Cowon D2 premium digital media player
Pretty, practical and pricey
Review Time was when Asian digital media players scored highly for the range of features they offered but rated dismally when it came to their looks. Cheap-looking silver-painted plastic, too many buttons, crude on-screen graphics - it's no wonder the iPod's clean lines and simple UI took off...
Times have changed, and the players coming out of the Far East these days are far more likely to turn heads than tummies. Take Cowon's latest baby, the D2. Here is a device that shows its manufacturer has taken the hint: it's a stunner. The player's built around a 2.5in, 320 x 240, 16m-colour display, bordered in matte black plastic. Sandwiched between the black back panel is a silver section with all the controls: power/hold key, menu button and volume keys on top - between them there's a microphone.
On the left-hand side sits the 3.5mm earphone socket and, beneath a cover, a mini USB port and the proprietary AC connector. The right-hand side extends beyond the black area to provide a slot for the plectrum-like triangular stylus. The D2's screen is touch-sensitive, but the UI's too elegant for thick Western fingers, hence the styus.
But it's more than that - plug the stylus into the slot and you've got a ready-made stand, angling the screen upwards for optimal on-desk viewing. Angle not quite right? Flip the stylus over and you have a different one: 50° or 70°, the choice is yours. The stylus fits into the slot even when its elastic lanyard is fitted - something that could easily have been overlooked.
Off the desk, the D2 fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. It's weighty enough to feel solid and well-built yet sufficiently light to be as portable as a compact music player should be.
The D2 is a Flash-fitted player - the test unit had 2GB on board - though the only real limit on its capacity is the number of SD cards you can afford. The base of the unit has just such a memory card slot, and while it's not compatible with high-capacity SDHC cards, at least you can swap in and out 2GB cards to your heart's content.
SKy + onto Iaudio D2 ?
would there be an easy way to get SKY + content onto a D2 ?. I know Sandisk do a Cardreader that writes to SD but what format would be needed ?.
For any other readers considering a D2, YouTube have a number of videos that explore the interface in a fair amount of detail.
FW 2.30 BETA with DRM10/SDHC out to testers
I have a D2 with a BETA 2.30 firmware for testing that has SDHC and DRM10 support.
It's got a couple of bugs that the COWON techs are working on, but I can confirm it works. It was released for review purposes and circulated to all testers about 2 weeks ago. COWON is usually very good with FW updates so they will release when they are sure it's ready and not before.
I have a D2 2GB with a 8GB SDHC card by Toshiba and I work for the UK Distributor.
For the person that wasn't happy with the review, check out the next edition of T3 and Stuff Magazine for the full low down on the player. First week of March for the April edition and it's in Group Test with other similar units.
SDHC Support Source
As far as SDHC support is concerned, I've seen the same comment on Engadget. Is this the source for the information that support will be offered, or is there any "official" Cowon source?
Hmm, an audio player?
Quote - "Maybe better ears than mine will appreciate them more. Whatever, it's surely better to have such options to personalise the sound you hear than not."
I'm a little confused. Surely if you're reviewing an audio/visual device you should have confidence in your own hearing?! I'm no audiophile, but I would have thought that the primary quality of an audio player would be how it sounds. Yes, looks are important but with no commments on the quality of the headphones, general quality of the sound ( sorry, but 'I tried the D2 with a range of musical genres and enjoyed all of them' - doesn't really cut it as far as an audio critique), or anything other than a passing mention of a click when you turn on the bass enhancement, this is a pretty dire review. The one thing we're made very aware of is that it looks good. This is the one thing that we can see by looking at the pictures.