The backside of the E100 features dual speakers for stereo sound. The quality of audio you'll be sharing isn't the greatest, but it's a nice extra touch for those who like to rock out loud. However, the speakers would be even more useful if Iriver had included an alarm clock function. Perhaps it will be added in a future firmware update.
We always like to see a standard mini USB for syncing, and the E100 delivers in that area. The player accepts media transfers via drag-and-drop or software (such as Windows Media Player). The bottom of the player also features a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a separate input port for line-in recording. The extra features don't end there.
Along with line-in recording, the E100 can record voice via a mic built into the right spine. This is also where you can find the volume button and the dedicated volume rocker, which we definitely appreciate.
...describes the Iriver E100 to a "T". Although it doesn't have a high-quality build, it's packed with virtually every feature in the book. In addition to the ones mentioned already, it offers photo and video playback, a built-in FM tuner, multiple EQ settings, and a text viewer.
No doubt about it, memory card expansion is the hot feature for MP3 players this year. The E100 includes a slot for microSD cards, which allow you to carry significantly more content, especially if you have more than one card.
The E100 has a pretty standard design. It's measures 3.7 inches tall by 1.8 inches wide by about 0.5 inch thick. It comes in a variety of colors, including black, white, pink, sky blue, and brown. None of them really pop, though.
The E100's interface is a bit of a disappointment after that of the Clix. It's utilitarian, which isn't necessarily bad, but there's very little color, you can't set an image as your wallpaper, and the main menu icons all look very similar to one another. Also, the D-Click interface style doesn't work as logically with a click pad placed below the screen as it did when the screen was actually used for the navigation.
On the plus side, the E100 is one of the least expensive Iriver players we've ever come across, so we can forgive its cheap design slightly. The 4GB model goes for about $110, while the 8GB sports a $160 price tag. Both prices are well below those of iPod Nanos with comparable capacities, and the E100 offers many more features.
Sadly, our initial outlook on the Iriver E100 is not the greatest, namely because of the insane five-to-seven second delay between pressing a button and the player actually registering that selection and the general unresponsiveness of the control pad. Also, we've been disappointed by the failure of the player thus far to register album art, although a placeholder indicates that it should. We're hoping all of this is addressed when we receive a new unit.