We all want one device that can ‘do it all’ – whether it is handle all our media needs or keep our life organized or tell us which way to turn when we drive. The reality is that no one device seems to exist yet that meets all our needs. So, we have ‘specialty’ devices that do many things well.
|The P20 is a true portable media player. The size is small and the capabilities large…||
Portable Media Players try to handle our Music/MP3 needs along with Video, FM listening and Photo viewing. Along comes newcomer Looket to this crowded field dominated by the likes of Apple, Creative, Toshiba and others. How does their first offering, the P20, stack up?
Read on for my thoughts. Looket is a new brand from SysOnChip – an Illinois company known for Navigation/GPS offerings. The name reflects this first thing the user notices when the device is powered up – the beautiful screen (more on that later.)
The P20 is a true ‘Portable’ media player. The size is small and the capabilities large as the following specs illustrate:
- High resolution display and speedy processor
- Various file format supportable
- Slide show for different size of pictures
- Vivid color with 16.7million color display
- QVGA TFT 3.5?landscape LCD with high resolution (320 x 240)
- Wide view angle of 60o
- 20GB HDD to be able to store thousands of songs (MP3 or WMA files)
- Clean sound radio with comfortable earphone
- High quality stereo speakers with 40mW allowing you to enjoy music and movies together with your friends even without earphones
- Rich powerful sound quality and 4 band equalizer (rock, dance, classic, pop) and one user equalizer selections for several music genres
- Easy to use and one-click navigation button
- Cool and stylish blue LED and simple and slim outfit
- Uploading and downloading any data like music, movies, digital photos, data files, etc. up to 20GB, in which you can store up to 80 hours of video files.
- Remote control for convenient key uses
- FM transmitter function for wireless audio output (Dual band support)
- Direct recording from TV, DVD and radio
- Movie and image file display through TV or screen displayer devices
- Fast data transmission speed with USB 2.0 (max. 480 Mbps) suitable for the big data storage
- Battery rechargeable even during file transferring
- Direct data transmission from digital devices having USB like digital cameras and digital camcorders by using USB host function (USB 1.1) even without PC.
- Easy-to-use drag and drop data file copy
Video Support Codec MPEG4 Simple profile, XviD, WMV9, Divx3.11,4,5, 5pro
Support File Format AVI, ASF, WMV
Output Format NTSC / PAL
Composite video output 75 Ohm.
Encoding MPEG Simple profile , ASF File Format
Audio Support Codec MP3, WMA, AC3, OGG, G.726
Image Support File JPEG, BMP, GIF
Now that you have the technical details – lets get on to the issue at hand – is this the device you pony up $350 bucks for to carry with you at all times.
The Looket is a small, but heavy device. It feels very solid in your hands. The P20 is designed so that front of the unit is almost entirely screen. That gives you maximum real estate for watching videos.
The control buttons are all located along the left edge of the device. The main controller is sort of a joystick/d-pad kind of device. It can be used to navigate up and down and left and right. The location on the side is confusing at first – it took a while to figure out that the direction orientation is based on looking at the screen – not the controller.
Under the D-pad there are a series of buttons: – back, menu, hold (lock) and power. Each button has a positive feel and seems very sturdy.
With most media players – this is the make or break area – user interface – ease of use. This is the single most important reason that Apple has completely dominated the PMP market. The device interface is so intuitive and easy to use and itunes is a perfect companion.
The Looket P20 takes advantage of Windows Media Center Edition (if you are fortunate enough to have that on your PC) and has its own menu driven interface.
The best way to describe the Looket interface is…clunky – not unlike many Windows based PMP’s. It is just not easy or intuitive to navigate through this device unless you have better than average technical skills.
Moving from menu to menu was slow. Once I figured out how to navigate to the appropriate screens for Radio, MP3, Video or Photo – it took a while to get there. Once there – I often found myself hitting the ‘back’ button or the ‘menu’ button to figure out just how to get the music or videos to play. Full file names are displayed and sometimes folder navigation was required to access what it was I was looking for.
This is one area where the Looket shined – the built in Stereo speakers were great – it was nice to not ‘have to’ plug in headphones to listen to what was playing. When headphones were used or when the unit was plugged into the auxiliary jack on the stereo I was very impressed by the overall sound quality. I did do a ‘head to head’ comparison of the same music playing on an ipod and on the Looket and the Looket performed admirably – but not quite as clear as the ipod.
The screen in gorgeous. Movie clips and videos played without hesitation or stutter. The clarity of the screen rivaled that of the PSP which is among the best I have seen in portable devices.
The Looket P20 is a good, solid and competent device. It plays music and videos quite well as well as storing Photos and listening to FM radio when desired. The screen is gorgeous, the built in speakers are a nice touch and it feels very solid. It is hampered by a clunky interface and a steeper than needed learning curve which might prove frustrating to first-time PMP users.
Overall Grade: B+
Pros: Nice size, solid build quality, great screen
Cons: Not user friendly in its interface and controls, heavy
The Looket P20 is available from SysOnChip at http://www.looketgps.com
For $499.00 but I have found it elsewhere advertised for $349.00
Written by Gary