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aigo E868 PMP
There are some products I like testing, such as mini PMPs. Aside from being a vidiot movie buff, these players are usually small enough to carry around like a normal MP3 player, and handy enough for watching videos while commuting. Of course, the screen does have to be clear, even if it isn’t too big. That’s important. Read on to find out how aigo's E868 mini PMP fared in our tech test.
As with any other PMP, the design is quite simple. It’s squarish, for want of a better term, but I’m sure you get the idea. The 2.5 inch 16 million color LTPS display occupies the front. On the top is a series of buttons, starting with the volume keys that double as skip or rewind keys.
Next up is the Menu key that enables a small drop-down menu with a few specific functions. Then there’s the Record key for the voice recorder followed by the Return key that does exactly what it says (returns you to the previous menu).
The highlight of the E868 is the three-way scroller at the end. It can be used for navigating the player, as well as to navigate through a video. It can also be depressed to play or pause audio or video. At the bottom of the E868 you’ll find an SD/MMC card slot and a mini USB slot for PC connectivity.
On one side of the player is a small LED that changes color according to function: blue when the player is on, red when it’s charging and green when it’s done charging. Below that is the DC adapter port. On the other side is the 3.5mm earphone slot at the top, the mic underneath that, followed by the Hold switch, Power key and Reset button.
Features and Performance
The E868 is quite feature-rich. You can do more with it than play music and watch videos. It supports AVI (DivX), VOB, DAT, MPG, MPEG, MP4, MP3, WMA, and OGG, which pretty much covers all the audio and video formats you’ll encounter. So you wont have a problem with conversion.
However, in case of videos, it takes 30 seconds or so to play the video. It seems as if the player converts the video on the fly before playing it. Unfortunately this happens every time you try playing a file. Another problem is that it doesn’t auto-save where you left off; you have to manually set a bookmark. The playback is great, the screen is clear, and the sound is good too. There's an AV-out option (RCA AV cables provided), and you can change the TV standard from PAL60 to PAL or NTSC.
One thing I didn’t like about the E868 is the fact that there's no customizable EQ setting. Just a whole lot of presets which didn’t help the audio quality much. The bundled earphones may look interestingly familiar – they are very similar to that of another company. Let me just discreetly say that the company's name rhymes with schmapple.
The output was loud enough to drown out the sounds in a crowded train. But I’m afraid the quality of the sound was rather ho-hum. Oddly enough, the earphones are quite good when used with other devices. So here's a bit of advice, just use your own with the aigo E868.
Other features include a TXT reader for e-books. It should have had an FM radio instead. But I think it has enough. Unfortunately there's just 2GB of internal memory, but as I mentioned it has support for external memory via SD/MMC cards. And of course you also have the option to view your JPEGs clearly on the E868, with zoom capabilities as well.
For some reason I never needed to install any drivers on my PC at work in order to access the drives for file transfers, yet I needed to do it at home. This was very odd considering it’s a normal USB flash drive type of player.
The battery life is really good; aigo has given this baby a battery that’ll run for ages. I was able to watch two full-length movies and listen to over three hours of music on a single charge. The player tends to get a little warm inside your pocket, but it’s not a problem.
Oh, and don’t fret if you see the battery meter showing just one bar – you’ll be able to squeeze a good two hours of music from that one bar.
I loved the player: the style, the light weight, the convenient size, and the portability. On the flip side it has just 2GB of space; you’ll have to get more. Still, the video quality is brilliant. The music quality is average, but somehow it seemed really good when watching movies.
This mini PMP costs Rs 11,200, so ultimately you’ll have to decide if you want to splurge on this or not. I’d bite if it were priced a little lower, so I guess I’ll wait a couple of weeks and see... In the meantime, Happy Diwali!