Well, Christmas has been and gone – and the result, another electronics opinion from me. That’s right, after two Walkman ops and a review of my Hi-Fi, Santa has brought me a personal CD player to write about. The unit in question is the Panasonic SL-SX280. I had been looking for a variety of features when choosing a portable CD player, and as usual I relied on a catalogue for this purpose. This time it was a booklet provided at a local Dixon’s store. I have read several negative reviews about Dixon’s, so you may not be surprised to hear that my chosen CD player was apparently out of stock at Dixon’s. Upon looking through the catalogue, the Panasonic SL-SX280 quickly caught my eye, as it has all of the features I want and more. I will describe the various features it has now. FEATURES · 40-second anti-skip system – This excellent technology stops a disc from skipping in a number of ways. When the unit moves or swings and play speed changes, skipping will not occur. The mechanism also returns the laser to its normal position if it is knocked off by a strong shock. Finally, the 40-second memory will fill in tracks for up to 40 seconds if bumps and vibrations interrupt play. This is more than sufficient time. So, is it jog-proof? Yes it is, tried and tested! · Extra Bass System – This S-XBS system offers a bass boost for better sound quality altogether. · Remote control – The handy small remote control can be fitted between the player and the headphones with play, stop, skip, volume and a few other controls, including Equalising (see below) · CD-R and CD-RW playback – not only will this very usefully play CD-R discs (copied or written discs previously blank) but also CD-RW, which are rewritten discs usually only played on computers. An excellent feature. · 35 Hour Playback – Up to 35 hours of playback are provided with two AA batteries. here is also a mains a
daptor provided. · Equalising – You can choose between normal play, the S-XBS bass boost, or train, which will prevent disturbance of nearby people, for example on a train. · Programmable Tracklisting – You can program a tracklist so that your favourite songs are played in order of preference. · Random Track Play – Also, the player will randomly select tracks to play if you wish. · Loop Play – no matter what mode you are in, you can choose to play repeatedly with loop, whether it be a single track looped or a full tracklist looped · Compact Size – the CD player is small, just big enough for the CD to fit in, which makes it more easy and convenient to carry around · Full Open Top Cover – At the slide of a small switch the top will flip up fully for easy removal and placement of CDs. · Pop-Up Disc Eject – In the centre of where the CD goes, there is a push-down button that will quickly and securely eject your disc · Heat-resistant polycarbonate body – I don’t know much about this but apparently the CD player is heat-resistant · Key-hold switch – There is a HOLD button both on the remote control and on the player that disables all buttons, in case you accidentally knock one. Also, the cover-opening switch is slide-locked, difficult to open accidentally, but easy to open when needed. · Auto power-off – To save power, the unit will automatically turn off if not used for an amount of time. All of these features are very useful, and you are unlikely to find a player with such a vast amount of useful features in this price range. The player can cost between £60 and £70 depending on where it is bought. AESTHETICS The player is small and attractive, with a silver body that is heat-resistant and good-looking. ON the top there is a round LCD display as well as two round sets of silver buttons, which look very good together surrounded by blue plast
ic. As well as the pop-up disc eject and full-open cover, the player seems to be durable although I haven’t had it for a long time. I personally keep it in a portable CD player case that incidentally also stores 12 CDs. I would recommend one to anyone. POWER SOURCES The unit takes two AA size batteries that can last up to 35 hours of playback, but also provided is an AC adaptor for connection to the mains. Either way, sound quality is excellent and you should be pleased. OTHER HARDWARE PROVIDED As well as the player, you get a remote control, which attaches to the headphones also provided. As well as this you get an AC adaptor as mentioned above. One notable thing about the headphones is that one headphone’s wire is longer than the other. I think this is planned, although I am not sure why. It can be adjusted easily, but you will have loose wire hanging around. Several headphone sets do this and I find it annoying, if anyone knows why it is done, please comment. MANUAL The instruction manual is very helpful, describing all functions probably a lot better than I have done, and with useful diagrams and simple language that doesn’t use jargon. There is also a guarantee and a list of contact numbers provided in the box. CONCLUSION With a vast range of excellent features, as well as a remote control and excellent sound quality, this is a superb portable CD player and outstanding value at around £60 - £70. I am very pleased all-round with the product, and would recommend it to anyone who likes listening to CDs.