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Transcend T.sonic 820
PMPs come in all shapes and sizes, and the T.sonic 820 is testimony to the fact. Screens don't have to be large for a player to play video, but the question is, will the experience still be good enough for you to enjoy? And what about the additional features? Here are the answers to these questions.
In a rather traditional candy bar design, the T.sonic 820 ooks a bit like a miniature mobile phone that’s missing a few keys. It has a 1.5 inch, 65k color, 1258 x 128 pixel resolution, OLED display, underneath which you’ll find a host of keys for various purposes – including navigation, play/pause, skip, record etc.
On one side of the 820 is a mini USB for data transfer as well as charging, and just above that is a 3.5mm Line-In socket for inputting other audio devices for recording purposes. On the other side is the Hold slider. The 3.5mm earphone socket is located on the top of the player near the mic. It's an extremely light player at just 45g.
Features and Performance
The Transcend T.sonic 820 is a 2GB device that could be called the poor man's PMP as it also plays video files after they are converted using the proprietary software bundled with the package. Navigation, however, is slow – there’s a lag of some sort. But the interface is pleasant and easy to figure out. You can also create playlists for your music files in the player itself.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the player can read MP3, WMA, and WMA-DRM10 file formats – it’s a matter of simply copy-pasting the files. The bundled earphones handle the output very well. Sadly, the box doesn’t include ear cushions, so the earphones tend to sit a bit harsh on the ears. Not bad enough to trouble you, and besides you can always get another set (of earphones, I mean; not ears). The best part about the device – you won’t need to use any other earphones except these! The customizable EQ and presets will make the sound better.
The video capabilities of the device are unsatisfactory. Consider the display resolution of the screen. More annoying is the silly black navigation bar occupying a third of the screen. I don’t understand the reason for that. The image quality is poor but if it’s a short clip you need to show someone it’s okay. Just don’t stare at the screen too long. If you’re going to be viewing photographs, well, you’ll at least be able to recognize the person in it. If your eyesight is good.
Another feature that is a waste is the FM radio with recording. I was not able to get a decent signal anywhere. Forget commutes, I was lucky to be able to hear a few squawks while in my office building. The recoding feature is quick, but don't expect any great quality. Had the radio been better, I might have enjoyed going back in time and recording from FM. It records files in .WAV format, and also has an Audio-In feature to record from other sources.
The e-book reader was only able to read .TXT files, so all your books will have to be converted to that format (if they aren’t already). It was decent enough to get by. The inbuilt microphone is quite good and has good range. There's also a world clock.
The battery life of the T.sonic 820 is superb. With a full 12 hours of nonstop music you’ll have no problem at all. All that on a single charge! Don’t let a single bar in the Battery Meter fool you, it’ll still give you a good three hours of music, if not more.
Priced at about Rs 2,795 for 2GB and Rs 3,495 for the 4GB model, this player is not too bad. But you must realize that the T.sonic 820 is fundamentally a brilliant music player, and little else. If a simple, nice-looking MP3 player is what you want, and don't wish to go to the hassle of getting another set of earphones, this one is ideal.