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Cowon strikes at Archos with Wi-Fi media player

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IFA 07 South Korea's Cowon today grew its stylish iAudio digital media player series with a pair of new models. The star of line-up: the Wi-Fi equipped Q5, a would-be Archos beater if there was one.

Cowon iAudio Q5
Cowon's iAudio Q5: wireless wonder

Built around a 5in, 800 x 480, 16m-colour touchsensitive display, the Q5 also packs in a 60GB hard drive for storage ready for MP3, Ogg, FLAC, WAV, WMA and ASF audio files, and AVI, ASF, WMV, MPEG 4 and DivX videos. It'll happily present JPEG, BMP, PNG and Raw photos too, on its own screen or through its TV port.

The Q5 boasts a SPDIF digital audio output too - or you can listen through earphones or the player's built-in stereo speakers.

Cowon iAudio Q5
Cowon's iAudio Q5: USB host

Feeding the player is easy: download content from the internet via the Q5's Wi-Fi or from a Bluetooth-connect mobile phone. There's a USB port for transferring files over from a PC, but the device can act as a USB host, allowing it to grab pics directly from digital cameras, camcorders, Flash drives and so on.

Cowon also took the wraps off the iAudio A3 today, the successor to its A2 handheld media player. The new model boasts a 4in, 800 x 480 display and the ability to play even more music and movie formats than the Q5, including Apple Lossless, AAC and the Matroska formats.

Heck, it'll even render PDF and Microsoft Office files for your reading pleasure.

Cowon iAudio A3
Cowon's iAudio A3: supports every content format under the sun?

Like the Q5, the A3 can be hook up to a TV, but it'll also grab and digitise into MPEG 4 format video from camcorders, VCRs, set-top boxes and other sources. There's an audio line-in too, and the A3 will record programmes you've tuned its FM radio into.

Cowon claimed you'll get up to seven hours' video playback time out of a single charge of the A3's battery - ten hours if you just listen to music. The Q5 has the same video play time, but can pump out music for up to 14 hours.

Cowon said the Q5 will arrive in Europe late September, priced at €649 ($886/£439) for the 40GB version and €699 ($954/£473xc) for the 60GB model. The A3 comes out at the same time, priced at €449 ($613/£304) for the 30GB product, €499 ($681/£338) for the 60GB model.

High performance access to file storage

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