If your smart phone just isn't cutting it for playing music and movies on long-distance journeys, the Cowon X9 could help -- it's packing three times as much battery life as the iPod touch, for significantly less cash money.
This not-so-little box of tricks is the follow-up to the X7. Cowon has not only improved the overall aesthetic of the X7, but measuring in at 73 by 115 by 12mm, the X9 is considerably thinner, slimmer and shorter than its bulkier predecessor, even if it's still a bit of a heifer in comparison to Apple's svelte MP3 player.
It's out now in the UK, and Cowon has spent the past month yelling at anyone who'll listen about the X9's impressive battery life, boasting 110 hours worth of music playback, or 13 hours of video playback -- depending on what you use it for. These figures trounce the iPod's puny 40 hour audio and 7 hour video playback, meaning the X9 is a candidate for the serious traveller or casual nomad to consider.
Starting from £113 for the 8GB model, the X9 is a steal in comparison to the £169 Apple demands for its touch equivalent. At the top end, however, Cowon's flagship 32GB model comes in at £199, a whopping £50 cheaper than the 32GB touch. All models are available now from online retailers such as Advanced MP3 Players and Expansys.
Unfortunately, the 4.3-inch touchscreen is let down by its dated 480x272-pixel display, meaning the X9 is going to be about as exciting as a pair of wet socks when it comes to playing video -- a far cry from the touch's pretty little 960x640-pixel face.
Alongside audio and video, the X9 is capable of supporting pictures and documents, with some pre-installed apps including a voice recorder, Flash player, dictionary and scientific calculator -- and if you're kind enough, it might even do your homework for you. The X9 isn't Android-powered, so you can kiss goodbye to bettering it through the addition of apps, as you can with competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy WiFi 4.2.
The X9 also comes with a built-in speaker and FM radio, and can be connected to a TV through its TV-out port. All of which are handy features to have on a pocket-sized media player, should you suddenly feel motivated to educate and inspire those around you.
Is there still room for dedicated media players, or has your phone got it all covered? Drop me a line in the comments box, or leave your thoughts on our Facebook page.