Channel 5

iRiver P7

Tuesday 04 August 2009

G-Rating

Rating of 3

The basics

The iRiver P7 is a 16GB Flash memory media player with 4.3-inch touchscreen. It supports FLAC, OGG, MP3, WMA and WAV audio plus AVI, MP4, DAT, MPG, WMV, RM/RMVB, 3GP,K3G and FLV video. Also has FM radio with recording and a text document viewer. It measures 114x76x13mm and weighs 175g.

The good

Hands up who’s had enough of circular wheel interfaces? iRiver turns over a new page with the P7’s ‘magazine’ menu system, plonking the player’s various functions in boxy compartments on a spacious 4.3-inch display. In fact, the whole device feels like the kind of particularly posh glossy mag you only see in high-end hairdressers. Audio quality is similarly swanky, with the P7 massaging your ears with gloriously primped and styled digital sound. There’s no complaining about the battery life either – nearly 35 hours of playback between charges.

The bad

If the P7 looks like it belongs in a designer salon, it acts like it was trained in a Supercuts. Everything about its performance is slow, annoying and confusing. Playback hacks away at various formats, missing key systems like AAC and requiring lengthy conversion of video files. PC software is buggy and inept, and navigating tunes and pictures on the device itself is awkward. There’s no Wi-Fi, GPS or accelerometer, either.

The bottom line

Hope and pray for a firmware upgrade, as this stunning and powerful player deserves better from its interface and supporting software. Hard-core users and style junkies might find it worth persevering with.
Currys Top Products

iRiver P7 is tagged with iriver P7, iriver and PMP. Select a tag (iriver P7, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

User comments (2)

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eirlysbill

I think this type of player has potential for in home use. In other words: a digital player with a touchscreen that would play off a USB or SD card would be ideal. I have a Pure stereo that does this, but it only shows album info with limited text. I think a player that would show album art would solve the confusion over which album you are listening to. Like a IPod but bigger, but with big speakers, or that is able to be hooked up to a stereo. If you think about, when you search your rack for CD's its the image that sticks in your head, when you want a certain album, not just the title & author. Phillips has just come out with a bit of interesting kit called the Streaminm NP2900, but its Wifi, and I'm not sure it has external digital media ports. Does anyone out there think it might be a good idea to design something what I've described for the home, and/or do you know of any other players out there that fit the specs I'm looking for? All the best, Bill

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