As I've mentioned, my old mp3 player, Cowon D2, died a painful death last week, so it was time for an upgrade. Got my brand spankin' new Cowon S9 16 gig a week ago and I am loving it. The s9 has a 3.3 MOLED display - that's right not an LCD - and you can definitely see the difference. The screen is bright, the colors are rich, and the dynamic range is excellent. Some other properties of MOLED displays are that they are light and consume a lot less power then LCD displays which, I am guessing, makes for a smaller/lighter battery. This makes itself known even before you turn the unit on, as not only will the S9 fit into any of your pockets, but you'll end up checking up on it to make sure its still there. It's that light! Only 77 grams (~2.7 oz).
To keep this short and sweet I won't cut and paste the Cowon press release nor will I cut and paste the full tech specs (you can see them here). Here are the highlights:
- Is very light and portable
- Everything about the MOLED display is amazing - great color, contrast, and is very watchable under even the most extreme of angles.
- Supports your favortie formats: XVID, WMV9, MP3, FLAG, OGG, etc.
- Is mass storage compliant
- FM radio sounds great and is recordable at up to 256k/s
- Built in microphone (and line in!) records at up to 256 k/s
- Bluetooth headphone/speaker support
- Has dedicated buttons for volume, play/pause, fast forward/rewind, so you wont have to fish it out of your pocket every time you'ld want to control any of those functions
- Flash support! Custom themes are already available - or make your own! Can play flash games as well.
- 55 hour audio, 11 hour video battery life
- Cowon stands behind all their products with fairly frequent firmware updates.
And in the interest of fairness, here are the "negatives":
- Though the unit is mass storage compliant, the cable itself is not the regular mini USB cable, but a 20 pin one. While it's not impossible to find if a replacement is needed, it's a potential inconvenience. You'll need to carry yours around if you'll need to copy files (or recharge) away from home.
- No SD slot, so it's not expandable.
- The menu system can be somewhat fiddly, but not a big obstacle (specially for previous Cowon owners).
Now you might be wondering why I put quotes around the word negatives. The reason is that I don't believe that those things I've listed take anything away from the fact that the Cowon S9 is a great portable audio/video player. The 20 pin cable doesn't affect the sound, does it? The lack of an SD slot... Well, Cowon did not market S9 as a media library, hence, I think 16 gig memory is a reasonable amount of musuic to have on the go. As fo the menus, it just takes getting used to. I am sure that this paragraph makes me sound like a Cowon fanboy... Well, I am, and before you blame me - pick up the S9, hook it up to a pair of Grado SR80 and then get back to me.
Oh, and bout those grados, stay tuned as they are getting upgraded to the RS 2's shortly...