When I say it's tiny, I mean it. And it's very light-weight and is battery-powered, which means it's imminently portable. I can carry it around the house with me, from kitchen to living room to upstairs TV room. I haven't tried it outside yet (it rained yesterday afternoon) so I don't know if the wireless signal will carry far enough.
The radio with a DVD just for scale
Speaking of the wireless signal, the Archos radio found and connected to our D-Link modem/router sans problème. I had to enter our password, and bingo: there it was, connected. The network connection seems stable, but there were two or three times yesterday when the radio signal got dropped somewhere along the way and the unit went silent. It came back in a minute or less. I don't blame the Archos.
Listening to old French songs in the kitchen
At first, I found it difficult to navigate through the device's screens and type characters using the little on-screen keyboard — my fingers are too fat. But then I realized I could use a stylus — the eraser end of a pencil, for example. So easy, and a much less frustrating experience than finger-pointing and -swiping. It's too bad the radio didn't come with a stylus.
The main screen: radio, recorded music, clock (with alarms), and photo frame apps
This is an Android unit, using that Google operating system. It can do much more than play radio stations, but that's probably what it does best (using the TuneIn app). So far, I've also figured out how to get my Google mail and read blogs and other web pages on the little Archos screen.
The Archos 35 next to my laptop, again for scale
And the radio is great. It took me hardly any time to find the stations I wanted to have as "favorites" so that I can get to them quickly and painlessly. Some, like France Inter and Chante France, didn't show up on the TuneIn lists of available radio stations (or I couldn't find them). But there's a search feature, and that made it easy. You just type in the name of the radio station and it pops right up — WUNC, for example, the North Carolina public radio station. Then you save it as a favorite. I'm not yet sure how many favorite stations TuneIn can store, but I've already got 16 on my list.
Two stations on my "favorites" list, both local
The radio gets power through a USB connection. I other words, you can plug it into a USB port on a powered-up computer or TV set and not worry about an AC adapter. But there's also an AC adapter that plugs into a wall outlet and has a USB port on it for the cable.
Did you know that Sinatra's "My Way" was originally a French song?
There's also a headphone jack (or line out) so it's easy to hook the Archos radio into your stereo amplifier or a set of amplified speakers. For the kitchen, where I will use the radio most of the time, the built-in speakers are just fine. But yesterday afternoon I had it patched into the upstairs amplifier and speakers and really enjoyed the quality of the sound (listening to Nostalgie Chansons Françaises). Fun.