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Photos: Cowon Q5W

If you're looking for a portable, does-it-all supergadget, you need look no further than the Cowon Q5W. The Q5W may look like a harmless portable video player, but it's really an ultraportable mobile computer in disguise. The Cowon Q5W runs Windows CE5, and integrates futuristic features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and an optional GPS cradle for in-car navigation. At $549 (40GB) and $599 (60GB), the Q5W doesn't come cheap, but when you tally up the all the features Cowon crammed into this thing, the value seems relatively stupefying.

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Donald Bell
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1 of 11 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
If there's a way to get media onto or off of the Q5W, then Cowon has thought of it. From the top down, you're looking at: a WLAN antenna; a 2.5mm headset jack; a 3.5mm headphone jack; a mini USB 2.0 connection for receiving media from a computer; a full-size USB port for hosting USB devices; and a power input.
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2 of 11 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
We were so intrigued when we saw that the Cowon Q5W we received included a retractable antenna. What was it for? Radio? TV? Turns out that the antenna is for the Cowon Q5W's WLAN wireless internet connection. You don't see that every day.
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3 of 11 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
Aside from the Cowon logo gracing the background, we're essentially looking at a small tablet PC running Windows CE5. Some application shortcuts can be found on the side of the screen, including Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger, WordPad, and Cowon's own media player application.
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4 of 11 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
Docking the Cowon Q5W into the optional dashboard cradle turns the device into a full-fledged GPS device. Buttons on the front of the cradle can switch the Q5W into music, movie, or navigation mode. A suction cup at the base of the in-car dock allows the Q5W to be affixed to your windshield.
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5 of 11 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
The Cowon Q5W's 5-inch screen is recessed slightly to prevent scratching. Though the Q5W's screen is somewhat reflective, the 800x480 TFT screen offers excellent viewing angles.
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6 of 11 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
To the left of the Cowon Q5W we have the Archos 605 WiFi, a wide-screen portable video player equipped with the Opera Web browser. On the right we have the Touch, Apple's lean, mean Wi-Fi iPod. Both competing devices sell for considerably less than the Q5W, but neither of them can match the Cowon's screen size, Bluetooth integration, media format support, or built-in TV-output capabilities.
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7 of 11 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
The Cowon Q5W is definitely not a device anyone will want to carry in their pocket. The sheer bulk of the Cowon Q5W makes it a poor option for wimps and klutzes. At around 13 ounces, dropping the Q5W on your toe might require a trip to the emergency room.
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8 of 11 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
Looking at the top edge of the Cowon Q5W, from left to right we're looking at a retractable stylus pen; volume buttons; a built-in speaker; a built-in microphone; a remote control sensor (center); another speaker; and a power switch that doubles as a button hold. This shot also gives you a sense of the Cowon Q5W's considerable girth, measuring around 0.8 inch thick.
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9 of 11 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
The Cowon Q5W's touch-screen interface can be operated with your fingers, but some of the smaller screen icons are better controlled with the included stylus. A small QWERTY keyboard window can be called up from the menu bar, enabling you to type up a quick note or enter a URL.
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10 of 11 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
The Cowon Q5W is a beautiful beast that really requires a bag to accommodate its size. Just be sure to shut the thing down, or your battery might be dead by the time you get home.
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11 of 11 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
The Cowon Q5W is a premium product that comes bundled with a premium selection of accessories, including power adapters, AV cables, earbuds, USB cables, a carrying strap, and a remote control. With any luck, you'll receive a North America-compatible power adapter (unlike us).

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