CES 2006: Toshiba S-series PMC Player comment: 5
| Wednesday, January 04 (2006) 10:35PM | Posted by Austin Vaughan
|At the pre-show event tonight, The Digital Experience, the most interesting device on display was Toshiba's new S-series GigaBeat. Not much of a name, not too shocking a design (just a revamped version of the old faithful F-series) but... certainly worth looking at. For starters, it's a very lightweight unit, yet it doesn't feel too tacky in terms of materials. Only the controls felt a little bit out of place, material-wise (as in: rather plastic-like). On the other hand, it seems as if Toshiba did replace the touch-based cross controller with a tactile version (there's a button right in the center of the actual cross as well) - which worked out very well from what we could tell in a few minutes time. There's also two little buttons positioned underneath the screen, one of them has the Windows logo on it.|
And that's where things started to get weird... Toshiba obviously dropped its own software in favor of Microsoft's next-gen version of PMC. The original PMCs (like Creative's PMC-120 and iRiver's PMC-100) didn't do much damage but it seems like Microsoft did lift the GigaBeat to a new level this time - because, you know, the S-series is able to play videos and all. Among the supported formats are WMV and MPEG-2. This is where the GigaBeat's potentially awesome QVGA screen has finally been put to use - videos looked sharp enough (kind of dark, but maybe the lighting wasn't too great over there) and since you can tilt the device to have it play videos in landscape mode (widescreen) it'll probably make a fine miniature PMP while commuting. Also comes with video-out, although we didn't see an actual performance levels on that one yet.
|The S-series is told to come available as soon as next month (even in America) - don't get your hopes up, of course - at the reasonable prices of 299 (30GB) and 399 (60GB). It's not as slim as the iPod, but Toshiba's device surely is "narrower" in terms of width. Two versions were on display: a plain white one, and a slick-looking brushed silver edition. Battery life is very acceptable at 20 hours for audio and 6 hours for video. Classy. Snazzy. Good work.|
For more pics, hit the link below.