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Photos: MPIO FL500

MPIO's electric guitar-inspired design makes the FL500 a head turner. Its high price, poor construction quality, and confusing onscreen navigation hold it back.

CNET Reviews staff

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1 of 7 Corinne Schulze / CNET Networks
You have to hand it to MPIO for bringing back knobs in the face of our collective excitement over futuristic touch screens.
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2 of 7 Corinne Schulze / CNET Networks
The USB door on the MPIO FL500 is thinly tethered to the body by a fragile piece of rubber. The switch on the left side of this photo controls play/pause and skip/scan. We found it too easy to accidentally trigger it.
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3 of 7 Corinne Schulze / CNET Networks
I bet there will be a beeper revival in the future. Clipping the FL500 to my pocket felt like wearing a cool pager from the year 2020.
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4 of 7 Corinne Schulze / CNET Networks
I can't look at this thing without thinking of the car race in Tron. Notice how the display squeezes a whole mess of information (too much) into the small space.
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5 of 7 Corinne Schulze / CNET Networks
Here we see the profile of the MPIO FL500's metal clip. The hold switch was often useful, given the FL500's distinctively oversized controls. Hopefully, that reset switch won't see much action.
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6 of 7 Corinne Schulze / CNET Networks
The MPIO FL500 was a bit awkward to hold, but its clip-on design was really made to be worn--not held.
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7 of 7 Corinne Schulze / CNET Networks
...but don't let the looks fool you. Those two dials closest to you are plastic (and feel like it).

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