The Cowon A3 is the successor to the moderately successful A2 and is the less feature filled companion to the Cowon Q5W. Where the Q5W offers a multitude of features bordering on a full fledged computer Cowon kept the A3 to its portable media player roots and significantly upgraded the media capabilities. The A3 uses Texas Instrument's DaVinci chipset which decodes a bevy of formats including HD video and MKV container. Cowon also includes other features such as video and audio recording to stay competitive with the other players in this price range.
- 4" screen with 800x480 resolution that displays 16 million colors
- native HD video decoding, up to 720p resolution
- line-in recording (with uncompressed FLAC support)
- SD video recording
- video output including HD output
- integrated speakers and microphone
- View office file formats
- 30GB - $349 | 60GB - $399
- Battery life: 7 hours video | 9 hours audio
- Video formats: AVI, WMV, ASF,MP4, MATROSKA(MKV), OGM, MPG/MPEG, VOB, DAT,MTV DivX 3.11/4/5/6, XviD, MPEG-4 SP/ASP, WMV 9/8/7, H.264 MP, M-JPEG, MPEG 1/2
- Audio formats: MPEG1 Layer 1/2/3, WMA, FLAC, OGG Vorbis, AAC/AAC+, AC3, BSAC, True Audio, WavPack, G.726, CM
Despite the relatively large amount of formats supported the A3 cannot play back files that are encrypted with any form of DRM, for both video and audio. Furthermore, as of firmware (1.18) h264 support is not functional, though Cowon is promising improved support in future firmwares. Video recording can be done through composite or S-Video to capture standard definition video, but HD video capture is not supported.
Latest firmware is V1.24
The unit can be charged through USB or the included power adapter. The USB port doubles as a data transfer port, not only between the A3 and your computer, but also between other devices and the A3. Cowon adds Universal Mass Storage reading which means that many digital cameras, portable storage drives, and even other media players can connect to the A3 and transfer data back and forth.
- Component cables
- Composite cables
- Hand strap
- USB 2.0 cable
- Cowon A3 unit
- Intallation CD, Quick Guide
- AC power adapter