The Good The Cowon Q5W portable video player boasts robust video features, high-quality audio playback, and includes a Wi-Fi-enabled Internet browser, Bluetooth audio streaming, component and composite video output, MSN Messenger, and built-in speakers. Unfortunately, its confusing dual interface and high price hold it back from greatness. Visit for details. Cowon's most ambitious product to date, the Cowon Q5W, is a super-charged, touch-screen portable video player PVP with an astounding list of features. Design With a recessed 5-inch wide-screen display and elegant metal construction, the Cowon Q5W looks like a Cowon D2 on steroids. Considering that the Q5W comes in at nearly a pound of unwieldy metal girth--measuring 5.
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A 60GB version is also available, but even that could offer too little storage if you want to carry a lot of video. The player slots into the dock, which then plugs into your car cigarette lighter and uses an FM transmitter to speak driving directions and, if desired, play music through the car radio. The screen nearly fills the whole front of the device, which is only 0.
It feels surprisingly heavy, but it's easy enough to tote in a coat pocket or a purse. Using the touch-screen interface, however, you can make light work of everyday tasks, such as listening to music, tuning the built-in FM radio and watching video. Mostly, you use your thumbs to browse the menus, occasionally tapping selections with a finger. You can also use the small included stylus stored in the edge of the player for greater accuracy or for more complex tasks, such as selecting from a long list of MP3s.
For more detailed operations, you exit Cowon America Inc. Windows CE 6. Here you definitely need the stylus for selecting items in tiny dialog boxes and typing on the virtual keyboard.
Video looked impressively sharp and colorful on the bypixel display, especially when I played wide-screen DivX-encoded movies.
Motion was very smooth, and the picture was visible from a wide angle. The device scored poorly in our lab audio tests, and the included ear buds are basic at best -- though with some adjustment of the on-screen graphic equalizer, I was able to get acceptable sound through my own headphones.
You can record voice notes with the built-in microphone, but the player lacks a digital video recorder's ability to capture video which the rival Archos WiFi unit can do.
I hooked up the Q5W to the component inputs on my high-definition television using the included cable, which also provides a lower-quality composite connection for older TVs. Picture quality was good -- similar to that of a standard DVD -- and the digital audio sounded great through my receiver. For watching across the room, Cowon supplies a small infrared remote control, but the scant documentation a short printed Quick Guide and an inadequate user guide on the software CD neglects to explain how to use it.
Learning how to work the menus took me some time, and certain buttons remain a mystery. It doesn't help that some operations are a little sluggish, so determining whether a button push has had any effect is often difficult. The second USB port should be a hit with photographers, because it lets you archive images from a digital camera, and it allows you to transfer files to and from a USB thumb drive.
The device lacks any sort of media card slot, though. The Cowon Q5W works well enough for listening to music and watching video, but you'll need patience and some technical savvy to achieve more complex tasks, such as loading content over a secure wireless network. While the player has much potential, it feels less refined than the cheaper Archos WiFi.
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Cowon Q5W Review
A 60GB version is also available, but even that could offer too little storage if you want to carry a lot of video. The player slots into the dock, which then plugs into your car cigarette lighter and uses an FM transmitter to speak driving directions and, if desired, play music through the car radio. The screen nearly fills the whole front of the device, which is only 0. It feels surprisingly heavy, but it's easy enough to tote in a coat pocket or a purse. Using the touch-screen interface, however, you can make light work of everyday tasks, such as listening to music, tuning the built-in FM radio and watching video.
Cowon Q5W 40GB Portable Multimedia Player Review
The Cowon Q5W blurs the line between multimedia-centric handhelds and Ultra-Mobile PCs by packing in an absolutely gorgeous display, wireless capabilities, almost limitless media compatibility, and an easy-to-use interface. However, in our day-to-day use, we found several flaws that prevent this device from taking the PMP crown. Measuring 5. Aesthetically, the unit resonates a subdued elegance with its simple black-and-steel-gray color scheme. A slew of buttons and ports surround its perimeter: Volume keys, stereo speakers, power button, and a mic are built into the top; a retractable Wi-Fi antenna, USB and mini-USB ports, jacks for a headset and earbuds, and a power adapter adorn the right. Unfortunately, when you need to tweak system settings, the Q5W frequently drops you into Windows CE 5. We came across another major issue; the touchscreen often missed our inputs when we used a finger.