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-   -   Newcomer to Archos tries the A43IT (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=61950)

kishkizzle 03-10-2011 07:18 PM

Newcomer to Archos tries the A43IT
A bit of history: I'm a big Creative guy. Started with the Zen Micro, went to the Vision:M, another Vision:M, another...still have one...somewhere in there a warranty credit was applied to get a Vision W, on which I purchased another extended warranty.

I'm having difficulties with the W and since I rarely use it anyway (size makes it impractical for ANYTHING, I'm finding) I'll be sending it in. In place of it I'll be given a gift card for the store I bought it from which sells the A43IT also.

The store didn't have any of the 43s on display so I was recommended to just buy it, try it for 30 days and see if I like it...if not, return it, no problem, so that's what I've done. In only the first few hours having it I've really grown to like it, but I have some concerns:

1) Fit and Finish. It seems like the case doesn't fit together very well. On the left and right sides, the gap between the two halves of the shell is a bit wide (maybe 1/32 of an inch or something...can see through it, at least). Is this a common problem with these models? Edit: answered my own question with this picture from the Archos site. At least the unit in the photo is not like mine so I'll try to swap it for another.

2) Use as a Skype/Gmail phone. Not experienced with Android or devices like this, so can anyone tell me, in a nutshell, if it can be used for these purposes with ease?

3) Micro USB reliability. This is the first device I've used that has micro USB and it's a very fragile looking connector. Has anyone with a 43 broken it yet?

4) Kickstand reliability. I don't plan to use this feature much, but if I do use it from time to time, is the (seemingly friction-based) latch that holds it retracted likely to wear out and have it start flopping around?

I think that's just about that. Oh, anyone know why Facebook for Android won't login for me?

Thanks for any input :)

Olley 03-10-2011 07:53 PM

Kickstand is plastic. Handle it carefully. VERY useful.
No problems with the microUSB port.
No gaps on mine. Fit seems fine.
Haven't tried skype. No front facing camera. Mic and earpiece in the right places though.

kishkizzle 03-10-2011 08:46 PM

Thanks Olley. Yeah, I figured 'handle with care' would apply to the kickstand. I can definitely see the utility in it, but it does seem breakable easily.

I'm not concerned about video calls, just voice. After a little digging online I was able to get the Google apps onto it but Voice won't work properly (as I can't get a Google Voice Number, despite having an otherwise fully activated and working Google Voice account, the app won't let me log in). Skype seems even trickier...

That functionality is something I was really looking forward to :(
(microphone + speaker, wifi, Android...the no-brainer conclusion to draw is that at least one of those options would work)

dgb52 03-13-2011 10:44 PM

How is the tv out? have you tried that yet?

kishkizzle 03-14-2011 01:00 PM


Originally Posted by dgb52 (Post 543273)
How is the tv out? have you tried that yet?

Unfortunately I'm still living in the era of coax, RCA and VGA connectors, so until/unless I visit someone with an HDMI display, I can't really comment lol. I'll make an effort to, though.

Olley 03-14-2011 06:10 PM

I've tried the TV HDMI output.

Pro: The whole UI, apps and all, displays on the TV.
Con: You have the 43's blank screen to control it with. Not intuitive.

Movies look great, especially if they are 720p or better.

Greg_E 03-15-2011 12:39 PM

It is not supposed to display movies higher than 1280x720 30 progressive and only at up to 6mbps which leaves out raw material from a lot of consumer cameras that record 1280x720 60p at higher than 6mbps.

kishkizzle 03-16-2011 02:49 AM

I realized, in kind of a "d'oh" moment, that the full Market was included with the Google Apps I installed, so I took a peek there. Was delighted to find:

  • eBuddy app. No equivalents are available via AppsLib.
  • Facebook for Android which works. One is available from AppsLib but fails to log in.
  • Newest AndroIRC. Frustratingly, ad-supported unlike the one from AppsLib, but unlike the one from AppsLib, is newest version and actually works
  • Skype - and it works! Called my own home phone on the demo credit they give to new accounts and evaluated the latency and quality. I wouldn't use it often, by far, but it does work.

And so, with that, I'm leaning further and further towards this being the device I ultimately use my credit on. Not this exact unit, though. As I noted earlier the fit and finish seems questionable, so I want to try another, and I also seem to have a pressure mark showing up on the screen even though I've done nothing to cause it, so I think this one might be a bit of a lemon. Excellent guinea pig, though, as a result of having such issues.

Was I correct in thinking I read somewhere that this has a USB OTG host function?

kishkizzle 04-02-2011 09:47 PM

Returned it to the store today (return period is ending soon). The fit and finish issues and the apparent pressure mark on the screen which was there when I unboxed it are unacceptable for a device in this price range. Options were to exchange or return; I decided to return and buy another as soon as I see it go on sale, because this is definitely a cool device but I have a feeling my fit and finish complaints will apply to the next one as well.

Just Some Guy 04-02-2011 10:02 PM

Sadly, this seems to be the case with Archos devices, more often than not. I've had to return four of them shortly after purchasing. They seem to be very close to being great devices... only to have a half dozen or more minor issues ruin the experience.

Well, except for the Archos 43 Vision... that was just a steaming pile of shit. It had multiple glaring problems that made it completely useless.

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