As with every other Cowon player we've ever laid ears on, the audio quality out of this one was second to none; if you're a self-proclaimed audiophile, yet can't exactly accommodate your Marantz KI Pearl on the subway, this is about as good as it gets. The video player was similarly impressive, loading up clips with minimal fuss, and showing no lag whatsoever during playback. Unfortunately, for all the things this gorgeous unit does right, the only spec that matters to some is wrong: pricing. We hate to point out the obvious, but an 8GB iPod touch is also just $199, and unlike the J3, Apple's alternative can surf the web over WiFi and bring you face to face with 100,000 (or so) apps. From a value proposition standpoint, there's simply no comparison. 'Course, the J3 may still stand out if you're all about audio quality (and nothing else), but we've yet to actually meet someone who didn't care at least a smidgen about the extras. Vote with your wallet, as they say.
Cowon J3 PMP unboxingSee all photos