Feeds
85%

Cowon iAudio A3 personal media player

Watch out, Archos

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Review There's something almost bespoke about the Cowon A3 media player, a device that seems unapologetically to have had time and money lavished on its technical ability rather than its packaging.

Out of the box, the rather bluff and chunky A3 looks and feels exactly like the Cowon A2, weighing a not inconsiderable 280g for the 30GB version and measuring 134 x79 x 22mm. Notwithstanding the slight retro feel, it's well bolted together out of high quality plastics and looks the part in its understated colour scheme of black and silver.

Cowon iAudio A3

Cowon's A3: understated looks

You control the player using what Cowon calls a "joggle" lever - a circular four-way controller with a fifth, joystick-like button in the middle - a Back key and and three variable-function buttons, all set to the right of the screen. If you touch the screen, all you achieve is getting a fingerprint on it. The control interface is neither funky nor trick, but it does the job. In essence, all you do is use the joggle stick to move from icon to icon then push to trigger. At the bottom of the screen, you can then see what buttons A, B and C do in that particular view. To go back just hit the Back key. Simple.

Other exterior controls consist of the on/off switch on the right side; a slider at the bottom to switch the display from the LCD to the AV port, and which also locks the player; a mic and speaker up top; and, on the left, a 3.5mm headphone jack, power socket and the cover for the plethora of AV jacks.

Cowon A3

Adjust playback on the fly

The A3's 4in, 800 x 480 resolution, 16m-colour TFT screen is little short of a work of art and makes nearly every other comparable personal media player on the market look like an Etch-a-Sketch. Supporting video resolution up to 1280 x 720 - so we are talking HD here - it's simply a thing of beauty. Bright, clear and crisp with solid blacks, it is by some way the best PMP screen we've seen, besting even the Archos 605.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
VINYL is BACK and you can thank Sonos for that
The format that wouldn’t die is officially in remission
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.