Pros Small formfactor, plays video, looks good, sync with MCPC
Cons Doesn't support all file formats, WMP11 not out yet.
Summary I had this thing on pre-order for over two months, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I've owned several iPods over my life (including the 30GB iPod video, nano, mini). But this is the first mp3 player that has really made me feel like it was a big leap since my orignal iPod.
The video syncing feature works a lot better than Apple's, being that Media Center converts the file for you (which means that the movie is at the proper resolution for the PMP)and it syncs with the recorded shows from my Windows Media Center. Don't have to search for the H.264 encoded files like Apple Video, and converting my Xvid/Divx when syncing is very easy (wouldn't want to play the Divx file in its original size on the small screen anyway).
The interface is also fantastic and intuituive, I really like Apple's scrool wheel (which I miss), but the Toshiba is more colorful and full of options. I also LOVE the FM Tuner built in, I hated carrying around the attachment that I have for my iPod that made the iPod a tad bigger.
AAC support would have been nice, but most of my CDs are ripped to MP3 rather than AAC so its not that big a deal. iPod can't play WMA, Toshiba can't play AAC, whatever. . .
I've only had the player for a couple days now, but battery life is very decent. I haven't timed it but its generally equivalent to my iPod. Overall, IMO, this is the best portable media player on the market.
Pros Uses PMC, Built in Camera connector, viewed horizontally or vertically
Cons Bad battery life, doesn't support divx, only has 65k colors, little extras
Summary My comments are not about this player, but about cnet's review and how misleading it is:
Cnet initially made a mistake and thought the battery life was 20hrs for audio and 6 for video. This is how they rated it then:
After they realized their mistake (its really 12/2.5 hours) they dropped the performance score. BUT, although they realized it doesnt support divx natively, the INCREASED the score for features:
Mean score: 8.7
Talk about horrible. They would intentionally alter their score just to keep the 8.7.
The score should technically be a 8.3, if not lower since they should also deduct a point for the lack of divx.
Pros It's small and it has so many more features than the iPod. Worth the $300!
Cons Have to convert xvids.
Summary I have always been a huge iPod fan (as my SN has iPod in it even), but now I am thrilled to leave mine behind. Apple keeps wanting to charge customers for things like radio abilities, but Toshiba got it right! Give the people what they want, and this is defeninetly what we want! Everyone I know is so envious of it, and several people in my office are going to buy one too. The screen is also bigger than an iPod, so you can enjoy your videos in pristine-clear quality without having to squint.
And don't forget, you can you use any music service with it (excluding iTunes), so you aren't forced to do what Apple wants. The iPod and iTunes seem almost dated, and not nearly as useful and exciting as rivals.
I am a very skeptical person, but I am confident in saying go out and get one now, you will never regret it!
Pros Great video, easy to use, versatile
Cons No cradle, no record feature
Summary Got my Toshiba S30 (30 GB w/video) on friday and it is awesome! (They also have a 60GB version) Retail - $299 and $399 respectively.
Very small - i think it is a tad smaller and lighter than the Ipod counterpart.
Video looks great. I believe when my brother bought his Ipod he was searching for a way to convert to .M4V (only video Ipod will take as far as I know). The S30 uses Windows Media Player 10/11beta to transfer all music and video - and it automatically converted .mpg and .wmv files right before it made the transfer. Transferred a full length movie and it looks great! (Be prepared to wait a while to do this)
Toshiba's own software ofr the last model was awful. But I learned to tag, organize, and convert my library pretty easily with WMP. Transfers are really fast (USB 2.0 speed) and you can transfer and set up the next tranfer at the same time.
Menus are pretty easy to navigate in both the S30 and WMP 11.
I chcked out the VIDEO OUT option. It comes with a cable that plugs into the player's mic jack on one end and has RCA jacks (vid, audio L, and audio R) on the other. Not hi-res on the TV, but definitely watchable. It probably outputs the same resolution that the player has - 340X270 or so. I think that's roughly VHS quality.
1 small feature that was not on my Toshiba 10 GB. When you load a playlist (or create one on the player), you can listen to it in order or on random.
S30 comes with a USB cable that allows you to hook up a USB device (meant for digital cameras) which backs up the content of the device on to the S30. This way if you fill up your camera on vacation, you can dump it and save it.
EQ settings - there are 6 or 8 (rock, pop, jazz, etc). No individual settings for bass/treble.
Here's a big one - the songs seem to be residing on the player as MP3's (the old model converted them into some unusable, encrypted, proprietary format). I have not tested it, but I believe that I can dump the contents of the player on to any machine. None of the modern hard drive based MP3 players can do this as far as I know.
And then there's little things - you can actually partition the drive to set aside space for backups.
Some reviews have dubbed this thing an Ipod killer. Apple has a death grip on the market, so I doubt that will happen. But I think the S30 honestly blows away the Ipod 30. It's just so much more versatile and has so many extras.
Pros build quality, excellent display and sound, easy and intuitive controls, fantastic interface, Ipod killer potential
Cons buggy, WMPx sucks, clueless Toshiba tech support, lack of accessories
Summary I'm sure you've read through all the raves and I agree with most of them. However I do have some rants. I've had this unit for several days now and here are some of the bugs to worry about.
1. Tendency to automatically purge files: After a hard reset (battery switch from on>off>on) my unit automatically deleted all the media files. Same thing happened when my battery was completely drained. I didn't have my charger and hooked it up to a USB port to charge. It did the same thing and purged my files. Thankfully I have all my files backed up on my PC.
2. Static noises when switching between songs. Also noticable lag between songs.
3. HD a little noisy at times when accessing songs.
I've called Toshiba's technical support and they're clueless to what's happening. Hopefully they'll get their act straight and release a new firmware to get rid of the bugs.