Kingston Enters PMP Market with K-PEX

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No, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey are nowhere in sight: memory manufacturer Kingston Technology is diving into the personal media player waters with its new 1 and 2 GB K-PEX personal media players. K-PEX apparently stands for Kingston Kingston Personal Entertainment experience, and has nothing to do with the film K-PAX) rather looks like a Sony PSP, and enables users to play music, view photos and video, and play video games. Kingston announced the K-PEX back in June, but its only now become available in U.S., Latin American, and Asia/Pacific Rim markets.

Kingston is known for memory products, not consumer electronics devices, but product manager Jean Wong doesn’t want that to deter customers. “K-PEX allows us to leverage our reputation in the memory business while maximizing established relationships with NAND suppliers which ultimately results in a high quality, multi-functional multimedia player for consumers,” said Wong, Flash product manager, Kingston. “By adding an expandable card slot to the K-PEX, we offer today’s consumer a high quality product with the flexibility to expand media libraries at an affordable price.” To emphasize the point, the first 4,000 2 GB K-PEX units sold will be bundled with a free Kingston miniSD card.

The K-PEXs will ship with either 1 or 2 GB of built-in memory (and comes standard with a miniSD slot so users can add additional storage), offers a multi-region FM radio receiver, a 2-inch 200 by 176 pixel LCD screen, and support for a number of audio (MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, WAV) and video (MPEG1/2, AVI, WMV, and ASF) formats, as well as JPEG images and text documents. And they’re tiny, comparable to many cell phones at 3.7 by 1.8 by .57 inches and 2.2 ounces. Word on the street is that the unit is pre-loaded with two games, but there’s no word on what they are or whether users can add more. The K-PEX will apparently be available in black and white cases, and wants Windows XP or 2000: sorry, no Mac or Linux support. The 1 GB unit carries a suggested price of $129.99, while the 2 GB K-PEX will set you back $179.99. Expect a 4 GB in the semi-near future.

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