Iriver showed off many new devices at CES 2008 and from what I was told they actually plan on playing a bit more in the US market. An interesting device they showed off was the W7, with a 3” 260k color, 480 x 272 pixel touch screen. The player is flash based in 4GB and 8GB capacities with the option to add miniSD memory.
The W7 is a solid piece of hardware and an interesting interface that is basically a miniaturized media player typically found on a desktop. But, I think this player may only appeal to the hardcore gadget geek and one that is a big fan of a stylus interface.
iriver had one of the coolest looking booth at CES and really was the only manufacturer that showed anything new and compelling. Walking behind the tent like structure you entered an ultra white and extremely well lit display area. It was a ultra modern and I would have expected to see the iriver reps wearing white lab coats. Still they knew their stuff and were quick to answer any questions.
Over the last few years iriver has been more of an enigma in the US by only releasing a handful of their products to the store shelves, keeping many of the really cool and compelling products back in Asian countries. However, iriver PR and two of the reps told me that the US will likely see a lot of what was on display and they will be making more of an effort to sell in the United States.
Below I have a rundown of the various players, a quick and dirty booth tour, and a video demo of the Unit 2.