I’m the type of person that enjoys carrying around as many gadgets as I have pockets. I like the attention it gets me on the subway when I fumble and drop hundreds of dollars worth of gadgets on the scummy floor of the subway. Ok, not really, but I like my gadgets to do one thing and do it well. Convergence gadgets are trying to make their way into our pockets, but many fail while only a few succeed. The Mach Speed TV5 falls somewhere in between. The TV5 boasts five main features, but its main selling points are narrowed down to the digital camera, mp3 player and video player. The other two features are music/voice recording and a photo gallery. Consumers on a budget take notice.
If you’re looking for a Jack Of All Trades device, on a budget, that records anything that can be plugged in via an AV-in then look no further. Video is recorded as an asf file and all audio is recorded as an mp3 file. If you’re having big hopes for the 5-megapixel camera then you’ll be disappointed. It was terrible in low light and the same goes for the video recording function. A flash would have been very useful, even an LED ‘flash’ would have helped. In a well-lit environment it was decent, at best. The 512MB onboard memory is a start and the ability to expand up to 2GB certainly helps, but you can’t hold a lot of video and mp3 content on 2 gigs.
All in all the TV5 is so-so for what it claims to be able to do, but it falls short in most of its key features. My video iPod is FUBAR so I used the TV5 to watch some video content and the camera wasn’t much better than the 1.3-megapixel camera on my SK3. The device itself felt a bit flimsy, but for only $110 you can’t expect a whole lot. The video recording functionality was the best part of the TV5. It really only needs a few minor improvements to be a real winner. The camera needs a flash, the UI needs to be revamped and the sound effects need to go ASAP as well as some materials upgrades. But like I said if you’re on a budget and want something that does ‘everything’ then the TV5 just might be your best bet.