Review (May 2007) - Coby
Portable audio players are about as popular and common as DVD players, with just as many variations available from an array of manufacturers. Quite often, inexpensive models offer no frills displays with limited memory, while the more costly models offering color screens and internal hard drives. Coby's new MP-C951 fits the latter category with a sleek looking, full featured MP3 player capable of playing full-color video clips. The MP-C951 features a high contrast 2-inch TFT color LCD screen. The buttons on the face of the unit are elegant touch sensitive keys leaving the only mechanical switch to be the power/hold button on the top. The compact design of the MP-C951 has a sturdy feel with a solid chassis and measures 4.25" x 2.50" x 0.75" (HxWxD) and weighs 5.6 ounces. Don't let the small size fool you. Inside the unit is a large 20GB Hitachi Travelstar hard drive, which can easily store ample amounts of music and video files. As a result, there are no slots for flash memory devices. The front of the MP-C951 is glossy black with attractive red backlit illumination. The rest of the unit is white.
A sync detect feature will synchronize the recording when a signal is detected on the line input. The audio recorder can also be activated when the microphone detects sound. Equalization settings can be user-defined through a five band equalizer or set to predefined levels defined as Rock, Jazz, U-Bass, Classic and Normal. The menu system allows users to navigate through Music, Movie, Photo, FM Radio, E-BookExplorer, and Setup.
JPEG photos can be displayed on the player and with the high contrast screen they look good. However, the resolution and size is somewhat limited, so don't expect too much. The FM Radio uses the built-in digital tuner that can be adjusted using the left and right arrows. The frequency is displayed with large fonts and an indicator shows the signal strength along with stereo or mono reception. Pressing the OK button toggles between Preset mode and Frequency mode. Holding down the OK button lets the user select Presetting and save the station into the preset memory for future access. The E-BookExplorer is an application that can read text files while on the go.
The remaining interfaces are for power and USB connections. Both standard and host USB connectors are provided. The standard USB interface is used with a computer to transfer various files to the player. We noticed a firmware update was available for the unit, so we downloaded it and placed it into the Firmware folder. Once the unit was turned on the firmware automatically updated the current version (0.556) to the latest version (0.568). The host interface allows portable devices such as digital cameras to connect and transfer files directly to the player without the need for a computer. Unfortunately, we were not able to get this to work with our digital camera (Kodak v530). The input power jack is used to charge the built-in Lithium-Ion battery using the AC adapter. There was no car adapter included with this unit so time will be limited between charges. Coby claim the unit can last as long as 12 hours on a charge.
- Kevin Nakano
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