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CES 2010: Hands-on with Viliv P3 & HD5 PMPs

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Viliv is an interesting company. Based in Korea, it's known for producing a wide array of interesting, though somewhat niche, Windows-based tablets and UMPCs. However it also produces portable media players and while they're not the most glamorous devices on show, I must admit to being somewhat taken the company's P3 and HD5 PMPs.

I'll begin with the P3 (above), a 3.7in PMP that's armed with an exceedingly bright and colourful 800 x 480 AMOLED, capacitive touchscreen. Measuring just 9.8mm thick, it'll come in 8, 16 and 32GB capacities that are expandable via a Micro SD slot.

Inside, the unit is powered by an 800MHz ARM Coretex A8 processor, giving it the power to play 720p resolution MKV video. This is supplemented by integrated Wi-Fi, a G-sensor and a vibration motor – presumably used for haptic feedback. Those lucky Koreans also get the option for T-DMB mobile TV – if you've ever been in a Korean taxi you'll understand why this is a popular option – and DAB.

Most unusual of all, however, is that the device dual-boots Windows CE 6.0 and Android. I assume this is to take advantage of Android's excellent web browser and apps, hardly a strong point of Windows CE 6.0, with the latter dealing with the media playback duties that aren't as yet a strong point of Android.

Next up is the HD5 (above), which ups the ante with the addition of 1080p video playback and an HDMI output so you can watch videos on your TV. Details on the specification of the device are hazier, but we do know that it has a 5in capacitive touchscreen LCD sporting the same 800 x 480 resolution of the P3 and that it's running Windows CE 6.0 – hopefully skinned to within an inch of its life!

Like the P3, it'll come in capacities of 8, 16 and 32GB, while also supporting SDHC cards via its full-size card slot. Unless Viliv omitted the fact from its literature, it doesn't look as if the HD5 offers any other niceties – such as Wi-Fi – but as a powerful, pocketable PMP with a singular focus on media playback, it clearly has some potential.

We mightn’t have to wait too long to realise that potential, either. We managed to grab Viliv's UK representative, who told us that Amazon was extremely interested in stocking the HD5 and that it could be on sale as soon as the end of the January. Pricing is to be confirmed.

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