Gift Guide 2009: Portable Media Players

Next Story

Outright Raises $5 Million More For Simple Online Bookkeeping App

[tab:Intro][flagallery gid=1 name=”CrunchGear Gift Guide 2009″]

The common portable media player has a tough existence. It’s expected to handle many tasks well, while being rugged enough to withstand daily (ab)use. It’s expected to look nice, it’s expected to provide more-than-decent battery life, and it’s expected to provide a simple enough interface that it can be operated almost exclusively while on the go. If the world’s greatest mom were a consumer electronics device, she’d be a portable media player.

And while there’s no shortage of portable media players in existence, here’s a quick list of some worthy gift options (in no particular order).

[tab:Archos]archos-android-phone

Archos 5 Internet Tablet: Starting at $379.99 (Archos.com)

A device with a nearly unlimited potential thanks to the inclusion of the Android operating system, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet is part media player, part web browser, part digital video recorder, part GPS system, part game player… you get the idea.

Features:

  • Screen: 4.8-inch 800×480 touchscreen
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Codec Support: MP4, WMV, MPEG-2, H.264, MP3, FLAC, OGG, AAC, WMA
  • Promised Battery Life: 22 hours audio, 7 hours video
  • Expansion: microSD
  • Other: Android OS, web browser, downloadable apps, optional DVR, FM receiver
  • Dimensions: 5.63” x 3.1” x 0.4” and 6.4 ounces (32GB version), 5.63” x 3.1” x 0.78” and 10 ounces (160GB and 500GB versions)

Available in 32GB, 160GB, and 500GB for $380, $400, and $500, respectively.

Product Page | CrunchGear Review

[tab:Apple]ipod touch

Apple iPod touch: Starting at $199 (Apple.com)

The iPod touch may very well be the reigning king of portable media players with its slick interface, great web browser, and a direct pipeline into the most popular mobile applications store around.

Features:

  • Screen: 3.5-inch 480×320 multi-touchscreen
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g wireless, Bluetooth, Nike + iPod
  • Codec Support: MP4, H.264, MOV, MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV
  • Promised Battery Life: 30 hours audio, 6 hours video
  • Expansion: None
  • Other: Safari web browser, iTunes App Store
  • Dimensions: 4.3” x 2.4” x 0.33” and 4.05 ounces

Available in 8GB, 32GB, and 64GB for $199, $299, and $399, respectively. The 32GB and 64GB models feature voice control and faster processors than the 8GB version.

Product Page | CrunchGear Review (8GB version)

[tab:Microsoft]zunehd

Microsoft Zune HD: Starting at $219 (Zune.net)

Not content to let Apple have all the fun, Microsoft’s recent makeover of its Zune line of digital media players has produced an attractive contender in the Zune HD.

Features:

  • Screen: 3.3-inch 480×272 touchscreen
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g wireless
  • Codec Support: WMV, MP4, H.264, DVR-MS, MP3, WMA, AAC
  • Promised Battery Life: 33 hours audio, 8.5 hours video
  • Expansion: None
  • Other: HD Radio receiver, Zune app store, web browser, wireless sync
  • Dimensions: 2” x 4” x 0.35” and 2.6 ounces

Available in 16GB and 32GB for $219 and $289, respectively.

Product Page | CrunchGear Review

[tab:Sony]sonyxseries

Sony X Series Walkman: Starting at $299.95 (SonyStyle.com)

The inventor of the portable audio player is at it again with the new X Series Walkman, featuring a vibrant 3-inch OLED touchscreen, premium noise-canceling headphones, and 30+ hour battery life for music playback.

Features:

  • Screen: 3-inch 432×240 OLED touchscreen
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g wireless
  • Codec Support: WMV, MP4, H.264, MP3, WMA, AAC
  • Promised Battery Life: 33 hours audio, 9 hours video
  • Expansion: None
  • Other: FM radio, web browser, digital noise cancellation, Slacker Radio
  • Dimensions: 2” x 4” x 0.5” and 3.5 ounces

Available in 16GB and 32GB for $299.95 and $399.95, respectively.

Product Page

[tab:Creative]ZenXFi2

Creative Zen X-Fi2: Starting at $129.99 (Creative.com)

Creative’s latest entry to the PMP market is the Zen X-Fi2, which features a 3-inch touchscreen, low starting price, and thoughtful extras like built-in support for synching RSS feeds from your computer to be read on the device.

Features:

  • Screen: 3-inch 400×240 touchscreen
  • Connectivity: None
  • Codec Support: WMV, MP4, DivX, XviD, MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC, Audible
  • Promised Battery Life: 25 hours audio, 5 hours video
  • Expansion: microSD
  • Other: FM radio, organizer, offline RSS reader
  • Dimensions: 4” x 2.2” x 0.5” and 2.6 ounces

Available in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB for $129.99, $179.99, and $229.99, respectively.

Product Page

[tab:Cowon]cowons9

Cowon S9: Starting at $169.99 (CowonAmerica.com)

South Korea’s Cowon may not be as widely well known here in the U.S. as some of its competitors but the company’s line of portable media players are traditionally pretty stylish. The S9, for example, sports a 3.3-inch capacitive AMOLED touchscreen, handsome interface, thin form factor, and built-in Bluetooth.

Features:

  • Screen: 3.3-inch 480×272 AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Codec Support: AVI, WMV, XviD, MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, OGG, APE
  • Promised Battery Life: 55 hours audio, 11 hours video
  • Expansion: None
  • Other: Composite AV output, FM radio, Flash player, calculator
  • Dimensions: 4.17” x 2.2” x 0.5” and 2.7 ounces

Available in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB for $169.99, $204.99, and $259.99, respectively. There’s also a 16GB version for $199.99, which features a chrome/black finish instead of the titanium/black finish found on the other S9 players.

Product Page

[tab:iRiver]iRiverp7

iRiver P7: Starting at $179.99 (iRiver)

The iRiver P7 strays from traditional PMP design somewhat to offer a “Magazine Look UI” contained inside a lightweight aluminum enclosure. The device features a 4.3-inch touchscreen and built-in text reader to complement the other media playback functions.

Features:

  • Screen: 4.3-inch 480×272 touchscreen
  • Connectivity: None
  • Codec Support: AVI, MP4, DAT, MPEG, VOB, WMV, RM, FLV, 3GP, XviD, MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, OGG
  • Promised Battery Life: 35 hours audio, 7 hours video
  • Expansion: microSD
  • Other: FM radio, text reader
  • Dimensions: 4.42” x 2.89” x 0.52” and 6.18 ounces

Available in 8GB and 16GB for $179.99 and $209.99, respectively.

Product Page
[tab:END]

blog comments powered by Disqus