Thursday, May 21, 2009


About a week ago, I received the all in one, MP4/camera I had been drooling over. I was so excited to get it, this seemed to be perfect, it was literally an all in one unit, it is first and foremost a MP3 player and video player with a touchscreen. The video player is good, but that's just about all it does good, I suppose I got greedy and expected this to do everything very well. Oh, it does record audio (digital voice recorder) pretty well too. I don't like the interface, it is not intuitive at all, it took me almost a week to figure out all the things it does and how to get around the menus. This is the first touchscreen anything I have ever owned, so I didn't have a bias from using another touchscreen item in the past.

I also do not like the MP3 player part, the sound is good, but if you are listening to something, then turn it off, it does not remember where you left off. For music that is OK, but that is not OK when you listen to audio books and other voice recordings. I own another MP3 player, a mid-grade unit I got when I worked for Best Buy. This one remembers where I stop if I stop mid-audio, I mostly listen to audio books and recorded (downloaded) radio broadcasts, so if I stop in the middle of the show, especially if the show is long, I want it to remember where I stopped and pick up where it left off, it is most annoying to have to hold down the fast forward button for long periods of time...

The real reason why I got this was for the camera, stills and video. The camera part has multiple settings, that is good, but it doesn't remember your settings when you exit the camera function or turn it off, so you have to reset it each time you use it, a minor annoyance, but just one in a multitude of things that are not right about this.

Now to the worst part, the video, I expected much better, the video it recorded was jittery, jumpy, barely 5 FPS, it did do good about going from bright sunlight into shadow, but the video quality overall is poor. I did a 12 minute video the other day, the sound was severely out of sync from the video, at best it was 15 seconds behind the video, as the video progressed, it got even worse. That was the final straw for me. I contacted the company and told them I wanted to return this unit for credit toward another item. This time I am getting a CAMERA (video and stills), I will get something that does the one thing, not so many things that it can't do many of them well. I also asked for a credit for my shipping costs as it was their mistake on the webpage that made me pick this unit, their claim of 30 FPS, I had even emailed them before I purchased to confirm that was correct, they had emailed me back to say that their description was accurate. I would not have chosen this particular unit had I known the video was so poor. They agreed to credit the shipping costs, so I am happy with their decision about that.

I will be shipping it back next week, hopefully it will not take forever for it to get back to the company, I will wait until I get confirmation of my credit before I go ahead and order the other camera.

My rating on this unit, on a scale of 1-10, 1 being worst, 10 being best:

MP3 player 5
Video player 9 (surprisingly good)
Sound quality
with earbuds 8
internal speaker 4 (not loud enough, tinny sounding)
stills 4
video 2
voice recorder 7 (did surprisingly well)
touchscreen 4
interface/menu 2 (not intuitive at all)
internal memory 9
FM radio 7
battery 5 (seemed to run down quickly)
earbuds 7 (the supplied earbuds were pretty good)

overall 5.6

I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised, for the price (very inexpensive), and the fact that it had so many features, there was no way it could do any of them very well, I was just hoping it would take good pictures and videos. To be fair, it is first and foremost a MP4 player, (music and video player), the camera was secondary. If you want something inexpensive to watch videos on, movies and such, this is great, it does play MP3 music ok, the interface and menu are less than stellar, as a voice recorder, it does pretty well, the camera (video and stills) are not up to par at all. The other thing this does is it displays text files (they say eb00k, but in reality it has to be in .txt format), well, it did do that, I was able to put in a list of phone numbers and other notes, that is good, but you can't edit them, they are read only.

I'll post my review of the camera I pick out when I receive it and have a chance to play with it. I hope to have better luck with it.

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