- Review Price: £139.00
Having recently visited the CeBIT show in Hannover I realised that there’s an almost infinite amount of mp3 players available in all shapes and sizes. The wigo CVM-100 doesn’t really stand out from the crowd in terms of design, but it does have some features that I’ve not come across before.
You might not be familiar with wigo and to be honest, neither was I. It’s a Korean company and so far there seems to be only one product featured on wigo’s website, namely the CVM-100. The most noticeable feature on the CVM-100 is the way in which the USB connector is protected. Instead of having a removable cap which could easily get lost, the whole body of the player swivels around to either hide or reveal the USB port.
The CVM-100 is finished in a mirror-like plastic casing. I think that this finish makes it look a bit tacky, but no doubt there are many out there to whom it will appeal. I have seen better build quality, but it’s not as bad as some of the MP3 players we’ve seen here at TrustedReviews in the past.
The front of the CVM-100 is fairly basic, with most of the buttons just above the LCD display. There’s a play/stop button that doubles as power on/off, while a repeat button lets you playback a certain part of a tune or a recording over and over. Next up is the record button, which allows you to record from the built-in microphone or the radio. Then there is the FM radio button that toggles between mp3 and FM radio modes.
Further to the right is a key-lock button, which also gives access to the built in games. Finally there is a small joystick that controls volume, skips tracks and fast forwards or rewinds the music. It can also be pushed down to access the menu system. A quick press takes you into the quick access menu – from here you can control the bass and treble levels, the equalizer, the 3D sound setting, the playback mode, the speed of the playback, the screen backlight colour, enabling/disabling the microphone and finally setting the time for the startup animation.
The main menu has sub menus that consist of display settings, configuration, system settings, recording settings, FM radio settings and sound settings. I’m not going to go through all the settings here as some of them can be accessed through the quick menu. The most important menu here is the record settings, as this where you set the bit rate and source.
The menu system can be somewhat confusing, especially when it comes to finding all the features. New features have also been added since the manual was printed via firmware upgrades available at wigo’s website. One of these is the stop-watch function that you can find in the games menu – accessed by a short press of the key lock button. That makes complete sense doesn’t it?
On the top of the device is a 3.5mm stereo connector for headphones as well as 2.5mm line in connector. A converter cable is supplied that allows you to connect the CVM-100 up to devices with a 3.5mm line out. Also supplied in the box is a USB extension cable in case you can’t plug the CVM-100 straight in to your USB port. A set of neckband style headphones, a protective carry case, an armband for the carry case and finally a manual round off the accessories.
The manual could do with some work as it doesn’t explain simple things like how to switch the CVM-100 on and as there is no indication on the device itself; getting started can be a little tricky. The integrated Lithium-Ion battery makes the CVM-100 slimmer than most mp3 players that use standard AA or AAA batteries, but it has one major drawback; it can only be charged over USB. This means that if you’re away from a PC for a couple of days you’ll run out of power, which I found out myself. The battery meter is also somewhat misleading- it has three bars and while the first one takes ages to go down, the last two disappear much quicker.
Battery life is good and should last about a week when the CVM-100 is used for a couple of hours every day. wigo doesn’t quote a battery life but Advanced MP3 Players who supplied the review sample states 14 hours. The lithium-ion battery also helps to keep the weight down and at 33g the CVM-100 is very pocketable.
The headphones are the usual generic in-ear buds but the cord is very short as they plug into the neck band that the player hangs from. The headphones look identical to those that MSI supplies with its MEGA Stick 1 and the sound is just as disappointing. Play any tune with a bit of bass and the headphones just can’t cope.
The software CD comes with an application for creating your own start-up animations and one for downloading more animations as well as firmware upgrades for the CVM-100. There is also a free self contained email client and an application that you can lock your PC desktop with. Rather strange apps to bundle with an mp3 player, and neither adds a huge amount of value to the package.
The CVM-100 is driver free but you need Windows 98 SE or later to be able to use it. There is no annoying DRM software supplied, instead it’s used as a USB memory key by dragging and dropping files in Windows. You can store any files you like on it, but it will only playback mp3, WMA and OGG files.
The model on test features 256MB of memory and costs £139 but Advanced MP3 Players also offer a 512MB version for £179. Due to the somewhat questionable build quality this seems quite expensive, especially as there are plenty of cheaper players on the market that offer similar features. It does however have a wide range of features, but whether they’re useful or not is down to you.
The wigo CVM-100 is a feature rich, if somewhat over priced MP3 player with built-in FM radio and voice recorder. It could do with sturdier build quality and the mirror finish doesn’t do it for me. Ultimately though, this is a very tough market place and there are better flash memory based mp3 players available.
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