In choosing one of the eight Microdrive MP3 players reviewed here, key deciding factors are their technical capabilities and their ergonomics. Which is best depends on your usage habits and needs.
Creative's second stab at designing a blockbuster AV player looks and feels good, weighs only 8.4 oz. (238 grams) and offers a high-resolution 640x480 display. But for $400 you also have to take some good with the bad.
HP has taken the plunge into living room PCs, and they deserve a lot of credit for taking the initiative. The Digital Entertainment Center (DEC) is a good first attempt at building a PC that really fits into this new environment. HP has jumped in with both feet, bringing their industrial and development capabilities to bear.
Much ink has been spilled lately on living room entertainment gear. But what about that basketful of remote controls that comes with it? With Harmony, Logitech says it offers a single device that ends what the company calls "remote bloat."
You want your home theater now, but don't want to spend the money. Building one on the cheap with your PC has been possible for some time, but is the alternative finally up to snuff compared to a more traditional set up?
Two OEMs, one software behemoth: Samsung and Creative have launched portable media players for the Christmas buying season with a user interface conjured up by Microsoft. But do they have what it takes to make it in the brave new world of portable video?
Listen to music. Watch movies. Play video games. All in a 20 GB portable media player that fits in the palm of your hand. Does Archos' Gmini 400 really manage to get it all right, in such a small package?
Convergence has been on the lips of OEMs for years, but Archos' AV 400 lends credence to the concept. Here is a nine-ounce handheld device that offers more-than-just respectable digital recording and playback, TV capabilities, music-file playback and more.
Vendors continue to seek creative ways to differentiate their MP3 players, in a commodity market that has attracted many new entrants. Samsung strives for small and skinny with its latest player, the Yepp YP-T5. Creative Labs' MuVo Slim attempts poise and elegance in the incredible shrinking world of the MP3 player.
The MuVo TX, like the NX, is an ultra-compact MP3 player based on a unique concept. The module can be used on its own for storage, or as a portable player when attached to the battery unit. This new version with USB 2.0 stands out for its ergonomics, smaller size and sound quality combined with greater speed.
Video specialist Pinnacle gives its video editing software a new makeover. Easier-to-use, less crash prone, feature rich, Pinnacle has attempted to heed its loyal customer base's wishes with the latest edition of its Studio software.
How many features can an OEM pack into one device? At what point will multi-media player reverse engineering and miniaturization end? Archos' Gmini 220 crams 20 GB of storage capacity in a device half the size of competing removable drives. Nor does it skimp on features, which include MP3 player recording, removable storage and a portable photo album. Archos' Gmini 220 does just about everything, but it still has its faults.
Rio is back! The high-end MP3 leader has unveiled a new and complete range of flash memory and hard-drive players that represent more than additional cool MP3 players on the market from which to choose. With more memory and a broader range of features compared to competing devices, Rio's new MP3 gear brings originality to the MP3 player market. Come and join us for a musical mystery tour.
Home theater costs a lot. Even entry-level home theater sound systems are expensive for the quality of sound reproduction they offer, especially compared to PC speakers, which offer much more for a lot less money. Creative Labs DDTS-100 decoder enables relatively high-performance, low-cost PC speakers to work with DVD players, games consoles and TV sets. For an investment of around $150 (€169), Creative Labs DDTS-100 allows for home theater audio for twice as less.
The mobile music player and hard disk market not only demands elbowroom, it also wants a slim waist and good looks. Creative has come up with the Zen NX, which knows the score and is sexy too.
Creative Labs tries to build on its USB flash-memory module concept by adding additional MP3 player features to its MuVo NX. With 128 MB of memory and two hours of music storage capacity, the device offers a range of easy-to-use controls, a much-needed LCD screen and plenty of battery life. While the headset leaves something to be desired, the MuVo NX offers plenty of pleasant surprises.
Creative Labs' mini MP3 player TravelSound offers power, top-rate music algorithms, and originality-but it is not cheap. With two micro drivers and an amplifier for a quality music experience on the go, the $250 price tag breaks-down to almost two dollars per MByte of memory. There are additional features, such as two-way listening, but does it really fit the bill?