Stylish design, an abundance of features and good anti-shock capabilities should make the iRiver SlimX IMP-400 one of the most sought-after portable CD/FM radio/MP3 players on the market. It is a solidly built unit with a metal lid whose rounded shape and 17mm thickness make it one of the slightest CD-based devices available.
Minimal controls are located on the player itself, as most of the functionality is handled by the LCD-equipped wired remote. The latter has a generous amount of cord and a strong yet easily workable clip.
The control buttons are logically laid out on the remote and jog dials are used for equaliser and play mode settings. The centralised menu/navigation button allows you to tinker with the many settings of the player’s upgradeable firmware and also to navigate the folders of MP3 CDs quickly.
CDs have up to 180 seconds of buffering (anti-shock) time and MP3s up to 480 seconds. During CD testing, the player proved to be very resilient to shock with these settings enabled. In MP3 mode the unit’s two batteries gave over nine hours of continuous play. These batteries are flat-shaped and rechargeable, but an external AA battery pack is provided, too. Sound quality was very good via the bundled earbuds.
For under $400, the IMP-400 is perfect for anyone who is after a versatile, robust and elegant portable CD player.
In brief: iRiver SlimX IMP-400
The SlimX IMP-400 combines good looks, versatility, rigidity and a comprehensive firmware program to provide a very enjoyable portable music listening experience.
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