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|Apple iPod Touch 2G
With the second generation of its benchmark-setting iPod Touch, Apple has managed to move the gold standard in personal music players yet another notch forward. Though existing touch owners may not find the list of upgrades compelling enough to spur a pricy upgrade, shoppers looking for the most well-rounded, sleek and capable PMP on the market will find the second generation iPod Touch close to perfection.
Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
Audio formats supported: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
TV and video formats supported:
Support for 480p and 576p component TV out
H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; H.264 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 3.0 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
2. Archos 5
Full web browsing: With an 800 pixels wide resolution and a 5" screen, you can browse the Web in full width just like on your PC.
Display: High resolution screen, 800x480 pixels, 4.8'' TFT LCD, 16 million colors
Video playback: MPEG-42 ASP @L5 AVI, up to DVD resolution), WMV MP @ML, up to DVD resolution) included WMV protected files, M-JPEG (in QVGA resolution)
3. Creative Zen X-Fi (16GB)
The Creative Zen X-Fi is an incredible value given its low price and laundry list of features, which include photo, video, Audible, and subscription music support; an FM radio and voice recorder; an SD card expansion slot; WiFi capability; multiple EQ settings; X-Fi sound enhancement technology; and upgraded EP-830 earphones. Sound quality is top-notch, the screen is lovely, and the rated battery life for audio is impressive.
Supported audio formats: AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, ADPCM, Audible
Video Support: Motion JPEG , WMV , MPEG-4 , DivX , XviD
Additional features: Calendar, Bass Boost, Volume control, Voice recording, Wi-Fi compatible, Built-in organizer, X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity, USB 2.0 compatibility, X-Fi Crystalizer technology
4. Sony NWZ-A829B
Sony's A Series Walkmans have worked hard to make themselves attractive alternatives to the iPod Nano. They've dumped SonicStage for Windows Media Player, added video playing and, with the A826, trumped their Cupertino foe with built-in Bluetooth audio streaming. Now, the A829B has arrived with a Nano-matching 16GB storage. It also comes with a fine-sounding pair of cabled ear-buds, unlike its 4GB and 8GB siblings, which come with Sony's DR-BT21GB Bluetooth headphones.
Supported video and audio formats: MP3, WMA, MP4.
5. Archos 705 Wi-Fi 80GB
Most Advanced PMP: Featuring the highest quality screen resolution, highest quality video, touch screen, WiFi capabilities for streaming content to the device or a TV, the ARCHOS 705 WiFi is the top product in the line-up for flexibility, portability, features and price.
The ARCHOS 705 WiFi features the highest resolution 7" screen (800 X 480) and highest quality screen in a PMP. Use the touch screen to easily operate the device with your finger or stylus.
6. SanDisk Sansa View 16GB
The Sansa View digital media player is an incredible value considering its features, which include photo and video support, a microSD card slot, an FM radio, and a voice recorder. The screen is relatively large, and there's a separate podcast menu for easy sorting of such content. It works with Mac and Windows and supports WMA subscription services and Audible.
Support video and audio formats: MP3, MPEG
Key Features: Digital photo viewer, Digital video player, Digital audio player
7. Creative Zen (16GB)
The Creative Zen sounds fantastic and features a brilliant color screen capable of displaying photos and video. The player offers a smorgasbord of desirable extras such as an SD card expansion slot, an FM radio, a voice recorder, and a user-definable EQ. It has a slim, pocket-friendly design; is very user-friendly; supports subscription music; and sports a reasonable price tag.
Supported video and audio formats: AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, ADPCM, Audible, MJPEG, WMV, MPEG4, DivX4, DivX 5, XviD3.
Additional features: Calendar, Bass Boost, Volume limiter, Voice recording, Built-in organizer, USB 2.0 compatibility, Microsoft Outlook synchronization
8. Iriver LPlayer (8GB, black)
The Iriver LPlayer is packed with features, including an FM radio, voice recording, bookmarking, subscription music support, multiple sound-enhancement options, and support for both Mac and Windows. It also offers an ultracompact design with a nice, bright color display.
Supported video and audio formats: ASF, MP3, WMA, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, MPEG-4, WMV9, XviD
Additional features: TXT files support, Upgradeable firmware, USB 2.0 compatibility, FM radio recording capability
9. Panasonic DVD-LS80
The thought of carrying your entire DVD library on one pocketable device is a pleasing one, but hours spent levering the videos onto the PMP isn't quite as alluring. So why not look at a portable DVD player like the LS80? To recap: these require you to simply put in a physical disc and press play.
Media Type: CD, DVD, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD+R DL, DVD-R DL
Supported video and audio formats: DivX, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MP3, WMA
Additional Features: Depth enhancer, HighMAT support, Dialogue enhancer, JPEG photo playback, Digital video noise reduction
10. Cowon Q5W (40GB)
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.
Key Features: Voice recorder, Digital audio player, Digital photo viewer, Digital video player, External HDD function
Supported video and audio formats: ASF, AVI, WMV, DivX, XviD, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, OGM (Ogg Media), ASF, MP3, MPC, WAV, WMA, AC-3, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, MPEG 1 Audio, MPEG 2 Audio, MPEG 2.5 Audio, APE (Monkey's Audio)
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