Pros Plays a plethora of audio & video formats, is very sturdy, it has the nicest screen I have ever seen on any PMP, can be a USB host, it can record audio and video & has AWESOME sound quality!
Cons The joystick sucks & it is hard to select files, is bulky, the battery doesn't last as long as advertised, no gapless audio playback (boo!), won't play copyrighted music & not easy to navigate music,.
Summary The Cowon A3 is a fantastic portable media player (PMP) for the money. The Cowon A3 can play practically every audio format out there except for .m4p files, copyrighted music and .shn files. The A3 can also play just about any video format. The video quality on this player is excellent and the best I've ever seen in a PMP. The player also records audio and video, but I have yet to try either... (I am hoping I can take some of the shows I have on my DVR and transfer them onto to my A3. I am not sure if this is possible, but I am going to try.)
-The audio player has an amazing amount of customized settings that can be adjusted. There are so many ways to tweak the sound that you can always make any song sound perfect. I LOVE that it can play and record FLAC files. AWESOME SOUND QUALITY!!!
-The player appears to be constructed well and it has not skipped or froze up or anything like that (so far).
-The A3 is also a USB HOST!! You can also use the A3 as a portable hard drive. You can plug in other mp3 players (not i-pods) and flash drives as well. GREAT FEATURE!!!
-The radio, photo and document features are nice extra features to have.
Now onto some of the cons:
-Player is BIG and bulky and looks like it was designed 10 years ago.
-The joystick design is not good. It can be overly sensitive. It can be frustrating just selecting a file. When pushing the button inward it often can be pushed to a direction instead of inward.
-Considering this player has so many sick audio features it is a shame that it lacks some key features. The player DOES NOT HAVE GAPLESS PLAYBACK BETWEEN TRACKS!!! I HATE this and find it very annoying! The player will not play copyrighted music, .m4p, or .shn files.
-It is strenuous to navigate the player to find music or a select track. There is no search or group by feature; the only way to get to a track is to go by each folder one by one... very annoying.
-The battery doesn't last as long as advertised. I get maybe about 5 hours of video and about 8 hours of audio.
-Would be nice if it came available with a larger hard drive. Many players are out that are 80 gig and larger. Considering how big this thing is and how much it does, it would be nice if it had come in a 100+ gig model.
Overall it is a great player for the money. While the player does have some draw backs, those can be overlooked if you looking for a no-nonsense player that is loaded with features and playback abilities with phenominal sound and video quality.
Pros Will play absolutely ANYTHING, screen is beautiful and actually displays like it does in the photograph (I'm serious, I got confused when I first turned this on), tremendous battery life, fast processor, radio, portable tv, etc.
Cons TERRIBLE sorting system for music. Really. It kills this device. I have all my music organized into artist/album/song, and I like to listen to all albums by an artist, or all artists at once, not album by album. so far the only answer is playlists
Summary I dont know what peoples problems with the joystick is. If you have any coordination in your hands at all you'll be able to press IN and not UP when using the joystick.
Pros Really quite irrelevant.
Cons My player broke just after the warranty. Cowon charged me $55 to replace an internal electronic part. A little while later the same part broke again. Cowon told me they discontinued that part because it was faulty. My unit is now worthless.
Summary Bottom line: Cowon built a bad product and refused to compensate or credit those of us who got stuck with it. Absolutely horrible service. I really can't believe this. I will NEVER BUY a COWON product again.
Pros directly record via av cables no dock needed
connect to tv/cable/dvd player
handles many file types
size capabilities up to 80gb
lots of accessories included
usb host function to connect any usb device and transfer files
Cons battery life not as listed, under 6 for video, not the 7 listed
external speaker could be better
really expensive retail prices
Summary I love this pmp. The most important factor for me was the ease of recording. This acts as a pvr. For those not tech savy, there's no downloading necessary or computers for anything if you don't want. You can charge with the ac which is quicker and record directly from your tv movies/shows etc. straight to the player. The archos, cowon's main rival, doesn't allow this without a dock which is another hundred dollars. Um, these players are expensive enough without adding another $100 just to record directly. With cowon, the wires and everything you need are included. I've found this to be a lightweight player with an amazing screen, and the the toggle isn't that confusing, and works fine for me. Battery life and price could be better. Great player for those that want no fuss recording and easy copy/paste capabilities with various files. I love it!
"superb PMP"on by freebase52
Pros great pic and sound, excellent support
Cons no kickstand, thumbstick hard to use
Summary very fast processor, extremely long battery life-most protable electronic devices have to be charged prior to every trip I take but I don't charge my Cowon but once a month, small and light weight, easy to navigate, very intuitive design, firmware upgrades are very easy, comes in a great package-includes everything you need for free including all of the software you need, fairly priced, great for recording tv shows and taking them on the road, tv input and outputs, easy usb connection, awesome mp3 player, holds at least 4 movies and hundreds of mp3's; Con's- can have problems with ffwd through movies, Transformer movie gets choppy, needs a kickstand