by Archos

Archos AV420 Pocket Video Recorder
Barrier to Entry: Auto-recording is a pain.
The Luddite Likes: Movies on the train, long battery life.
Verdict: Wait for next gen.
Cost: $550

Monday, 1 P.M. Scared. Not even sure what an AV420 is, let alone how to use it. My
curiosity is piqued after I watch the sample video of a Frenchman named Antoine’s tropical travels.

Wednesday, 4 P.M. Figure I’ll ease in by loading some music, but get lost around step 12. Eventually copy one song, but even David Byrne gets old.

Friday, 9 A.M. Ready to connect it to the TV. The cradle alone has more wires than my whole apartment.

Saturday, 11 A.M. A miracle! I pressed “record” and it did. The Fog of War looks great on the 3.5-inch screen, although holding the AV420 upright for two hours isn’t fun.

Sunday, 6 P.M. Realize it can automatically record TV, but it’s another multi-step process: Schedule your recordings on a Yahoo calendar, save that file to the AV420, then place it in the TV-connected cradle. First attempt fails.

Monday, 10 P.M. Attempts 2 through 14 fail. The AV420 won’t recognize the calendar–and without that, it won’t record. I revert to watching Antoine’s travels.