iRiver H10 (5GB) review:

iRiver H10 (5GB)

If you're into storing textual information for access on the go, you'll be sure to take advantage of the H10's TXT-file feature. Other features in the color-coded main menu are: Music, FM Radio, Recordings (voice and line-in), Photo, Text, Browser (browse any type of file), and Settings. The primary music option breaks down your library by artists, albums, genres, titles, and playlists, as opposed to the folder-based categorization seen in previous iRiver products. Each of these options also allows you to play all tracks in a specific folder. And you can create an On-the-Go playlist that will be saved automatically.

Once a track is playing, you can hit Select to view more than 30 preset EQ options, which include SRS Wow, Dance, Reggae, Folk, Bass, and custom EQ. Holding down that button allows you to rate your track. This info is helpful down the road when you're syncing with Windows Media Player or selecting a playlist based on your ratings. You'll also get screen information such as artist, filename, battery life, play time, total play time, file type, play mode, a progress meter, current/total file number, and even a clock. There's a lot of info, but it's clear and easy to read. What we would like to see is support for album art, particularly since the H10 is so music store/service-friendly.

We thought the iRiver H10 sounded great with nicer headphones. It doesn't get overly loud, but its 18mW output is good enough to drive big 'phones. With a 90dB signal-to-noise ratio, playback of files and recorded MP3 is clean and is helped out a lot by the incredible selection of preset EQs.

While even large photos load within a few seconds, we felt the processor was overworked at times. The universal clock icon for waiting appears regularly when navigating through modes and options.

iRiver claims 12 hours of life from its battery, but CNET Labs was able to get a mediocre 9.7 hours. Transfer times over USB 2.0 average 1.46MB per second.

File-transfer speed
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MB per second  

Battery life
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What you'll pay

    Visit manufacturer site for details.

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