Archos isn’t just about internet tablets running Android or touchscreen PCs that gazump its fruit-infused rival. Nope, the French PMP maker is also making waves at the budget end, with the Archos 2 and Archos 3 Vision already squaring up to the iPod nano. So can its new Archos Clipper see off Apple’s other tiny jukebox, the iPod Shuffle? Read our full Archos Clipper review now and we’ll reveal all.
The Archos Clipper works on the same basis as the iPod Shuffle, as its name suggests. Take it out on a run and you use the clip round the back to keep it secure on your sweaty T-shirt. With 2GB on board, it can’t rival the top-end Shuffle for space, but with an MP3 player of this size, it hardly matters. Having 1,000 tunes shuffling can be an infuriating distraction: 500 is plenty. Plus the smaller size keeps the price down.
Sadly, it doesn’t compare well to Apple’s effort when it comes to usability. You’ll find that not having any way of skipping through tracks on the headphone cable is a right pain when you’re on the move. And flicking through tunes on the Archos Clipper itself is also a real letdown. The process is laggy and you’ll end up prodding too much until you realise it really does take the best part of two seconds to jump through that Van Der Graaf Generator tune you accidentally slipped on board.
It’s not all bad news for the Archos Clipper though. Sound quality is ace and doesn’t disappoint, although the headphones you get in the box don’t help matters. It seems every major MP3 purveyor thinks it’s ok to drop some naff earphones in the box. It’s not. We’re not asking for Shure sound quality. Just some buds that don’t give us ear ache.
You can’t deny the Archos Clipper is a cracking Shuffle alternative. It works with every major OS, uses drag and drop and works on the same premise of easy access to music on the move. And at £18, we’re willing to overlook some of its bigger niggles.