- Easy to use, handy cradle, good-quality earbuds, excellent sound and video quality
- Poor bottom viewing angle
A handy unit with great stereo sound and visual quality, the AV420 is an excellent all-round device with a good feature set.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
Like Creative Zen Portable Media Center, the Archos AV420 allows you to store and view photos and movies, listen to music and record from any video source (such as TV or VCR) straight to its built-in 20GB hard drive.
The AV420 is about the size of a PDA and weighs 280g. It features a 3.5" backlit colour LCD (320 x 240 pixels) with great side and top viewing angles, but a poor bottom viewing angle.
The custom operating system and right-hand side control buttons make it quite easy to navigate and use the AV420. Getting data onto the device is also easy--you connect the AV420 to your PC or Mac via USB 2.0 and treat it just like an external hard drive. The AV420 can also store non-media data like spreadsheets.
The AV420 has a directory structure for organising content. You place your JPEG or BMP images in the photo folder, your MP3, WAV or WMA (including protected) files in the music folder and your MPEG-4 video files in the video folder. Although XviD and DivX (4.0 and 5.0) video files should play back with little problem, you need to use the supplied converter software to transcode unsupported video files.
The convenient Archos AV cradle saves you the hassle of repeatedly setting up cables and is used to output the contents of the AV420 to a TV, and for video input and recording. When the cradle is connected (via composite or S-Video) to a video source, such as a VHS, and you enter recording mode, the AV420 automatically detects the video signal and allows you to record the input onto the hard drive in real time.
This is where the full-sized infrared remote control comes in handy. You can select high (up to 512 x 384) or low recording resolutions intended for playback on either a TV or the AV420's own display. You can also adjust a recording's bitrate to conserve space. The AV420 records video in MPEG-4 format.
Audio recording (in WAV format) is also available (there's even a built-in microphone). A mono speaker is integrated, but the supplied earbuds work better. Testing recording and playback using default settings, we found the stereo sound and visual quality to be excellent.
Archos claims the rechargeable 3.7V lithium-ion battery should last for about four hours of video and around 14 hours of music playback. That claim was backed up by our tests. The battery is removable and you can purchase extra batteries in anticipation of long trips.
A built-in CompactFlash slot allows you to copy pictures to the AV420's hard drive, and an optional four-in-one adapter accommodates other media cards. Other options include an FM radio/headphone remote, but there's no word on camera attachments like those designed for the AV300 series.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Apple TV will serve as hub for remotely controlling HomeKit devices
- Sony Smart B-Trainer headset gives runners vocal advice
- The iPod classic plays its last
- Apple iPod Touch pricing slashed by up to 25 per cent in Australia
- Apple shows off iPod touch, nano updates
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCSenior Systems Engineer - WintelVIC
- CCSenior Systems EngineerQLD
- FTSenior Java DeveloperVIC
- CCData Migration Lead | Recruitment Focus | DocklandsVIC
- FTImplementation ConsultantNSW
- TPProgram Governance Lead (PMO)VIC
- FTSenior Software Developer (x3)WA
- FTPre-Sales Solution Architect - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- FTPHP DeveloperWA
- FTLevel 3 Service Desk Support Engineer / Project ManagerQLD
- FTDeployment Analyst / Customer Service - Minchinbury NSWNSW
- CCJava DeveloperACT
- FTSenior System AdministratorNSW
- CCReporting System Specialist - Port MacquarieNSW
- FTIT Security ConsultantNSW
- CCData ArchitectWA
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- FTSenior Procurement Specialist -| 3mth ContracVIC
- FTProduct Manager (IT Clinical Systems) - Permanent - Syd, Melb or BrisbNSW
- TPChange ManagerVIC
- CCJava / J2EE DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior Java DeveloperVIC
- CCData AnalystNSW
- FTDesktop EngineerNSW