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iriver E100: Review

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (11 votes, average: 4.36 out of 5)
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iriver-e100.jpg

The first iriver player to make waves in the U.S. was the Clix2, iriver’s flagship player. Now comes the E100. While the player hasn’t even hit US shores, reviews of the European model have spawn online. Unfortunately, it seems the E100, although a very decent player, doesn’t have the same pizazz as the Clix. For a little background information see here.

Review after the jump.

Specs:
* 2.4″ QVA TFT screen
* built-in dual speakers
* FM Tuner
* microSD card slot
* voice recorder
* Audio support: MPEG 1/2/2.5 Layer 3, WMA, ASF, and OGG/FLAC
* Video support: MPEG4 SP and WMV9 SP (QVGA @ 30 fps)
* Picture support: JPEG, BMP, GIF, and PNG
* Battery life: 25 hours audio / 5 hours video
* Dimension: 92.8 x 47.8 x 11.3mm

Good:
+ Excellent minimalist design
+ Scratch/fingerprint resistant
+ Apple ‘Cover Flow’ like UI (reminds me of Front Row)
+ automatic landscape orientation

Bad:
– The screen is horrible compared to other MP3 players, including iRiver’s previous models
– Viewing angle could be better
– Speakers are sub-par; not very loud
– Video support is nit-picky – recommend to convert video using the included software
– tracks on a microSD card will not integrate with the main library
– UI is not wallpaper-able, theme-able, or skin-able; could be easy to use

In terms of sound quality, the iriver E100 isn’t anything worth mentioning. Even the speakers are sub-par, at best. Overall, it is just ‘okay’. Although, a headphone upgrade may improve the audio experience. The same goes for video support. Some videos play very choppy and distorted, despite it being a supported format. Running the video file through iRiver’s conversion software seems to alleviate the problem. Further, others have reported discontent with the UI. When accessing content, some have complained that what should have been a “one click” deal, wasn’t. Finally, it is a disappointment that the E100 does not integrate files on a microSD with the main library. So you can’t combine all of your tracks in one big playlist. Bummer.

The E100 is out in Europe. A US release is expected in late March or early April — 2GB ($117), 4GB ($147), and 8GB ($215).

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