Cowon S9 Portable Media Player


Most Apple aficionados would be hard-pressed to say that any player out there can really challenge the elegantly simplistic iPod Touch in the style department, but if there’s one that’s up to the challenge, it might be Cowon’s upcoming Curve S9. From the glinting chrome trim on its sides and the gentle arc of its rear panel, to the expansive 3.3-inch OLED screen on its face that melds seamlessly into the rest of its body, it’s clear that Cowon spent some serious time tweaking this thing for style, and we think it may be ready to topple the Cupertino giant.

The choice of materials on the S9 may bear some passing resemblance to its Apple competitor, but Cowon has also set it apart in a few distinct ways. Most significantly, the curved back plays with dimensions in a way few manufacturers have thought to try so far. The arc draws the eye away from the player’s plain rectangular top profile and more to the side, where the player looks like a sliver shaved off an enormous wheel of chrome. It’s simple, smooth, and – we expect – should reduce the pocket-poke-through factor of a traditional brick-like design.

Cowon S9
Image Courtesy of Cowon

The S9’s display also stands out as a high point in its engineering. Though MP3 players (and car stereos, along with plenty of other gizmos) have harnessed monochrome OLED displays before, Cowon will be one of the first manufacturers to use the technology the same way TV manufacturers are beginning to – as a huge, full color display for video. Though it’s a hair smaller than Apple’s 3.5 incher, the S9’s OLED display should boast superior color reproduction, viewing angle and response speed, the same way OLED televisions like Sony’s XEL-1 do when stacked up against LCD and plasma competitors.

Inside, the S9 gets more computational fortitude than yesterday’s laptops from a dual-core 500MHz CPU, and the feature-set to match, including a full Flash-based user interface, music, movie, picture and document capabilities, and even TV output. There’s also an accelerometer for games and other possibilities like gesture-based controls, plus Cowon’s feature-laden JetEffect equalizer, dynamic dictionary, Bluetooth, FM tuner, voice recorder, and T-DMB digital TV capability for regions that support it.

The OLED display also saves energy, extending battery life to a whopping 40 hours. And the touch-screen isn’t the cheap resistive type you find on most players, it’s capacitive, like the one on the iPod Touch, which allows for better clarity and more accurate input.

Despite the generous press shots Cowon pumped out for its press release at IFA 2008, the company hasn’t been too forthcoming on two significant details: capacity and price. Both will soon be revealed when the player debuts this October. In the mean time, more details and photos can be found at Cowon America’s S9 teaser page.

Emerging Tech

Take a dip in the Lagoon Nebula in first image from SPECULOOS instrument

The European Southern Observatory has released the first image collected by their new SPECULOOS instrument, and it's a stunning portrait of the Lagoon Nebula, a swirling cloud of dust and gas where new stars are born.
Mobile

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.
Home Theater

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Mobile

Guard your Galaxy with the best Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus screen protectors

The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are two of the best phones to ever grace this planet -- but the screen still isn't brick-proof. Here are the best Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus screen protectors to keep yours safe.
Mobile

Check out our favorite Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus accessories

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are two of the most talked about smartphones of 2018. If you've managed to get your hands on one, you're no doubt looking to score some new accessories. Here are a few of our favorites.
Emerging Tech

Robot assistants from Toyota and Panasonic gear up for the Tokyo Olympics

Japan plans to use the 2020 Olympics to showcase a range of its advanced technologies. Toyota and Panasonic are already getting in on the act, recently unveiling several robotic designs that they intend to deploy at the event.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Emerging Tech

Racing to catch a flight? Robot valet at French airport will park your car

Hate searching for parking at the airport when you need to catch a plane? Startup Stanley Robotics recently unveiled a new outdoor automated robotic valet system. Here's how it works.
Business

Bags with brains: Smart luggage and gadgets are making travel smoother

The bag you use to tote your stuff can affect the experience of any trip. In response, suitcases are wising up, and there are now options for smart luggage with scales, tracking, and more. Here are our favorite pieces.
Computing

At $99, Nvidia’s Jetson Nano minicomputer seeks to bring robotics to the masses

Nvidia announced a new A.I. computer, the Jetson Nano. This computer comes with an 128-core GPU that Nvidia claims can handle pretty much any A.I. framework you could imagine. At $99, it's an affordable way for A.I. newbies to get involved.
Computing

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 
Business

British Airways’ new Club Suite for business class comes with a door

British Airways is going after a bigger slice of the business class market with the imminent launch of the Club Suite. The plush seating option offers a more private space as well as an easier route to the bathroom.
Smart Home

Sony’s Aibo robot dog can now patrol your home for persons of interest

Sony released the all-new Aibo in the U.S. around nine months ago, and since then the robot dog has (hopefully) been melting owners' hearts with its cute looks and clever tricks. Now it has a new one up its sleeve.
Emerging Tech

Inflating smart pills could be a painless alternative to injections

Could an inflating pill containing hidden microneedles replace painful injections? The creators of the RaniPill robotic capsule think so — and they have the human trials to prove it.