

Cons

  • No FM tuning/recording

Bottom Line

Although the Archos PMA430 lacks automatic photo slideshows, screen orientation switching and true widescreen support, it would still tempt audio-visual enthusiasts with deep pockets.

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The Archos Pocket Media Assistant PMA430 features a 3.5" touch screen display. When it's propped up (no kickstand is included) it's quite viewable from above. But when the device is laid flat on a desk or your lap, it's much harder to see.

The PMA430 is well built with protective rubberised edges and is a little smaller than some similar multimedia players. The PMA430 has a 30GB hard disk; enough capacity for roughly 6500 songs, 120 hours of video or 300,000 photos. It also has a USB 2.0 interface, can also double as external hard disk and includes internal directory structures for organising your media files (see specifications for full listing of supported photo, music and movie file formats).

The Archos can record input from a built-in microphone and has a host of extra features. Its bundled TV cradle provides a convenient method for TV output (composite or S-Video) and serves as the interface to record directly from the TV--complete with schedule and quality options.

The PMA430 also includes wireless networking and Linux-based PDA-style features. These include a "today" screen (comprising tasks, email and events overview), an email client, Opera Web browser, a calendar, contacts, to do list, clock, world time, calculator, text editor, terminal and PDF viewer. There are three types of text input. Handwriting recognition involves using the stylus to write into three sections at the bottom of the display: capital and lower case letters, plus numbers. It guesses the words you're trying to write and displays possibilities for you to choose. There is also an on-screen keyboard and SMS-style pre-emptive text input.

One last trick in the PMA430's arsenal is its ability to play Mophun games (www.mophun.com)--think newer mobile phone-style titles.

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