If you ever want to excite a gadget fiend, just walk up and whisper these words into their ear, "Touch screen...WiFi...high-resolution...Mac-compatible.
Only a few companies can compete with Archos when it comes to both product and interface design. The 605 WiFi is as elegantly conceived as anything we've seen from Apple or Sony. Measuring 4.75 inches wide, 3.25 inches tall, and just a hair more than a half-inch thick, the 605 strikes that front-pocket sweet spot; it's big enough to do video justice, yet small and thin enough to comfortably fit in your pants pocket. The recessed 4.3-inch TFT LCD screen is not only bright, colorful, and glare-resistant, but it displays at a resolution of 800x480, making it one of the highest-resolution PVPs on the market. We're also happy to see that the screen valiantly resists smudges despite its dual-duty as a touch screen.
With most portable media players, what you see is what you get. But with any Archos product, the gear you buy is a base to which you can add additional features, for a price. Some accuse Archos of skimping on features to maintain an artificially attractive price, but you can also think of it as Archos allowing their customers to purchase only the features they want. Either way, the out-of-the-box 605 comes with most of the features people want in a PVP, and plug-ins--such as high-definition video playback, Internet radio
First and foremost, the Archos 605 WiFi is a video player, and an unrivaled one at that. Portable video players such as the Cowon A2 or the Creative Zen Vision:W simply don't offer comparable video resolution, not to mention the capability to download movies wirelessly or act as a full-fledged DVR.
As a music player, the 605 weighs in at the bulkier side, but its sound quality equals that of most of our preferred MP3 players. Both the customizable five-band equalizer and independent Bass Boost controls err on the side of subtlety, but we think they offer just the right amount of sonic sculpting without mangling the sound into an overprocessed mush. (The same sound enhancement features apply to movie audio playback.) For those of you pulling media files from both a Mac and a PC, you'll be happy to know that the 605 WiFi can boot in multiple USB modes, both MSC and MTP, allowing it to work as both a drag-and-drop hard drive and a Windows Media Player device.