Pack light, it is my travel creed but I always needed a laptop to hold the hundreds of photos I take on a trip. It pulled double duty to check email or watch a video but mostly it is 4lbs extra to carry everywhere. I needed a smaller device that handled those tasks with at least a 20Gb HDD, and much lighter. Enter the Archos 604 WiFi.
Weighing less than a pound, the 604 WiFi can fit in the side pocket of my camera bag ready to download photos directly from the camera. The 30Gb hard drive can hold up to 40 movies, 300 000 photos or 15000 songs, enough to satisfy my entertainment needs and store all my photos.
Archos kept the unit cost down by selling the various connectors as accessories, you pick and choose what you need. I bought the docking adapter to download photos from our cameras, and it included a recharger for $30.
Video playback is excellent on its 4.3 inch TFT display, and the handy kickstand allows hands free use. My only gripe is that I had to buy additional software to play MPEG-2 files.
The WiFi connects easily with any available network and the Opera browser displays the majority of websites without difficulty. Navigation using the buttons is simple but some highlight on the icons would help in most lighting conditions. Alternately, the touch screen provides access to all functions as well as a keyboard for data entry. If you want to write long emails find an Internet cafe but it is adequate for short inputs.
Recommended retail price is US$449.99 but check your favorite technology supplier for better prices. Save up to US$100 by purchasing the standard 604 if you do not need a Web enabled device.