|by sswilson | March 18, 2007|
Initial Impressions & Day to Day Use
The packaging is sturdy and includes everything needed to get started. The manual covers all functions, and for a nice change, seems to have been written by somebody who can speak english.
The player itself is well constructed and smaller than I'd anticipated. The controls are well placed and comfortable to use. My only complaint is that unlike similar players, it is a completely sealed unit. I had hoped to get a look at the battery to see if it could be replaced, but this design would require major surgery to access the internal workings.
Once charged, simply drag your MP3s or WMAs into the player's file folder and you're ready to go. No drivers or third party applications are required for transferring music under XP, but you'll need to convert video and image files using the programs included on the disk. Win98/SE users will need to install drivers.
I found it most convenient to store my files in folders broken down by Artist/Album, but any file structure will work as you can easily navigate to your selection.
Day to Day Use:
I used the player all week around the house & during my early morning treks into work. The battery held up fine for 5 days of approximately 1 – 1 ˝ hours use per day. I ran it non-stop today from a full charge and got a little over 11 hours of play out of it at half volume before I started to notice degredation of the audio.
The controls took a day to master, but once I figured out how to set the “lock” feature I stopped cursing the positioning of the FM key, and have come to appreciate the lay-out. (I would have left the FM selection in the menu and not bothered with a button, but I suppose that's personal preference).
Sound quality out of the provided ear-buds is decent, but I always feel like buds are falling out so I ditched them for my own wrap-around-the-ear earphones.
Without an array of sound meters, impressions of sound quality are purely subjective so please take my findings with a grain of salt.
For comparison I pitted the Super-Talent Mega Screen against 2 similarly classed MP3 players, a RCA Lyra (no screen), an Apacer Audio Steno (1 gig), and pretty well the standard to beat, an Apple Ipod Nano.
Comparing the same audio tracks on each unit, I found the sound quality between the three lower end players to be virtually identical. The Apple (again.... this is subjective and hard to describe) seemed to produce audio that was slightly "fuller" if that makes any sense.
I did find the screen a little dark for my taste, and unfortunately there is no setting for brightness. I had a look at the support page to see about upgrading the firmware on the off chance that a brightness control might have been added, but the info differed between the manual and the on-line instructions so I held off on that until I can get clarification from their techs rather than chance a bad firmware flash.
Don't get me wrong, the screen looks great, but it is hard to see on a bright sunny day.