iRiver H10 (5GB) review: iRiver H10 (5GB)

JPEG photo viewing is another advantage to owning an H10. It's nice to be able to view photos of family and friends, as well as other personal JPEGs. Photos can be automatically transferred to the H10 using Windows Media Player 10.0, and they can be viewed while you're listening to music, unlike on the H320. Unfortunately, there's no way to transfer photos to the device directly from a digital camera, a feature that the Gateway MP3 Photo Jukebox possesses. And no video out means no sharing the images on a TV.

Slide-show options are limited, too. You can't build slide shows on the device itself (the playlist is the slide show), and they are limited to about five seconds per photo. Photos lend a nice touch to the system, though, and they load quickly onscreen. Navigating the menus in color is also convenient, although you won't be able to passively view the screen in normal usage since it makes more sense power-wise to have it automatically shut off.

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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iRiver H10 (5GB, Lounge Gray)

Part Number: H10SILVER
Low Price: $264.60 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Built-in Display TFT
  • Tuner Bands FM
  • Run Time (Up To) 12 hour(s)
  • Capacity 5 GB
  • Color neo silver
  • Weight 3.4 oz
  • Supported Digital Audio Standards MPEG 2 Audio
  • Installed Size No built-in memory
  • Diagonal Size 1.5" m
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type digital player / radio