Cowon PMPs Go Straight For Archos’ Throat

WiFi, touchscreens, high resolutions, the lot.

Ok, time to finally bring you something other than LCDs, Home Cinema and GPS units… *phew*

Cowon, which has had innovative and impressive outings recently, is at it again – this time raising the hackles of Archos.

IFA sees it launch the ‘iAudio Q5’ and ‘iAudio A3’, the former a monster PMP with a huge 5in touch screen display and equally large 800 x 480 native resolution (that’ll be 480p compatible then) and built in WiFi which can be used to connect cable-free to both the web and resident PCs. There’s also integrated Bluetooth, SPDIF and TV outputs and a 60GB HDD (40GB also available) which will come in useful considering the Q5 supports MP3, ASF, Ogg, FLAC, WAV, WMA, AVI, WMV, Mpeg4, DivX, Jpeg, BMP, PNG and even RAW file formats.

Battery life is quoted at a mighty impressive seven hours for video and a rather more limp 10 hours for audio.

As for the A3, this is a four incher without a touch screen that nevertheless manages the same 800 x 480 resolution, HDD capacities and matches the Q5’s format support (plus throwing some very useful additions: AAC, Matroska, Apple Lossless, Pdf and Microsoft Office (view only) files).

Connectivity is sans-WiFi but otherwise covers the same bases as the Q5 plus adding audio line-in and an FM tuner. Battery life playing video is again a dead on match for the Q5, but it jumps to 14 hours for audio – likely because of the smaller screen.

A September arrival date is on the cards for Europe with the Q5 priced at 699 euros and 649 euros for the 60GB and 40GB respectively. The A3 is predictably more affordable at 499 euros and 449 euros for the 60GB and 30GBers.

Methinks someone is trying to making a name for itself…


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