Cowon A2: Portable Media Player

Cowon is a Korean manufacturer of digital gadgets and the very cool-looking A2 PMP. The A2 supports a host of formats including:

Video: AVI, WMV, ASF, DivX 3.11, XviD, WMV9
Audio: WMA, MP3, AC3 5.1 Downmix, FLAC, WAV, MP Enhance, 3D Surround
Photo: JPEG, PNG, BMP
Text: TXT (EUC-KR, EUC-JP, GB2312, Big5, ISO-8859-1, UTF-8)

On top of all of this it has a FM radio, can record TV (ASF recording encoded in MPEG4 and MP3 audio, up to 640 x 480 at 30fps), has line-in recording (records as MP3 up to 44.1KHz at 192Kbps), and TV out. The battery lasts quite a while at 10 hours for video playback and 18 hours for audio playback.

There are two versions, one with a 20GB HD and the other with 30GB. Both have USB 2.0 connections. The A2 can be used as a USB host to download files to, which is a great feature. And finally, the display is a 4″ TFT LCD with 480 x 272 (same as the PlayStation Portable – PSP) and has a 16:9 aspect ratio (again, PSP). The display can handle 16.7 million colors.

The A2 has a very simple but elegant design and is not cluttered with lots of buttons. Unlike the venerable iPod, the A2 has a display that is actually very usable for video. I have played around with the PSP and found the size of the display quite viewable for movies. Though I would have liked a higher-resolution screen, 480 x 272 seems to be the standard for 4″ 16:9 displays. For now.

Source: Cowon America

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