Feeds

Ten... sub-£150 PMPs

Music and movies on a budget

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Cowon iAudio 9

RH Numbers

Choosing the right PMP player can be like a new beginning - you should always consider your Korea options. iAudio’s Cowon i9 is, however, a dog of a device. The casing is extremely lightweight, despite being scratchproof, and gives the impression it won’t see another Christmas. The diagonal-scrolling menu system is illogical.

EQ settings bring a needed oomph to the audio, which is mild without the bass boost and average at best. This becomes irrelevant when you use the built-in speaker, which rivals the irritating noise of a hungry mosquito. Limited file support is irksome and video remains a predictably poor option on its 2in screen. To top it off there’s no memory card expansion.

It’s poor value for money really and for that price, I’d expect something with a more robust feel.

Cowon iAudio 9

Cowon LogoReg Rating 50%
Price £99 (8GB), £129 (16GB)
Audio support WMA, MP3, Flac, Ogg, Ape, Wav
Video support Xvid, WMV
More Info Advanced Mp3 players

Creative’s Zen X-Fi Style

RH Numbers

Creative’s compact Zen X-Fi Style has a certain charm, but can be annoying to use. Despite a cheap plastic body, I reckon it could handle a few knocks and tumbles.

The audio is above average, especially when you swap the supplied phones for some decent cans. The X-Fi Crystallizer and Expand sound-enhancement settings provide a welcome boost, albeit odd if fully implemented. I didn’t want to watch much video on its 2.4in screen, but using the bundled PC-only software, conversion is easy. It also lets you sync RSS feeds for offline reading, though it's hard to scan because the text is so large.

The Zen X-Fi Style has no dedicated volume control yet more other buttons than necessary, all of which are impractical and very clacky. There’s also no card expansion.

Creative Zen X-Fi Style

CreativeReg Rating 70%
Price £70 (8GB) £100 (16GB)
Audio support MP3, WMA, AAC, Flac, Wav, Audible
Video support MPEG 4, WMV, DivX, XviD
More Info Creative

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Next page: iRiver S100

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.