Compaq iPaq Mini CD Player PM-1 review: Compaq iPaq Mini CD Player PM-1

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Inexpensive; rechargeable batteries and charger included; good remote; decent headphones.

The Bad Construction could be sturdier; skips when jostled hard.

The Bottom Line Though it has room for improvement, the affordable PM-1 is one of the better mini-CD players we've tested to date.

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Mini-CD players, which allow you to play back MP3s burned onto 8cm CD-Rs and CD-RWs, are gradually growing in number. These devices are smaller than standard portable CD players, yet each mini-CD still holds as much music (compressed) as three traditional CDs. Compaq's PM-1 steps up to this plate with an appealing design and good extras for a relatively low price. Mini-CD players, which allow you to play back MP3s burned onto 8cm CD-Rs and CD-RWs, are gradually growing in number. These devices are smaller than standard portable CD players, yet each mini-CD still holds as much music (compressed) as three traditional CDs. Compaq's PM-1 steps up to this plate with an appealing design and good extras for a relatively low price.

Sorta slick
With its silver-colored, iPaq-themed top, the device looks pretty slick from a distance. But hold it in your hand, and it feels just like any low-priced portable CD player, albeit a shrunken one. Of course, its small size (3.9 by 3.9 by 1.2 inches and 7.1 ounces) is one of the PM-1's and other mini-CD players' big selling points.

Mini-CDs can be burned using any CD-RW drive and have a storage capacity of 185MB, which Compaq says will allow you to record up to 80 songs--or six hours' worth of music--to them. However, if you rip your MP3s with less compression (say, at 160Kbps), expect to get closer to 25 songs on a disc, which is equivalent to almost two CDs' worth of music. Encoding tunes at 128Kbps gets you about three CDs' worth of music per mini-CD. That's still pretty good, and the discs themselves will run you only about 50 cents each when you buy them in bulk.

As far as features go, the PM-1 has what you'd expect to find in a portable CD player, including Random and Repeat modes as well as four preset EQs. More advanced functions are controlled via the nicely designed in-line remote, which also displays ID3 tag information on its ample LCD. We appreciated that you can detach the headphones from the remote and swap in another pair if you want. We also like the fact that Compaq has included a line-out jack in case you want to connect the device to your stereo without passing through the PM-1's volume circuitry.

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Where to Buy

Compaq iPaq Mini CD Player PM-1

Part Number: 254611-001
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Color silver
  • Weight 7.1 oz
  • Type 1 year warranty
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type mini CD / MP3 player