No, not an iPod but a photographeru2019s tool, says Ian Burley

vosonicPRICE: £315( 20GB Version)

*TYPE: Multimedia Viewer

*CAPACITY: 20GB

*FILE FORMAT: JPEG upto 16MP, MP3, WMA, WAV, MPEG 1, MPG, AVI, MOV

*CONNECTION: USB 2.0, A/V out

*POWER: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery, AC adapter included

*SIZE/WEIGHT: 126x70x23mm/230g

Vosonic is best known for its X?s Drive family of portable storage devices. However, its VP6300 Multimedia Viewer (MMV) is a second-generation stills, MP3 and movie clip player after the rather bulky V-MP3H from the beginning of 2003. Rather aping the iPod-look with its circular control cluster, the MMV is a neat design with a Compact Flash I and II slot on one side and SD/MMC/Memory Stick and SmartMedia/xD slots on the other side. Inside hides a 2.5 inch hard disk, which can be between 20GB and 80GB in capacity. External ports include two headphone sockets and a video-out socket for viewing on a TV. There is also a mini-USB port and a 5V DC power socket. The latter powers the unit externally and re-charges the user replaceable internal lithium ion battery, which should last 3-6 hours between charges. Much of the above description could apply to various Vosonic X?s Drive portable media reader hard disk drives, but the MMV is all about seeing as well as storing. For this purpose there is a bright and high-resolution two inch colour LCD monitor. MPEG-1 and M-JPEG movies can be played, but not MPEG-4 or DIVX types. Playback quality from the hard drive is good, though playing from some slow cards can cause unexpected pauses. Using the circular navigation pad and central select button, it?s reasonably easy to find your away around the built in hard drive and any attached memory cards. There is no X?s Drive-style one-click memory card copy function any more, but the navigation system is easier to follow and more powerful. Copying speeds are good ? much faster than an X?s Drive, up to almost 2MB/second with a fast enough card.

VERDICT

The Vosonic MMV VP6300 is simple, effective and reasonably priced for what it offers.

SCORES:

PROS: Good screen, battery life, good card transfer speed

CONS: Low-capacity hard drive for the price

Features 17
Ease of use 16
Performance 17
Design 16
Value 17

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