Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
A good media player with touch-sensitive controls.
- Stylish, intuitive menu, produces good sound, good screen
- No drag-and-drop functionality, menu lags in certain folders, fingerprint magnet
The Samsung YP-Q1 (16GB) is an attractive and well-performing device that lacks the versatility needed to compete with the similarly priced iPod nano.
Price$ 289.00 (AUD)
Samsung's YP-Q1 is a flash-based portable media player that offers plenty of features at a decent price. Unfortunately, its interface suffers occasional lag and the player lacks drag-and-drop functionality.
The Q1 is stylish in a minimalist way, with a shiny black plastic case and a candybar shape. However, it is also a fingerprint magnet — the touch-sensitive interface means that the Q1 will be covered in your fingerprints very quickly.
Along with the usual five-way directional keypad, which has four illuminable cursor keys shaped as a diamond, there is also a back and a menu button. Unfortunately, the navigation buttons don't have clear boundaries, so users will often try to press the central button and activate a directional button instead. If you've got large hands, it'll take you some time to get used to the controls.
The menu system is simple and intuitive. In the music section songs are organised into artists, albums, songs and genres. Although there are five blank playlists included by default, and you can add songs to these on the go, you can't create new playlists on the Q1 itself. Instead, you will have to rely on the bundled software.
Occasionally, particularly in the games and images categories, we found there were significant delays between pressing a key and getting a response. By contrast, everything ran smoothly in the video and music sections,
The Q1 has a nice collection of features. Unlike the Samsung YP-S3 this unit has a voice recorder. The player offers a built-in microphone, an FM radio tuner and a few simple games. Its 2.4in TFT display has a resolution of 320x240 and plays movies smoothly. Images are displayed with great clarity and colours come out boldly.
Music sounds good and has plenty of detail, but the quality is limited by the mediocrity of the bundled headphones. If you can afford it, we'd strongly suggest purchasing a better set of headphones. Samsung has included its DNSe (Digital Natural Sound Engine), and the effect is an increase in richness and bass but a noticeable decrease in detail. Given that the default playback quality is fine, most users are better off ignoring this setting.
The Q1 supports MP3, WMA and MPEG4 file formats for music, so users can't play WAV or other lossless music formats. Dragging and dropping media is not supported, which means that all file transfers will need to be done via either the included software or a program like Windows Media Player.
Given that an Apple iPod nano (4th Generation) with the same capacity can be bought for an identical price, users will need to decide if they can resist the iPod's trendiness and choose the larger-screened Q1 instead.
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