This thing is as phat as Oprah in the 80s. The world's first handheld, tuner-equipped personal video recorder has been gifted to us, the luckiest generation, by Archos. The AV700 TV receives digital TV with dual tuners, which work in tandem so that the signal received is absolutely top-notch.
The AV700 TV can receive digital TV in a car at speeds of up to 80mph. Pointless to us, though -- we refuse to drop below 90 unless there are so many children, pets and old people jammed under the car that fuel economy is severely compromised.
You can pack up to 35 hours of television programmes onto the AV700 TV -- and because its tuners are integrated, you don't ever have to plug the unit into a computer if you don't want to. This sidesteps one of the biggest problems with previous Archos units such as the AV500 -- transferring video from a PC was often teeth-grindingly frustrating.
Sadly, the control system on the AV700 TV is unchanged from previous iterations -- it's completely obscure in operation. Buttons are labelled with nonsensical hieroglyphs that will puzzle the first-time user for several minutes before he or she, overcome with grief and madness, simply dies. Forever.
Interface quibbles aside, this is the best-looking and most comprehensively specced video player you could hope for. If you're dawdling about in the indecisive slumland of pre-purchase anxiety, whip your proboscis out and lay a stack of Robert Stephensons on the counter at Dixons. The AV700 TV will be available later this month for around £480. -CS
Update: a full review of the Archos AV700 TV is now live.