The Mintpad is a pocket-size portable media player that measures 3 inches across, 2.5 inches tall, and half an inch thick. The design is reminiscent of a Cowon D2 or the first-generation Iriver Clix, however, the scope of the Mintpad's features far exceed comparison.
Inside the Mintpad you'll find a Wi-Fi-enabled Web browser, 1.3 megapixel camera (photo/video), drawing pad, video player, music player, calendar, and more.
The Mintpad packs a lot of features and options onto its little 2.8-inch screen, making the built-in stylus pen a necessary accessory. Here you can also see the Mintpad's 1.3 megapixel camera, and next to it, a built-in speaker.
The Mintpad's main menu lists its multitude of features in a rainbow of speech bubble icons. If the multicolored boxes aren't your thing, other user themes can be downloaded from the Mintpass Web site.
Underneath it all, the backbone of the Mintpad is Windows CE, which can be made to run a host of third-party applications. The unit we tested came personally loaded with extras from the manufacturer (Korea's Mintpass), including a Skype app. Unfortunately, we weren't able to pull up an onscreen keyboard to get beyond the log-in screen, so there's no telling if Skype would really work. Cool idea in concept, though.
The Web browser included on the Mintpad is functional, if impractical. There's a lot of zooming involved, and the onscreen keyboard requires some accurate stylus pokes. In most cases, you'd be better off using the browser on your cell phone, where you at least have real buttons (or a larger touch screen) to key in text.
On the top edge of the Mintpad is a small, illuminated button that can be assigned to multiple functions. By default, a quick press of the button will activate the Mintpad's memo mode, while a long press will take you to the main menu. By diving into the options menu, you can change the button to trigger the Mintpad's voice recorder, music player, or other features.
Here's a feature we don't see much anymore on portable media players--a replaceable battery! The lithium ion battery pack promises 30 hours of music playback and 5 hours of video from a single charge. To the left of the battery you can see the Mintpad's microSD memory card slot, capable of accepting memory cards up to 16GB.
It may sound like a silly feature, but the Mintpad's memo notepad is exceptionally well done. This hastily drawn tree gets automatically saved as a PNG file, where it can be transferred to my computer.
A 1.3 megapixel camera on the back of the Mintpad can be set to record video or take still photos. A drawer of image options pulls out from the side of the screen, allowing you to set the image size, apply effects, and adjust the white balance.