With the iPod Touch dominating all-comers in the world of portable media players, it's going to take something special to topple it. iRiver hopes a fresh, stylish touchscreen interface will give its P7 machine a fighting chance.
The 'magazine-style' control system sees the home menu screen divided in to eight sections for settings, date/time, music, video, FM radio, voice recording and the text file manager – but not web browsing.
As an old-style resistive touchscreen, it also seems dated and basic compared with the capacitive screens from Apple and Sony, which allow for more advanced, multitouch control.
The large 4.3in screen is good, but 480 x 272 resolution is a little disappointing – lower than the Touch despite boasting a larger screen. It plays WMV, MP4, AVI and Xvid videos.
Watching content ripped from DVD, it offers a clean, natural presentation with solid handling of motion. But it gives away a little punch and insight compared to the you-know-what, and off-axis viewing isn't great. It's an enjoyable image, nonetheless.
Lively music peformance
Switch to music, and there's support for MP3, WMA, Ogg, FLAC and WAV, but not AAC files. It sounds open, lively and expansive, though there's a touch of brightness and lack of weight.
Despite a decent performance, we feel the P7 is a little last-generation, with its fiddly, old-style touchscreen and no web browsing. Apple and Sony will not be quaking in their boots.