Summary: If you're looking for a single portable device to carry both your audio and video files, the Cowon A3 probably isn't your best choice. But as a portable video player, the A3 has just about everything you could want - if you can tolerate the tiny joystick and unintuitive interface.
Excerpt: If you’re willing to look beyond everyone’s favorite fruit company when you shop for a digital media player, you’ll encounter some wildly underrated alternatives. Cowon manufactures more than a few, including the nearly divine A3. In fact, there’s just one feature that kills our enthusiasm for this chunky player: The joystick you must use to control the player and navigate its user interface.
Pros: Beautiful screen, awesome format support, and plenty of storage.
Cons: The navigation joystick is frustrating to use; no carry case.
Conclusion: This big portable media player does plenty of neat tricks, including recording video. It also has a big, bright screen, and its navigation feels similar to that of an Archos device, but more evolved.
Pros: Records audio, video, voice, and radio content. Sharp photo and video display. Strong file support. Excellent EQ.
Cons: Poorly designed joystick controller. Big and bulky. Mobile TV options are not available in the U.S.
Excerpt: Cowon has always been a personal favorite, and not without ample reason. To begin with, I don’t see Cowon cowing down to the competition by subscribing to the whole “use only proonprietary software” crap! If there’s any product out there that's capable of breaking the iPod monopoly, I'd say it's Cowon. Even though the visibility is low, it's still likely to shine amidst it all.
Summary: The Cowon A3 portable video player is a fantastic value when judged on the merits of its file support and integrated video-recording capabilities. If you've got nimble fingers and an eclectic assortment of audio and video formats, the Cowon A3 should be at the top of your list.
Pros: The Cowon A3 portable video player (PVP) offers outstanding audio and video format support; a sharp, colorful screen; the most attractive Cowon user interface we've seen; built-in video output; video and audio recording capabilities; and superb audio quality.
Cons: The Cowon A3 is cursed with a clumsy joystick interface; a highly reflective screen; no support for DRM-protected media; and archaic music sorting. It's also a little on the chubby side.
Conclusion: The A3′s main rivals are the Archos 605 WiFi and the Creative Zen Vision:W, and the A3 trumps them both in most respects. Archos comes out ahead in DRM support, wireless capabilities, and storage capacity, and Creative’s interface is way better. But the A3′s built-in AV recording features and file-format flexibility remain huge plusses in our book, so if those are your priorities — as opposed to the Archos 605′s touchscreen or wireless features — the A3 delivers.
Pros: Lots of file format compatibility; beautiful LCD display, great audio and video quality
Cons: Joystick navigation is difficult; confusing interface; short battery life; no Bluetooth or WiFi
Conclusion: The A3 was a bit of a disappointment to me since I was really looking forward to the HD playback which failed to perform. This, along with the unorganized user interface and finicky joystick, makes me shy away from the A3. Despite my complaints, I still think that the A3 is the best PMP on the market due to its comprehensive (but still lacking) file support, component out, video recording, lossless audio recording, and gorgeous high resolution screen.
Pros: Best TV-Out on a PMP, Great Sound Quality, Crisp LCD, Solid Build Quality, Codec Support
Cons: Weak HD output, Limited H.264 Support, Not a User Friendly Interface, Inaccurate Joystick, Occasional GUI Lag, Cowon iAudio A3 vs Archos 605, Cowon iAudio A3 vs Creative Zen Vision W, Cowon iAudio A3 vs Cowon iAudio A2, a href=”http://www.anythingbutipod.com/compare/cowon-iaudio-a3-vs-cowon-iaudio-q5w”>Cowon iAudio A3 vs Cowon iAudio Q5W