"H10 v. Mini iPod"4.0 starson by bovien
Pros: sound, features, size, storage
Cons: hard to navigate, slow processing, hard to transfer songs
The iRiver sound quality is definitely better than iPod. I have been using the iRiver (100 and 800 series) for the past two years, so when I tried the iPod, I was so disappointed in the iPod sound quality compared to the iRiver that I returned the iPod in exchange for the H10. The H10 has all of the EQ options as the iPod, but the H10's SRS WOW (3D) option just blows me away with its deep/rich sound. The H10 wins handsdown.
The H10 has the same features as the iPod with the addition of the color LCD, FM radio, voice/radio recording, and photo storage and display. The price between the two devices are comparable, but you definitely get more with the H10. H10 reigns in this category.
The H10 and the Mini are comparable in size and weight. The difference comes in navigation. The Mini provides user friendly and intuitive navigation. I'm the type that prefers playing with the device rather than reading the instruction first, so the Mini passed the too-lazy-to-read-manual test. The H10 did not pass that test. Perhaps it's my lack of familiarity with Windows Media Player (the only player for H10), but the H10/Windows won't allow me to easily create my own playlist or drag-and-drop files directly from other players such as iTune or MusicMatch. I had to resort to the manual. Basically, you'd have to create a playlist on Windows Media in order for H10 to sync into H10's playlist. Determined (and stubborn) not to use Windows Media, I found a way around it. I would just add folders to the H10 Browser window.
After wasting 2 hours of trying to create the proper playlist, I got a chance to fully test the H10. H10's navigation while in-use is not user-friendly/intuitive. It's time-consuming to jump from one menu to the next when all you really want is to change the volume. Plus, the processing time is sluggish to say the least. The Mini wins by a landslide in this category.
iRiver needs to do something about the processing speed and make the navigation less insane.
I gave the H10 a rating of 8 instead of a lower rating because I'm in love with its sound quality.
If you can handle those issues with H10, I think you're in for a great sound experience. But if you're just into the sound, I'd recommend one of the Ultra-portable iRivers...no issue with great sound.