mPack 600 media player review

3.5 out of 5
£100

For

Big, and we mean big, screen, 20GB hard drive, drag and drop

Against

That big screen means a big unit, doesn’t have the design aesthetics of the Vision:M or iPod video

When it comes to watching video on the go, it doesn't have to be the iPod or Creative Zen Vision:M all the time.

The mPack 600, from Taiwanese PQI is an pleasant alternative to those looking for something off the usual menu. The biggest appeal of the clamshell model will be the 4-inch widescreen TFT display that supports 16 million colours hidden under the bonnet.

What this means in the real world is that you get a large colour screen that is near perfect when it comes to replicating images or movies. Far better than both the Creative and Apple alternatives the screen is a wonder to behold if watching movies on the go on such a small screen is your thing.

Get past the large, and for once it is, screen and the player offers a simple, but effective control panel for accessing the content on the machines 20GB hard drive.

Once on, users have the ability to access and playback video, images and music and a wide variety of formats are supported.

MPEG1/2/4, AVI, VOB, DAT, XviD, and MOD (WMV and ASF supported by converting software) for video. MP3 CBR/VBR, AC3, WAV and OGG for audio and JPEG, GIF, BMP and Raw Image for images.

Aside from the ability to playback music, video and images to your heart's content on the machine itself, the player also supports playback on your television and all the relevant cables to get you going are included in the box along with a charger.

PIQ recommend that battery life will last you around 4 hours for movies and 8 hours for audio which aren't the greatest of times, especially on the audio side of things.

Verdict

While the screen size, the built-in hard drive and the drag and drop capabilities are all good, the overall size of the device is on the large side. And this isn't something you are going to want to try and fit in your pocket any time soon.

The trouble is, if you've decided that you are going have to stow this in a bag you start to wonder whether or not you would be better off opting for a PDA with its bigger screen and more useful additional features when you aren't watching a movie or listening to music.

The screen is impressive, but the setback is, to get it this big you've got to have a big unit to house it, and for us that's the mPack's biggest drawback.