We’ve been holding off on covering the slew of iriver DAPs appearing at CES in hopes for some hands-on time, but it seems we’ll have to wait like everyone else for the official releases (most of which are unknown). That’s okay, though, because from what we’ve seen and heard, most of the devices should definitely be worth the wait . . . assuming they’ll be available in the U.S., of course.
In the meantime, let’s take a quick look at everything the lovely folks at iriver have in store for us this year.
One of iriver’s most exciting new offerings is the clix2, the ultra-thin successor to the clix. And what a successor it is! Featuring a 2.2-inch QVGA AMOLED display (320 x 240), 25-hour battery life, and MPEG-4 support up to 30 fps, the clix2 will be available in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB (hooray!) capacities. And don’t worry. All of things you loved about the original clix (D-Click, FM radio and recording, Flash, MP3/OGG/WMA) are still there.
The most unexpected of the new crop is the touchscreen-enabled W10 running Microsoft’s Windows CE 5.0 operating system. We wouldn’t go so far as to say that the W10 is iriver’s entrance into the Pocket PC market, but some of its specs are rather PDA-like. Among them are its 3-inch WQVGA TFT display (480 x 272) and integrated WiFi for web browsing and WPS, which is essentially WiFi-based GPS. Codec support and storage capacities mirror that of the clix2, though the W10 is equipped with a miniSD slot for expanded memory. No word on price yet, but we’ve heard that it’s scheduled for an April release.
Where did this one come from? Judging from the feature set, the X20 is pretty similar to the original clix: FM radio, MP3/OGG/WMA, AVI (MPEG-4)/WMV9, photo viewer, etc. What differentiates the players (aside from their appearance) is that the X20 has a scroll wheel of some kind, a miniSD slot, built-in speaker, and comes in an 8GB model. It also doesn’t have any Flash support. Hmm. Okay, so maybe the X20 isn’t that similar to the clix.
The selling point for the B20 is its T-DMB tuner, making it a very unlikely candidate for U.S. citizenship. Too bad, too, because it looks pretty good: 2.4-inch QVGA TFT (320 x 240), miniSD slot, D-Click, Flash, T-DMB recording, and all the codecs you’ve already seen too much of in this post. Battery life is also good with 26 hours for music, 7 hours for DAB, 5 hours for video, and 4 hours for DMB. The downside of the player, aside from availability, is that it maxes out at 4GB.
Here we have the comeback of iriver’s Toblerone-inspired flash DAP. Unlike the company’s other upcoming devices, the 1GB T50 is powered by a single AA battery that is capable of keeping your MP3s playing for a reported 53 hours. It’s equipped with a tiny 1.01-inch CSTN display (128 x 64), has an FM radio and voice recorder, and also supports WMA, OGG, and ASF.
The T60 reportedly has the same features but it runs on a AAA battery (good for only 20 hours) and comes in 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB capacities. Since the players have been advertised together as the T50/T60, we’ve always assumed that they were identical in appearance. However, this indicates a “colorful” device that has not yet been spotted.
Last we have the Mplayer, undoubtedly designed in honor of Mickey Mouse. In fact, if you look closely at the press shot, you can see the words “Walt Disney” printed on the bottom of the player. As is expected on a screenless device, the MPlayer is very bare bones. Exclusively supporting MP3s, it features an LED light (where?), mini USB 2.0 on the bottom, and headphone jack and lanyard loop on the top. Mickey’s ears act as the controls.