The Topfield TFP20 is the Johnny Cash of portable video players. Completely clad in a cool reflective black, the TFP20 manages to look stylish despite having a fairly utilitarian rectangular design. A few bits of silver are the only things that break up the monotone, which can mostly be found on the unit's navigation keys. The keys are arrayed logically on the TFP20's right side, with the four-inch widescreen taking up the majority of the real estate on the unit's front.
The top edge of the TFP20 (nearest the edge of the screen) houses all of the unit's various inputs and outputs. The other end of the device has a curved edge -- which is the TFP20's only real acknowledgment to form or style. The TFP20 feels quite good in the hand -- its weight of 270g gives it a solid heft without being too heavy, while its dimensions of 139mm by 73mm by 23mm means it fits well in the hand. It's obviously a little big to be jammed into pockets, but that's a sacrifice we're sure most users will be willing to make in exchange for a larger screen.
As an overall package the TFP20 scores high on looks, although we do have a couple of concerns. Firstly, the shiny plastic casing is fingerprint nirvana -- there'll be smudges galore on the unit within minutes of taking it out of its case. Secondly, the screen is sunk into the unit by a couple of millimetres. This may not initially seem like a big deal, but we found that after prolonged use dust started to gather right at the edges -- dust that wasn't particularly easy to get rid of.
Thankfully, the TFP20 comes with a drawstring case, which should help keep dirt off the video player -- at least for the first few days. Also included in the box is a small remote control, pair of black headphones, an AV Out cable, Line Out cable, charger and USB cable.
The TFP20 is about as full featured a portable media player as you're likely to get. This little device can play a wide variety of video and music formats, display digital images and text , as well as directly record audio/video straight from source devices such as televisions, CD players or DVD players.
On the video side of the equation, this Topfield unit can play AVI, MPG, ASF and WMV file formats, and supports MPEG1, MPEG2, DivX3.1/4.xx/5xx, Xvid, ISO MPEG4 SP/ASP and WMV9 codecs. Missing are QuickTime or Real formats, but the list is comprehensive enough to be compatible with the majority of video you probably have stored on your PC. Music is equally format-friendly -- MP3, WMA, WAV, AC3, AAC and even OGG are supported, which means the TFP20 will be able to play almost any music file you can throw at it. For images, the Topfield is compatible with JPG, BMP, GIF, TIFF and PNG files.
All of this multimedia goodness is displayed on a bright four-inch 16:9 screen. The screen itself has a resolution of 480x272 pixels and can display 16 million colours. The unit features 10 levels of adjustable brightness, with the brightest setting good enough for viewing in relatively well lit rooms.
As well as playing media, the TFP20 also has plenty of recording functionality. The unit has a built-in microphone which allows it to be used as a voice recorder. Better still is an AV-In port which can be used to transfer songs directly from an external source, such as a television or DVD player. Audio files taken from external sources are recorded in MP3 format, while videos are saved as AVI files using DivX 5.0 codec.