First Impressions: Cowon D2

As mentioned in my post earlier today, I just got my new media player, a Cowon D2. Let me clarify farther: I got this device yesterday. As such, some of my opinions might change with more use.

I loved my last Cowon player (my iAudio M3) until the battery stopped charging enough for it to be useful. Now I use it in my car and still love it. The sound quality was great and the design, while weird, was actually well thought out. My new D2 shares these qualities. I have never heard my ear buds sound so good. I actually like most of the initial presets for sound levels (except I prefer the balance of the rock equalizer). It just makes rich beautiful sound naturally.

The interface itself is different. You use the 2.5 in. touchscreen for everything normally. It isn’t cumbersome or anything if you do realize that it takes one tap to just wake up the interface. I actually see that as an advantage to stop stray taps from doing anything. Scrolling in songs is the only action that is a bit difficult to just use your fingers to do, but it isn’t impossible. Also, if you are anything like me, you only use next track and previous track; scrolling inside of tracks is a feature I pretty much stay away from.

The screen itself is bright and vibrant. I have yet to encode a movie and try it on the screen, but I imagine, although small, it does seem to have a good picture. Lines are crisp and colors seem very accurate.

The size and weight of the device are quite comfortable to carry. I left it in my pocket all day without even noticing it there. Also, walking with it seemed rather natural.

The device has two ports: a 5 pin usb mini b (the normal usb mini) and a 4 pin usb mini b (smaller than the other). The 5 pin is used for everything from data transfers to TV out if you buy the cable. The 4 pin is used for charging from the wall. I would suspect if you have a 4 pin cable, you could charge from your computer as well, but I have not tried it (i don’t have a usb a male to usb mini 4 pin b male cable laying around).

To transfer files, it mounts as a standard usb mass storage device and you can transfer files by copying folders into wherever you want. I used my ubuntu linux set up to copy my files over without any problems. The device seems a little slow (it seems to take a chunk of data, hesitate, then continue), but nothing too terrible. I do have to say that it deals with incomplete files well by playing what is there and then just going to the next track without any errors (I disconnected it early once).

My first impressions are to love this device. With the changable SD card slot that supports SDHC (the 4+GB SD cards), this device seems extremely versitile. It is fun to use, but the screen may be a bit small for active video watching. If you want a review from someone who has had it for longer, check out the AnythingButIPod review.

A 4GB model is about USD200 and the 2GB is currently about USD160-170