South Korea’s Cowon Systems has announced the availability of its Cowon D2 portable media player in North America, a compact video- and music-capable portable device sporting a 2.5-inch 320 by 240 pixel LCD touchscreen and offering SD and SDHC media storage.
"The COWON D2 has gained tremendous traction with our devoted fans and general consumers since its introduction to the U.S. market at CES 2007," said Francis Choi, Cowon America’s senior marketing manager, in a statement. "The D2 is one of the most compact PMPs with a touch-screen interface on the market, a combination that allows users to navigate through their digital media content and FM radio with their fingertips."
The Cowon D2 is available in two colors—the seemingly mandatory black and white—with 2 to 4 GB of internal flash memory. The internal storage can be complemented by SD/SDHD/MMC/MMC-plus memory cards, taking the D2’s capacity all the way up to 12 GB (with an 8 GB SDHC card). Cowon says the D2’s rechargeable battery offers up to 52 hours of audio use, or 10 hours of video playback; the unit can be charged either via USB 2.0 or a wall adapter.
What media does the D2 handle? A surprisingly broad range, although—as with all non-iPod players, protected media purchased from Apple’s iTunes Store is a non-starter. However, on the video front the D2 handles AVI, MPEG4, and WMV 9—and an optional (unspecified) TV out lets you pump video from the D2 to a bigger screen. On the music front, the D2 supports MP3, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, APE, and WAV audio; the unit can also display JPG images, potentially making it useful to shutterbugs who want to preview or store photos separately from their cameras. Users control the D2 via a touch-sensitive screen; options and controls appear in a transparent overlay during music or video playback. The D2 comes with a plastic widget which doubles and both a stylus (for manipulating that touchscreen) and a kickstand (for propping the D2 upright on a table, desk, or other surface). The D2 also sports an integrated FM tuner, radio and voice/line-in audio recording, and text-viewing capabilities. Cowon says the D2 also supports podcasts, offers enhanced sound quality with BBE, Mach3Bass, MP enhance, and a 5-band EQ, and works with Windows, Macs, and Linux systems.
The Cowon D2 is available now at suggested prices of $189.99 and $219.99 for the 2 and 4 GB editions, respectively.