This brings us neatly onto general connectivity. The unit sports two high speed USB sockets that can be utilized for a variety of tasks. The first, a ‘Host’ connection is for attaching a computer or camera. The second connection, ‘Device’ is to make use of a PictBridge printer or an external memory device. Which is odd because surely the P-5000 IS an external memory device? To make use of the computer support you’ll need Windows 2000 Pro, XP Pro, XP Home, or Mac OS X (10.2 or later) The software itself comes not on a CD ROM as you would expect, but as an executable file on the unit’s drive. After some tinkering I got the application up and running. It does what it says on the box, transfers files. It has no features to speak of, certainly nothing worth mentioning.
The control system for the P-5000 is much the same as the software, adequate and functional. It consists of clear-cut text based menus comprising of: My Music, View Rated Files, My Videos, My Photos, Backup Files, Memory Card, USB Devices, and Settings. Most of the entries are simple folder navigation menus allowing you to access files. Video and still images are all displayed as thumbnails, and highlighting and pressing ok will view that image or video. The Memory Card option lets you backup or browse an inserted card. It would have been nice to have seen a little imagination in design, but it does the job. Just.
There’s no doubt the P-5000 is a handy, versatile viewer that performs well enough. Its hardware is up to date and capable, utilizing fast USB 2.0 technology and supports the most popular card formats. The heart of the machine, the screen, is lovely, sixteen million colours in high definition really looks the part. Video is smooth and crisp, with an excellent range of formats. Audio is the same, nice and clean, with a good range of frequencies. I would have liked to seen more photographic formats, TIFF especially. To my mind what really lets the unit down is the software, both the operating system and the PC/Mac software could be so much better. If as much effort had gone into the OS as the hardware it would be a very different animal.
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