Iriver P7

Digital Audio Players
>> Donald: Hey, I'm Donald Bell, Senior Editor for Digital Audio and MP3 and today we're taking a first look at the iRiver P7; this is a gorgeous looking portable video player with an affordable price tag of $169.00 for 8 gigabytes and $199.00 for 16 gigs. The body is made out of a solid chunk of aluminum and feels a little Applesque. The face of the P7 includes a 4 point 3 inch touch-screen display with a decent 480 by 272 resolution. On the top you've got these almost invisible controls for power, volume and menu. The side has a headphone jack, hold switch and a micro SD memory slot; this USB connection on the bottom and back is bare except for a wimpy little internal speaker and a gratuitous piece of marketing. Inside the P7 you've got music, video, radio and photo playback as well as voice recording and a text reader. To be perfectly honest none of those features are anything special. What's unique is a main menu layout that mimics the look of a magazine giving each feature a little compartment on the screen. Down here you've got the music player, up top is the video player, radio's in the center here and then there's photos, the recorder and text. The layout doesn't necessarily make navigation easier but is certainly prettier than most interfaces we see. Unfortunately once you get past the main screen menu navigation isn't so great. Going through photos and songs means using this little scroll bar on the side. iRiver includes a stylus but mostly I found myself curling my thumb in to touch the scroll bar, even then scrolling isn't very precise. Another disappointment was the video player. On paper there's a decent amount of support for formats like WMV, AVI, MPEG4 and XVID but in practice we found the P7 is pretty picky when it comes to file resolutions. It's more accepting than most of the MP3 players we test but it doesn't hold up to similarly priced PVP's like the KONA 2 or our old favorite the ARCO 605 WiFi. We also noticed that the screen has a bad viewing angle when you tilt it up. Still this is a very pretty piece of technology and depending on what you want out of it the low price could make up for some of its shortcomings. I'm Donald Bell and that was a first look at the iRiver P7. ^M00:02:15 [ Music ]

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