Friday March 13 05:25 pm
Cowon D2 (16GB, black) first look
Cowon's original D2 MP3 player from 2007 quickly earned a reputation for outstanding sound quality, a long-lasting battery, and cutting-edge touch-screen technology. Two years later, the Cowon D2 refines the audio quality and touch-screen interface that made the original model so compelling, and includes a reasonable price tag of $139 (8GB) and $179 (16GB). Design Physically, the Cowon D2 is nearly indistinguishable from its predecessor, measuring the same 3 inches wide by 2.2 inches tall and a relatively chunky 0.65 inch thick. The D2 is manipulated mostly through its touch-screen interface, however, controls for power, menu, button hold, and volume remain on the top edge of the player. Audio, USB, and peripheral connections are located on the left side of the D2 , and an SD/MMC/SDHC card slot is tucked away on the bottom. The screen on the D2 is a 2.5-inch TFT LCD capable of displaying 1.6 million colors at a 320x240-pixel QVGA resolution, and looks comparable with the iPod Classic screen in both size and image quality. The look and feel of the D2's graphic touch-screen interface has been overhauled for a cleaner, more modern look. Functionally, however, the interface is identical to the original D2, which means that scrolling long lists of music takes patience, and some operations are better executed with a stylus than a clumsy finger. One of the only hardware design tweaks that distinguishes the D2 from the model we saw in 2007 is the absence of metal trim along the front and back of player. Instead, the D2 uses an all-plastic design that--though lighter--feels a little less substantial than the original.