Editors' note: The editors' rating for the Cowon D2 has been lowered from an 8.3 to a 7.3 to better reflect its value as of March 10, 2009. Cowon has also launched a new model of this MP3 player (the D2+), which is covered in a separate review.
Cowon may be a bit of an underdog in the U.S. market in terms of sales, but this Korean company sure does know how to make a quality MP3 player. The latest device to arrive on U.S. shores--or at least, in the CNET offices--is the Cowon D2, a solid and compact player dominated by a 2.5-inch screen. I was able to get my hands on a nearly identical preview model of the D2 at CES 2007 but just recently received the final U.S. version with that ever-important DRM support. Other than that welcome addition, the latest unit isn't much different from the one we previewed in January; it still has a nice, high-quality feel to it and offers a beautiful touch screen as well as loads of features, naturally. That said, you can expect to pay a bit of a premium for this high-end MP3 player. At $189.99 for the 2GB version and $219.99 for the 4GB model, the D2 costs more than the Creative Zen V Plus, which offers similar features but twice the memory for comparable prices.