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Cowon goes haptic with P5 video player

Cowon announces their P5 high-end portable video player in Korea.

Photo of Cowon P5 portable video player.
The haptic touch screen user interface of the Cowon P5 looks much more friendly than the gloomy GUI found on its predecessor. Cowon

Cowon has released photos and specs of a new portable video player dubbed the P5. As a successor to their Q5W mega-gadget released last year, the P5 adds a few new tricks to the Q5W's features and wraps it all up in a less intimidating design.

Offered in silver, red, and black, the Cowon P5 includes a 5-inch touch screen with a 800x480 resolution and a new haptic feedback feature. In the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink tradition of the Q5W, the Cowon P5 includes stereo Bluetooth, FM radio, TV-output (component, composite, and S-Video), stereo speakers, USB and USB-host ports. Noticeably missing from the P5 is the Q5W's built-in Wi-Fi, however, Cowon's Korean Web site seems to imply that a USB Wi-Fi dongle can be added to enable Internet browsing.

Like any Cowon product, the P5 promises outstanding file playback support, including MP3, WMA, ASF, OGG, WAV, FLAC, APE, and Musepack on the audio end, AVI, ASF, WMV, MPG, OGM, DivX, Xvid, MPEG4, and WMV9 for video, and JPG, BMP, PNG, and RAW photo support.

The core of the P5 is built around a 700MHz RMI Alchemy AU1250 processor with 128Mb of RAM and either 40GB, 60GB, or 80GB hard drive configurations. Cowon rates the P5's internal battery at an impressive 9 hours for video playback, but a mere 14 hours for audio.

The Cowon P5 is still running off the embedded Windows CE 5 operating system that failed to impress us in the Q5W, but it appears Cowon has overhauled their own skinned interface with a lighter, friendlier design that looks similar to the interface we liked so well on the Cowon A3. Let's just hope the new haptic feedback system makes the P5's onscreen keyboard easier to use than its predecessor's.

No pricing or availability has been announced for the U.S., but according to Generation MP3, Korea will see the P5 by the end of the month starting around $430.