The Cowon Q5W blurs the line between multimedia-centric handhelds and Ultra-Mobile PCs by packing in an absolutely gorgeous display, wireless capabilities, almost limitless media compatibility, and an easy-to-use interface. However, in our day-to-day use, we found several flaws that prevent this device from taking the PMP crown. Measuring 5. Aesthetically, the unit resonates a subdued elegance with its simple black-and-steel-gray color scheme. A slew of buttons and ports surround its perimeter: Volume keys, stereo speakers, power button, and a mic are built into the top; a retractable Wi-Fi antenna, USB and mini-USB ports, jacks for a headset and earbuds, and a power adapter adorn the right.
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The Good The Cowon Q5W portable video player boasts robust video features, high-quality audio playback, and includes a Wi-Fi-enabled Internet browser, Bluetooth audio streaming, component and composite video output, MSN Messenger, and built-in speakers. Unfortunately, its confusing dual interface and high price hold it back from greatness. Visit for details.
Cowon's most ambitious product to date, the Cowon Q5W, is a super-charged, touch-screen portable video player PVP with an astounding list of features. Design With a recessed 5-inch wide-screen display and elegant metal construction, the Cowon Q5W looks like a Cowon D2 on steroids. Considering that the Q5W comes in at nearly a pound of unwieldy metal girth--measuring 5. Anyone shopping for high-capacity portable video players is likely resigned to issues of size and weight anyhow, so let's dive into the heart of what makes any PVP worthwhile: the screen.
The Cowon Q5W's 5-inch touch screen x resolution is both beautiful and responsive. Like those on most PVPs, the Q5W's display is constructed with a reflective plastic that limits visibility in direct sunlight.
Despite its secondary use as a mirror, however, low-light conditions make colors dramatically pop on the screen, especially compared with the less-reflective matte finishes found on the Archos line of PVPs. Like any proper PVP, the Cowon Q5W's screen is recessed slightly from the face of the player offering some protection against wear and tear.
The top edge of the Cowon Q5W includes conveniently located buttons for controlling volume, a power switch that doubles as a hold button for disabling onscreen controls, two built-in speakers, an infrared sensor for the included remote control, and a pinhole microphone for creating voice recordings.
A useful often necessary stylus pen for the Q5W's touch screen is conveniently housed in the top-right edge of the player. Packed into the left edge of the Q5W are jacks for a 3. The back, bottom, and right edge of the Q5W are bare, save a small proprietary port on the bottom for the player's AV cable output and optional GPS dock. Although Cowon has proven its track record for making solid, attractive hardware time and again, the company's software interface performance is historically inconsistent.
This time around, the Q5W's software interface is remarkably attractive, but there's a catch. After booting the Q5W, a slick Cowon-branded graphical menu system separates the player's media applications music, videos, games from other features such as the Web browser, utilities voice recording and settings , and Windows applications like WordPad.
Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, the attractive Cowon-branded browser is really just an application that runs on top of the Windows CE 5 operating system at the root of the device. The minute you need to perform some mundane task such as setting up the Q5W's wireless connection, the comfortable Cowon interface gives way to the all-too-familiar graveyard of the Windows desktop. For a device meant to provide a fun distraction from the daily grind, the Windows desktop experience can be unsettling and confusing.
Features The Cowon Q5W is undoubtedly the most feature-packed PVP we've ever reviewed, thanks to its built-in wireless Internet connection, Bluetooth audio streaming capability, Internet Explorer Web browser, Flash game support, and some limited Microsoft application support.
Beyond the in-depth audio and video playback features, the Cowon Q5W includes a built-in FM radio, standalone Flash file player presumably for games , photo viewer, text reader, and voice recorder. Because the Cowon Q5W is based on the Windows CE 5 operating system, there is the potential to run third-party software designed for this antiquated platform--but don't get your hopes up. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy , which we encourage you to read.
Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. Don't show this again. Apple iPhone SE Design 7. Features 8. Performance 6. Review Sections Review Specs. Photo gallery: Cowon Q5W. The Cowon Q5W has a split personality. Sometimes you'll find yourself navigating through Cowon's attractive media browser, and other times you'll be poking your way through the rather dull Windows CE 5 desktop. But with both available for nearly half the price, the Q5W is a tough sell.
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Cowon Q5W 40GB Portable Multimedia Player Review
A 60GB version is also available, but even that could offer too little storage if you want to carry a lot of video. The player slots into the dock, which then plugs into your car cigarette lighter and uses an FM transmitter to speak driving directions and, if desired, play music through the car radio. The screen nearly fills the whole front of the device, which is only 0. It feels surprisingly heavy, but it's easy enough to tote in a coat pocket or a purse. Using the touch-screen interface, however, you can make light work of everyday tasks, such as listening to music, tuning the built-in FM radio and watching video.
Cowon Q5W Review
Trusted Reviews may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase through links on our site. Learn More. The idea of carrying a lot of equipment around in order to enjoy audiophile sound quality and stunning music should not be something dismissed out of hand. The sheer pleasure that can be had from adding a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones and a portable headphone amplifier to your setup is incredible to behold. I carried it in a sturdy inside jacket pocket on more that one commute and felt distinctly uncomfortable with my jacket insistently tugging at my left shoulder. Its size of course, is largely due to its huge, x 5in screen.
Cowon Q5W 40GB Portable Media Player — Don't Hate The Player, Hate The Game