Our headlines for today:
Ministry of Sound keeps pumping out anonymous, sometimes disturbingly weird
MP3 players. We've encountered a rather huge headset + detachable DAP, for instance.
We've checked out Sony's PSP and focused mainly on its multimedia capabilities, rather than gaming performance.
iRiver's juicy N10 necklace-type player sees is successor officially confirmed: the N11 pops up on the company's Korean website.
Finally, someone over at Head-Fi took the Creative Zen Sleek for a test spin. Verdict: if you don't care for fancy stuff, this player might suit your needs perfectly.
Archos is really the king of the early adopters. These guys—French guys even—have been toying around with portable video gadgetry for years and years by now. While the big boys like Creative and Samsung have only just begun exploring this territory, Archos decided that the time has come for yet another generation of PVP/PVR-technology. Their Gmini-402 has already been out there for a while, but we managed to sneak up on the Gmini-402 "cc" edition. "Cc" stands for "Camcorder" - this device comes with a built-in video and still camera (1.2MP).
Then there's the AV500 series. We already knew of the 30GB edition—there are loads of pictures of that one on our site - but today, Archos presents the 100GB version to the public as well. It's noticeably fatter (18mm in depth for the 30GB, 24mm for the 100 GB version) but well—it does hold "up to 250 (90 minute long) movies". Don't forget to buy one of those "super battery packs" either - this supposedly triples the initial battery life, making the AV500 skyrocket 45 hours worth of music playback, some 13.5 hours of continuous movie viewing. Last but not least, there's an add-on camera module (easily attached to ones limbs) for on-the-go video recording (camcorder).
Ministry of Sound. Hm, what can we say? Somehow, the music label, or at least their OEM licensee, is persistent enough to keep trying and trying and trying. We're not sure if they'll ever hit the right notes. Take a look at these weird (and rather huge) headphones, for example. They come with a detachable 128MB MP3 player. The latter device has a built-in pen drive for USB connection, through which it connects to the actual headphones. Plus, it seems like you could add any pen drive-based audio player into that weird cavity.
Another PSP review? Isn't this one a bit late? Well, yeah—it is. However, instead of elaborating on the games side of things, we decided to focus on the PSP's multimedia capabilities. We've tested the device for image/movie/sound quality and usability—the kind of stuff that could make or break a portable multimedia player.
You might have seen the iRiver N11 pop up here and there not too long ago but as of yesterday, this tiny DAP has officially been confirmed by its creator. Nothing really shocking to report on, but it does add some niceties to the original concept—FM tuner, Ogg Vorbis support (up to Q10)—the works. And yes, it still acts as a necklace/headphone kind of DAP thing. N11's price levels aren't the most attractive ones around, but compared to the rather ridiculous MSRPs for the 1GB N10, things seemed to have changed for the better. A price drop of some 50k Korean Won (almost 50 US Dollars) is not easily neglected.
To conclude our daily bit of DAP news reporting, there's a review on the Creative Zen Sleek. So much publicity has been spent on this device, yet very few user reviews have seen the light of day. One of Head-Fi's members, Electric_Mofo (splendid name), got his hands on a Sleek and decided that it' s certainly worth some fuzz. as long as you don't care for color screens.
If you're looking for a cheap, attractive MP3 player with FM tuner adjustable EQ and amazing sound quality then this is the player for you. But if you need things like color, photo viewing, movie playback then you'll probably be dissappointed with this.
That's it for today, folks.