Cowon iAudio Q5 review

Versatile with a list of impressive specs as long as your arm – but not a doddle to use Tested at £395.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

It’s more tweaky and involved than most players, but it’s also got far more features


  • +

    Hugely versatile player with a vast feature list

  • +

    brilliant pictures and decent sound

  • +

    solid build


  • -

    Need to invest time to work it out and get the best from it

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Apologies if this review ends up a bit like a list of features, but this chunky Cowon Q5 has so many of them, it's the only way to cover everything.

It's effectively a portable PC, you see, and has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Windows Messenger and Internet Explorer are pre-installed, and you even get Word.

Features fantastic
You interact with the machine by prodding the touchscreen with either your fingers or the stylus. Both work fairly well. Another control option is to plug a mouse or keyboard into the full-size USB 2.0 socket.

Being a PC, the Cowon supports myriad files, including DivX and AVI. The massive display is extremely good, with movies looking well defined, detailed and vibrant.

It's a decent music player, too. The only problem is that the machine is tweaky and hard to figure out, and the manual is near useless. But if you're prepared to put the time in, this is the most versatile player here.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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