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.
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
Excerpt: First impressions of this multimedia player are underwhelming. The Cowon A3 seems a dated, plastic, lumpen figure, and it struggles, too, to sell itself as massively portable. The interface is rather dowdy, while the joystick control method is erratic and fiddly. Still, we could look past at least some of these foibles if the rest of the player delivers the goods. And a read through the specs counters our gloom. There's a 4in screen with an 800 x 480 resolution.
Pros: Good-sized screen, excellent file compatibility, including HD content, SD card and FM tuner
Cons: Low battery life, looks and feels cheap, sound and vision performance is bettered elsewhere