Review: iRiver X20 – flash video MP3 player

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iriver_x20_review.jpg The propaganda

The iRiver X20 joins the growing ranks of small, flash based players that can handle both video and audio playback. It’s compact, light and portable making it a good travel companion.

In addition to playback it can record too – either from the internal mic or via the line-in port. iRiver has also thought about expansion, including an MicroSD card slot so you can add additional storage once you fill up the internal memory.

The good

The X20 is certainly a feature packed player, with good codec support covering MP3, WMA, WAV and OGG – although AAC is notably lacking. Audio playback quality was decent, although you’ll want to replace the bundled headphones to get the most out of it.

The landscape aspect ratio screen is bright and clear and there’s even built in speakers at the back so you can share your music and videos with friends – although the back of the number 76 probably isn’t the best place to do this.

The bad

While the addition of video playback is welcome, the 2.2in screen is just a bit too small for an enjoyable experience. Trailers and short clips are fine, but it’s not really big enough for watching a whole film on.

The navigation controls can also be a bit tricky to get the hang of. It’s easy to overshoot when you’re rotating the circular wheel which is annoying and there’s no dedicated back button, leaving you to have to start at the top of the menu again at times.

Geek Sheet

Capacity: 2GB

Audio formats: MP3, WMA (unprotected), WAV, OGG

Video formats: MPEG4 SP, WMV SP

Battery: 22 hours audio, 6 hours video

Dimensions: 96x49x10mm

Weight: 70g

Overview

For a 2GB model the X20 is reasonably priced at £79 – especially given that you can increase the capacity via the MicroSD slot.

It performs well as a music player, but on the video front the screen’s a bit small for anything but the shortest of clips. Navigating around the interface can also be a bit hard to master and the lack of dedicated back button is a pain.

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Related sites: iRiver X20 at Advanced MP3 Players

Will Head