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Cowon Q5W pricing and U.S. availability

CNET Senior Editor Donald Bell reports on official US pricing and availability of the Cowon Q5W portable video player.

Photo of Cowon Q5W MP3 player.
The mothership approaches.
Cowon America, Inc.

Cowon America has officially announced that the specs for their long-awaited ubergadget, the Cowon Q5W (formerly the Cowon Q5), will be identical to the specs on the version released in Asia. The Cowon Q5W should be available in the states by the end of November (next week). The Cowon Q5W (the extra "W" denotes its wireless capabilities) will retail for $549.99 (40GB) and $599.00 (60GB). That may seem pricey compared to the latest generation of Archos PVPs, but one look at the Cowon Q5W's specs and you'll realize that the gadget is on another planet entirely. Honestly, it sounds more like a UMPC than a MP3 player.

The Cowon Q5W delivers a 5-inch TFT touch screen with an 800x480 resolution and a 500:1 contrast ratio, along with 802.11g/b Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, a Windows CE 5.0 operating system, and more file format support than you can shake a stick at (DivX, XviD, MPEG4, WMV7/8/9, MP3, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, Wave, FLAC, APE, and MusePack... phew!). One of the cooler, little-known features on the Cowon Q5W, is direct-from-camera importing of NEF (Nikon RAW) images (as well as more standard JPEG images), making it a cool option offloading digital photos on the go. I was also surprised to find that the Q5W includes component, composite, and S-Video outputs for hooking the device up to a TV.

Stay tuned for more coverage next week when we actually have one to play with.