On the left of the home screen are icons for Media, Office, Utility, Network and Windows. Tap on any icon and a new set of icons appears on the right of the screen - so tap Media and you see icons to access Movies, Music, Radio and Flash. Tap Network and you get icons to access MSN, IE Explorer and the wireless control panel. It's simple and effective but makes the underlying CE system seem ever more horrid by comparison.
Navigation around Wing Click is straightforward, and since all the icons are labeled you don't have to remember what they do. The majority of media commands can also be accessed via the various wing icons so you don't actually need to touch the screen other than at the peripheries, and that keeps fingerprint smudges down to a minimum.
External controls on the Q5 are limited to the volume and on/off switches
Once the Q5 is working as a PMP, it really hits its stride. To start with, the quality of the screen was everything we expected it to be. The 800 x 480 resolution and ability to display 16.7 million colours are spot on for this kind of gadget. The screens is every bit as bright, colourful and well-defined as that on the A3, just an inch bigger corner to corner.
Audio performance was equally good, with solid bass, well-balanced treble and a fine sense of detail, the latter especially noticeable in the classical repertoire. There's plenty of volume on hand too. Of course, this was with our trusty Sennheisers, the supplied earphones not really being up to much.
Video playback is accompanied by a comprehensive suite of controls, including bookmarks, screen capture, variable playback speed, manual subtitle adjustment and auto or manual aspect ratio settings. Cowon's JetEffect system allows more user-definable audio enhancements than you can shake a stick at.
No thanks Cowon.
I'll stick with my PSP and multiple memory sticks.
I know the PSP doesn't play formats this beast does, and is lacking in total capacity and screen size, but whats the point hauling that block of resin around when you can slide a nice slim n lite PSP into your trouser pocket + four 8Gb Mem sticks.
The cost of a PSP and four 8Gb memory sticks STILL come to less wonga than this.
Oh Noes, but the PSP has a smaller screen! I think I'll live.
Oh and the PSP has a removable battery.
Needs better software
Sound to me like the problem is the software - it's got most of the hardware it needs, but they've crippled it with a crappy OS and poor drivers for the hardware.
Now if I could get Linux to run on it...
But then, it's also a bit expensive - An EeePC gets a similar screen and a proper keyboard for less money: for the extra cash you could add some USB flash sticks to make up the storage deficiency...
Just how old is the reviewer..?
Knowing Cowon they will address any limitations in future firmware. I had one of their mp3 players and it had regular updates to the firmware, improvements and new features as well as big fixes.