Normally, these Archos devices can record from the telly, but this one is special, it can record for itself, we review the Gmini 402.The feel of the device itself is very swish, fitting within my hands perfectly (although I must admit I do have small hands), with a neat silver and red finish.
The buttons are well space, and are all within easy reaching, however, due to the location of the camera, you need to operate it one handed when recording any video.
It sports a 20GB HDD which is perfectly adequate for storing hours upon hours of movies etc… as well as pictures and Mophun games.
You can feel it whirring when you perform any intense tasks (loading and switching off for example), and this does feel a little weird in the beginning when you are not used to these portable HDD based devices.The interface is quite bland, reminding me of the old Mac (think mid-90’s) design, however, it serves its purpose, and you won’t really spend long in the easy to navigate menus.
Video quality is actually surprisingly good for what I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t a proper camcorder replacement tool, but it is a nifty feature to have on a portable movie-screen.
Better than a mobile phone camera in a device that is about the same size is quite a feat, and it is certainly good enough for a rich kid to use day-to-day.
Recorded videos can then be synced back to the PC using a USB cable, and can be viewed using any application that utilizes the DivX plugin.
The ability to put movies recorded from a Windows Media Centre PC onto the device is an extremely useful service, although it takes almost the entire length of certain films to encode them into a format the device can read.
Being able to catch Little Nicky on the bus is one of the reasons I love these little movie players.
The player also has an installed Mophun console that allows you to play games from the upper echelons of mobile-gaming, for example ones in 3D.
It doesn’t have speakers which is a shame, but the head-phone port will allow you to plug in some portable ones if more than one person wishes to watch.
I love this little gadget, with the better-than-expected camera, and the movie playing ability, this is one of the gadgets you should really think about having in your collection.
Model: Gmini 402 Cam