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Everyone wants in on the ‘smart' industry. Cowon decided to catch up with the trend of Android, albeit with no smartphone, but with what it calls the Smart MP3 player. The company has put forth its first product for this year, dubbed Z2 Plenue, though portable media players are losing ground with each passing day. Surprisingly, the new Cowon device has it all, from abilities to serve as a media player to web surfing, high storage capacity and access to Android apps. Well, we can't really gauge how smart it is to dish out a media player, based on Android while smartphones these days have been replacing them effectively and come with additional add-ons.

This device promises superior playback and a realistic sound field. It comes with maximized functionality through the Android operating system and also various apps. It is fueled by a CPU with 1GHz horsepower and a video processor that supports full HD and 3D graphics, which helps increase processing power for apps and other multimedia content. It embeds a 3.7-inch AMOLED display for delivering full HD and is accompanied by 4+GB of file transfer capacity and HDMI output. Further, the storage capacity can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card, just like your smartphone. Yes, it sounds like a spec sheet of an Android handset. Needless to say, it doesn’t support voice calls.

It will feature JetEffect 5 offering greater selection of tones, and it’s an upgrade to the JetEffect 3, and in all 48 preset sound fields. The Android flavour adds access to a variety of apps. It can handle SNS apps and VoIP functions as well, and also allows surfing the web and checking e-mail over Wi-Fi. Cowon has included some services, like Membership Wallet, uCloud and more, and is also equipped with a dictionary and a scientific calculator.

The attractive design complements the slim profile, while the integrated port cover doubles as a stand for viewing videos. The Android-based Plenue series are currently up for pre-order. The device has been dipped in shades of white and black and has been priced at 18,500, 20,500 and 23,500, for storage capacities of 8GB, 16GB and 32GB, respectively. The media player market seems to be fading, with there being only a handful of popular players in the market, like the Apple iPod. The question is, why would you pick an Android Smart player over an Android smartphone, especially after looking at that hefty price tag?


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