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Iriver P7 review: Pretty, boring

CNET's Donald Bell offers his review of the Iriver P7 portable video player.

Iriver's latest portable video player, the P7, has plenty going for it: big screen, low price, and a stylish design. From the moment we pried its aluminum frame from the package, we were certain this thing was going to be a slam dunk. We were wrong.

Photo of the Iriver P7 video player.
The Iriver P7 has a stunning design, inside and out, but looks aren't everything. Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

While the P7's design feels like a million bucks, internally, the sluggish touch screen, jerky menus, and surprisingly limited video flexibility show the P7 for the $169 player that it is. We're also living at a time where there are a number of video-worthy options in the $200 PVP space, with products like the Cowon O2 or the oldie-but-goodie Archos 605 WiFi offering better bang for the buck.

Still, it's refreshing to see a manufacturer like Iriver prove that design quality and affordability aren't mutually exclusive. I can't tell you how many all-plastic products land on my desk that feel like they just rolled out of a gumball machine. The P7 is one of the prettiest looking and exquisitely built portable media players I've reviewed since the iPod Touch--but appearances only get you so far.

To read my full report on the Iriver P7, head over to CNET Reviews.