Cowon Q5W 40GB Portable Media Player  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , , ,

Q5wWith a Windows CE OS, an AMD 600MHz processor, and Wi-Fi web browsing, Cowon's newest media player seems more like an Ultra Mobile PC than a PMP. And like the poorly received UMPC, the Q5W doesn't quite deliver on its abundance of promised functionality. The unit's gorgeous 5-inch, 800 x 480 LCD touch-screen and built-in DivX and XviD codec support make watching flicks on the go the Q5W's forte, with 40GB or 60GB to store plenty of compressed video. The rest of the player's functions are hampered by the Q5W's slapdash UI — it actually runs as a program on top of the Windows CE interface, complete with annoying hourglass loading visuals. The interface's minuscule on-screen buttons, especially in sub-menus, make using the stylus an unfortunate necessity. Even though the Q5W conveniently supports flash-based web-browsing, surfing duties are relegated to Windows CE's Internet Explorer, rendering both the mobile and standard version of YouTube inoperable WTF? This is supposed to be a video centric player, not a video player hater. Add the Q5W's absurdly high $550 base price — almost twice of the lovely Archos 605 WiFi — and its quirks are even tougher to stomach. —Carlos Bergfeld

WIRED Fantastic audio quality and video playback. Loud, built-in stereo speakers for group viewing parties/rocking out. Support for DivX, XviD, MPEG4, WMV 7/8/9 video files. Bevy of audio formats including: Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, and Monkey's Audio. Wi-Fi enabled with MSN messenger and Flash-supported web browsing. Can act as a USB host to directly upload and view images from cameras, with format support for previewing Nikon RAW pics. Component/composite TV-out and remote for big-screen viewing. Bluetooth 2.0 support for wireless headphones.

TIRED Poor UI coupled with Windows CE 5.0 gives the Q5W the feeling of a shoddily constructed homebrewed device. We got only 4.8 hours of video playback; significantly lower than Cowon’s estimated 7 hours.  Aluminum housing gets scorching hot after an hour of video play. No kickstand for hands-free use. Music library uses a horrid file tree for browsing media. Deficient 128MB RAM not enough to support flash-intensive web sites like YouTube. Can't charge battery via USB cable. High price cripples good looks.

$550 as tested, cowonamerica.com (story Link)

This entry was posted on Mar 30, 2009 at 12:07 AM and is filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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