Epson P-2000 Multimedia Storage Viewer
The photographer's ideal media player?
Review The P-2000 looks like a pure indulgence when you take it from the box and turn it on for the first time. The 3.8in display is simply sublime. Looking a bit like a bloated PDA, the P-2000 contains a 40GB disk within its finely built, 14.7 x 8.4 x 3.1cm, 415g form, writes Doug Harman.
A range of simple controls down the right-hand side provide direct print capability with PictBridge-compatible printers, access to menus, a large OK button and a smaller cancel control. Below these are the Display toggle control and Home buttons - this takes you straight back to the top screen that provides access to albums, memory card access points and the like. These are all fairly self-explanatory and easy to use.
On the right-hand edge is the spring-loaded on/off switch. On the opposite edge are ports for headphones, power and USB 2.0 cables. There's a lithium ion battery under a slide-away lid. It provides up to 3.5-hours of portability, says Epson. I used my review sample over a few days and it easily coped on one charge, so it lasts at least that long given my modest use over those three days.
While the P-2000 cannot play DVD video, it is compatible with JPEG, TIFF and RAW still image files for Canon, Nikon and Epson cameras, AVI video files (MPEG-4 and Motion-JPEG) at up to 30fps, and AAC and MP3 files for the audio side of things.
The 3.8in screen has a broad viewing angle (astonishingly, almost edge on if you want) and provides a 640 x 480, 212dpi resolution that frankly looks much more. The screen in bright, colourful and clear, and really show off your images to their best.
Pictures can be added to Albums, with shortcuts to each album on the Home screen for faster access. Creating Albums is quite easy, but the absence of a keyboard means slow scroll-to-each-letter text entry. The P-2000 is screaming for a touch screen.
A couple of niggles remain: RAW files are quite soft when displayed, particularly compared to JPEG or TIFF stills, or MPEG video, for example. Audio quality is compromised when using other buttons: press the display button during playback, and you'll hear a crackling sound through your earphones. Copying data to the device is slow, even when copying across from a PC, or SD or CF Type I/II memory cards, the latter two safely ensconced in their respective card slots on the device's top panel.
But I defy anyone to look at the Viewer in action, see that amazing screen and not be won over. While not exactly cheap for a 40GB portable hard disk, the other elements it contains - in particular, music and video playback - and the superb screen make it well worth the dosh in my view.
The stunning screen makes the P-2000 a winner. It's a must-have for any photographer who needs extra storage in the field but with that certain something extra.
|Pros||Well made and possessing just about the best colour LCD screen we've seen on this type of device.|
|Cons||Basic menu system; clunky albums; slow to copy data even from SD or CF cards.|
|More info||The Epson P-2000 site |