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Cowon Q5W gets reviewed: needs work

Nilay Patel

Now that the Cowon Q5W is finally on sale in the US, reviews are starting to spring up, and sadly, it looks like we'll have to put off our newfound love affair for a while -- while the device is sexy and the feature list is there, it seems like the interface just isn't up to snuff. The folks at Gadgetaholics are first off the line with a review, and while they praise the extensive feature list and codec support, it seems that the three-year-old Windows CE 5.0 OS just isn't quite as touch-compatible as that five-inch screen would have you believe, with the use of a stylus required for several features, including the onscreen keyboard. Worse, the Cowon shell runs as an app on top of the OS, requiring some unfortunate mode and context switching to change settings and run other apps. Video playback was also marred by glitches, including an inability to play certain supposedly compatible files and a hard lockup when attempting to load an unsupported .mov file. In the end, regardless of Q5W's impressive screen size and feature list, it looks like the Archos 605 might be a better bet -- we hope it can forgive us for straying.

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