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The 1GB iRiver U10 is a player that comes with a few additional extras. The palm sized player has a rather unique appearance which can be somewhat compared to a television.
The player's eye pleasing aesthetics features has comes with extra functions such as the ability to watch videos, view pictures, a voice recorder and radio capabilities. When using the supplied headphones, it produced sound quality of an acceptable standard. Upon using an additional pair of headphones, a better sound was achieved with an overall increase in sound accuracy.
It is compatible with audio files in the ogg, WMA and MP3 file format. Sadly it does not support a wide range of video file formats, unless you are willing to convert them using a separate software.
Once you get the player, the initial task of setting it up is rather challenging, however once it has been set up, it becomes easier to use. The basic functions are easy to activate and find. There is also supplied software which is perfect for its task.
A cloth carry pouch is also supplied, which protects the player.
In terms of battery stamina, it provides on average 28 hours of continuous audio playback and about 5 hours of continuous video playback. This is quite good for a player in this range of players. It takes about 2 and a half hours to fully charge the player.
The iRiver U10 1GB is a really good product. I got it as a gift over a year ago now and I just feel this multi-function media player went from strength to strength in the way I've been using it.
At first I was mostly using it as an MP3 player but there is so much more to that small device I now wish I had a model with a larger capacity.
It comes with headphones, remote control and TV cradle (although I understand this is optional).
Adequate USB cables are also provided for PC use.
What you can use it for? Music, videos, pictures, text, voice memo recordings, radio and Flash games ..
In an iPod world it is quite refreshing to see iRiver with its U10 and other devices, have managed to design a nice range of attractive and performant products.
It's the perfect travel companion.
I'm definitely recommending the U10, the quality you get for that price range is hard to come by on the market, so thumbs up for me!
Reads MP3 and WMA formats
Great sound quality
there are a few games like 'Launch Fighters', 'Puzzle', or 'Sudoku' but It is possible to download additional games.
This is based on the open Macromedia/Adobe Flash Lite platform.
You need a converter for that but it's quite simple to use and also pretty fast.
Download and install iriverter (http://iriverter.sourceforge.net/), it has a preset for the U10 so you can't go wrong.
You can put a normal size movie on the iRiver although it will take some space on this 1Gb model.
20 presets and autoscan available
Great quality again, use a transfer utility from the iRiver website so you can manage and synchronize your pictures with ease.
A slideshow can be played too when viewing your photographs.
The U10 can display text files (txt) so you could - as I did - convert e-books (PDF) to text file and 'literally' have an entire book to read.
I have not used this very much but I did try and this is quite nice.
Voice or anything really .. just a great feature.
- The background color for the menus changes every day.
(you can choose whatever picture you like as a background)
- Navigation controls are superb, the edges of the screen are clickable so you can go 4 directions (up, down, left, right). Note that you can lock the screens controls so you don't accidentally press an edge while the device is in a pocket or elsewhere.
- The TV cradle is superb and the sound quality coming out of it is brilliant ... I sometimes use it in my kitchen just like I would use a stereo .. with a remote :)
Oh and another thing, this is ONLY PC compatible but can be used on a Mac Intel Core Duo with the right software (ie: Parallels will allow you to run an image of a Windows operating system and thus use the iRiver U10 through the recognized USB port)
the mp3 player is still largely dominated by ipod. only recently has creative started to really bite into apple's market with their new zen series. with samsung trying to poke its head through as well, it seems the race between other manufacturers is for the second best selling mp3 player because the ipod has raced ahead.
objectively, the ipod is inferior to the other mp3 players coming out now. creative, samsung and iriver have all produced better performing and often cheaper alternatives that have more features than any the ipod series. the only thing that the ipod is better at is looks..and this is starting to change.
iriver has always been the geek's choice. it outdoes the ipod in every aspect other than ease of use and appearance. iriver never cared for looks and made the bulkiest mp3 players out there but made up for it by features and quality. but they soon realised that the geek population wasnt that big. apparently the boss of iriver wanted the developers to turn around their thinking and design something that would appeal to the masses. so, i read, that this u-turn in the thinking process became the u10? u-turn u10? interesting but whether it's true or not, u10 does stand out from the other iriver products.
the u10 is slightly thicker but shorter than the ipod nano at 6.9 x 4.7 x 1.6cm. and its a lot heavier at 70g compared to 42g of the nano. but i personally like this because it doesnt feel so fragile. sometimes with the nano, i am afraid of snapping it in half. no problems with the u10 here. because it is slightly thicker, it is easier to handle.
when you first look at the u10 (see picture above) it just looks like a screen. in fact it is just a screen. to navigate around the screen you press the four edges of the screen (iriver patented this as the d-click buttons). in the picture above, the arrows on the screen point to the d-click buttons. most functions are controlled by the d-click but there are additional four buttons located on the side of the player. the volume is controlled by four dedicated buttons along the top; the power button is on the left side; just below that is a button to flip the screen 90deg to use the u10 in portrait or landscape modes. the back of the player is ice-white and overall the u10 looks very flashy. i've been impressing people whenever i take this device out, be it on the train, the bus or in the streets.
the user interface
iriver user's main qualms about the products were regarding the complicated user interface. usually there were too many buttons on the player that did several different things each time etc. the u10 improves this by using a remarkably user-friendly and logical interface that doesnt even require a manual. the u10 has a 2.2 inch screen and exploits this advantage by using a flash-based interface. this means that there are colourful animations for each menu. you can also customise the menu screens to display any photos or videos you'd prefer. also d-click makes scrolling very easy and rather fun.
features and performance
along with the essential music playing abilities, the u10 can also display photos, videos and flash-base games. other features include text viewing (surprisingly useful), fm radio, voice recording, user EQ, ability to view any swf files. the nano on the other hand can only play music and display photos (you can play videos if you hack them though)
the sound quality is excellent and with the user EQ (or preset EQs) and various other sound enhacnement options, the u10 manages to overtake the nano's audio quality. the included ear buds are white like the ipod ear phones but of a better quality. however if you want perfect sound quality, you should invest in shure headphones! photos look very good on the vibrant 2.2inch display and you can also view them on slideshow while listing to your music. videos are displayed at 15 frames per second (fps)which means that action videos can be a little streaky (for normal viewing it should be 24fps). but it is more than suffient for a small player as this. i didnt really expect to use the text viewing abilities but i am starting to use if for various things. the fm radio is also very good, offering 20 user presets and an exhaustive auto scan. the reception is also outstanding.
when transferring files to u10 you can use drag and drop. you can also transfer playlists from your computer or creat them in the u10. the only gripe i have regarding performance is the relatively slow transfer speeds. although it uses usb2.0 it is not achieving a fast transfer rate as my samsung t7z. at the moment though it's only a problem when i want to transfer new files a few mintues before my bus is due...but hopefully this will improve with firmware updates.
the battery life is spectacular: iriver states 28 hours which means that it is slightly higher since manufactures always take the low estimate.
included in the box are headphones, user manual, usb cable and software for transferring files. you can also get the optional cradle and remote which makes your u10 look like a minature tv. using this, you can view videos from a distance (...on a 2.2 inch screen?) and use it as an alarm clock (there is a massive snooze button on top of the cradle.
to summarise, the u10 is refreshing and innovative. the 2.2inch screen (capable of displaying 260000 colours), extensive sound enhancements and abudnace of features make the u10 a winner. the design is also very clean and sleek. dimension wise, the ipod is smaller but that's because they didnt have all these features to cram in!
having said all that...........
it is expensive... for a 1gb u10 you should expect to pay almost the same price as the 2gb nano(slightly cheaper but you are getting only half the nano) and for the 2gb u10 you will be paying slightly less than the price for the 4gb nano. therefore, it is quite a big sacrifice but if you have cash to burn or if you have a sugar-daddy/mommy or rich parents...or whatever, get this!
(before you start speculating on how i got this...i've got cash to burn.. :D)