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IFA 2006: Samsung K5: An MP3 Player With Speakers

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Officially announced today – but leaked a week or so back – is the K5 digital audio player from Samsung.

The unusual sliding format gathered a lot of attention on the booth but I wasn’t that impressed. Available in 1, 2 and 4GB capacities with a 1.71in OLED display the K5 is a fairly standard MP3 player (MP3, WMA, ASF) and photo viewer (JPEG) but comes with the gimmick of integrated speakers.

Now I’m not sure about you, but I have never wished for external speakers on my MP3 player and it certainly doubles the width of the device. Admittedly they do sound far better than the usual pocket sized speaker add-ons currently available in the market but you couldn’t use it to entertain more than a few people. That said it does make the integrated alarm mode useful in an MP3 player for possibly the first time.

Furthermore if carrying around diddy inbuilt speakers does appeal then the six hours of speaker playback is impressive and the 30 hours it musters in headphone mode even more so. The display itself it a touch screen and it feels responsive in use, though the shiny black finish is a magnet for fingerprints as my photos show. An FM radio makes its way inside and at 98 x 47.5 x 18.1mm and 106g it isn’t a giant.

There is no video mode however, something which is becoming increasingly standard in the competition, and at 199 euros for the 1GB version price could be prohibitively expensive (an 8GB SanDisk Sansa e280 costs less at a mere $249). The K5 gets a little better value as you move up the line (2GB and 4GB are 249 and 299 euros respectively), but isn’t a traditional MP3 player with adaptor cables which plug it into a standard set of speakers a cheaper and more sensible alternative? (But that lot won't fit in your pocket Gordon - ed.)

(An mp3 player and a cable will fit better in your pocket than this, sound better when you plug it into a proper set of speakers, have added functionality such as video and save you a bundle - Gordon. PS And the screen is tiny)

(Yes but the SPEAKERS won't fit in your pocket will they Gordon - ed.)

Note: If you want to see and hear the K5, you can download a video of the device in action, by clicking here.

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