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Samsung YP-T10 review: Samsung YP-T10

The new YP-T10 is another superb music and video player from Samsung. Its touch-sensitive navigational pad glows with every stroke, and its build exerts professionalism and style. With key updates including image and video support, this is one great player, hands down

Nate Lanxon

Special to CNET News

See full bio
4 min read

Samsung's 2007 line of MP3 players take advantage of one key feature: touch-sensitivity. The YP-P2 is controlled with gesture-based touch and the new YP-T10 uses a purely touch-sensitive control pad. The T10 follows on from the success of both Samsung's popular YP-K3 and YP-T9 players of 2006.

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8.3

Samsung YP-T10

The Good

Sound quality; price; display; features; ease of use.

The Bad

Reflective screen; no physical controls.

The Bottom Line

The Samsung YP-T10 is a delightful player that's easy to use, perfectly priced, great sounding and attractive. Although we're not overly fond of touch-sensitive controls in a device like this, they look terrific and add a certain elegance to the player even the iPods don't have

The T10 takes the form factor of the K3, the popular name of the T9 and the features of both, blending them into what looks like a stylish hybrid of two successful products, but with key updates and differences. It's available in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB capacities, starting at just £57. We've reviewed the 8GB version, which is priced at around £99.

Design
Immediately liking something is always a good sign, so we can't help but vent our appreciation for the T10's design and build. It's reasonably lightweight but feels sturdy, and the aluminium back plate, with its charcoal matte finish, exerts style and professionalism.

The face of the T10 is finished in a slick gloss and will attract fingerprints and admirers alike. A glossy 51mm (2-inch) TFT LCD screen consumes about half of the face. The rest is taken up by a touch-sensitive navigational pad, the buttons of which glow when touched. Sexy, though no chance you'll use it blindly. Reflective as it is, the screen is pin-sharp. It'll give the new iPod nano not just a run for its money, but surely a jump of a few back garden fences, too.

A special 24-pin UART USB socket sleeps at the bottom of the player, beside a headphone socket. There's also a tiny microphone, which we'll come to later. Overall it's an exceptionally appealing little player, with all the style boxes checked.

Features
The T10's predecessor, the YP-K3, was not geared up to play video. But with its sharp screen, video playback is a key feature of this new player. In fact, it'll play MPEG-4 and WMV video with up to 30 frames per second and resolutions of 320x240 pixels. Music, though, is the main feature here and MP3, WMA and OGG (hurrah!) file formats are all supported, along with purchased tracks protected with WMA DRM.

Like most players, images are supported. There's nothing outstanding in this department but photos look great on the crisp screen. Instead of mocking the iPod's iconic interface and navigation, Samsung has flexed its creative hands and implemented a cute, functional cartoon-esque navigation system, featuring a dog called Sammy. Yes, it's a bit silly, and yes, it's a bit of a gimmick. But it looks great and kids will love it. Adults can opt for one of a couple of more grown-up themes, should the spunky cartoon dog not appeal.


In addition to a canine interface there's an integrated FM radio, stereo Bluetooth, a handy voice recorder for use with the built-in microphone, and a text file viewer that preserves formatting. There's also a bunch of EQ settings that can be accessed from the attractive and easily accessible context menus found throughout the player's interface.

On a PC, the interface of Samsung's supplied software is comparatively attractive and, amongst file transfer functionality, will let you sync podcast RSS feeds with your player. It'll update and download any show you subscribe to and automatically transfer them into the 'Datacast' section of the T10. You can manage your media library with the same software, use Windows Media Player or simply drag and drop files through Windows Explorer.

Performance
After immediately switching off the utterly pointless -- and annoying -- sound effects that accompany button presses, it was time to get to some music. It's a really easy player to use: menus are laid out well, navigation is intuitive and text is easy to read.

Within the first few minutes of testing we were pretty convinced sound quality was excellent. Dream Theater -- a favourite, regular readers will know -- sounded full, crisp and well driven. In fact, it's quite a loud player and capable of driving our Denon AH-D5000 reference headphones to higher volumes than Apple's iPod classic.

Some prime cuts of drum 'n' bass, hard trance and powerful electronica sounded equally impressive. It's ironic seeing a cute two-dimensional dog dance around the screen of a player capable of powering headphones to this level -- a stonking great shire horse would've been more appropriate.

But speaking of screens, the T10's really is superb. Images and videos are exceptionally crisp and detailed thanks to 320x240 pixels being squished into a two-inch display. That's no mean feat, and the results impressed us all here. The only negative aspect of the LCD display is that it doesn't produce brilliant blacks, and what it does produce is somewhat impacted by the reflective gloss applied to the screen's face. Not the end of the world, but important to bear in mind.

Conclusion
There's no doubt in our mind that the YP-T10 is not only great to look at, but it sounds and functions brilliantly and it's good value to boot. If you consider yourself too grown-up for the quaint dancing dog interface, you've got the option to use one of the other more professional themes -- there's no one this player wouldn't particularly suit, bar perhaps gym users who need tactile feedback from their players.

If you you like the features of the T10 but fancy something with physical buttons, consider Sony's terrific A810 series.

Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday

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