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Video Players Go Wireless: Archos 704 WiFi

Now that mobile phones are encroaching into the domain of media players with downloadable and streaming music (see the impending Apple iPhone), it's only fair that media players return the favor by also becoming connected devices.

For example, the SanDisk Sansa Connect is a flash-based music player with WiFi connectivity, but focused on subscription music. Users with a Yahoo! ID can listen to Internet radio, browse Flickr albums and photos, and see what friends are listening to. And users with a Yahoo! Music Unlimited subscription can download tracks and albums, and receive song recommendations from friends.

Meanwhile, Archos has been developing fill-fledged portable video players with full WiFi access, including Web browsing and access to files on your local network. Yes, you can check your e-mail from your media player, and stream videos wirelessly from local computers or Internet sites.

I've had a chance to try out the Archos 704-WiFi, part of the Archos generation 4 product line -- larger-screen portable players with hard disk storage for serious video clips, plus models with wide screens, massive storage, build-in camcorders, and WiFi.

See more on the Archos gen 4 line: Archos Portable Media Players

The Archos 704 is focused on video playback, with a large 7-inch widesceen color display (800 x 480) and stereo speakers below to share the fun. There's even a kick-stand in the back so you can stand it up on a table. Plus, the 704 sports a touch screen interface, so it has a very clean design with a minimum of buttons.

It's available with an 80 GB hard drive for $549.99, to store up to some 40,000 songs, 100 movies, or 800,000 photos.

Just be aware that this is not a cute little player to carry in your shirt pocket -- it's 7.05 x 4.96 x 0.78 inches, and weighs a noticeable 22 ounces. It's powered by a removable Lithium-Ion Polymer battery, and rated to run for up to 25 hours of music playback and 5.5 hours for video.

See more in the Portable Media Players Gallery, under Hard Disk Video Players.

See full article: Video Players Go Wireless: Archos 704 WiFi

    Check out the Archos 704-WiFi on Amazon.com.

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