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PQI mPack P800 Portable Entertainment Centre

PQI mPack P800 Portable Entertainment Centre  - PCSTATS
Abstract: From it's nice 3.5" LCD screen outwards, this miniature media powerhouse is loaded with features, some of which we have yet to see on any competing player.
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: MP3 Players Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PQI Memory Sep 06 2005   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > MP3 Players > PQI Memory mPack P800

Companion Software

The mPack P800 ships with a sub-par companion software utility which makes the process of creating audio playlists, etc. much more complicated and vastly slower than it should be. Fortunately you don't have to use it, as we initially thought.

By default, the included playback utility accessible from the main menu will only directly play files you have downloaded using the PQI mPack PC program. I say directly because if you go to the file browser and navigate to a directory containing audio files you have dragged and dropped onto the mPack P800's drive, you can play the files easily from that location with the full functionality of the player.

Happily, you can disable the audio database function of the player in the settings menu. This removes its ability to sort your files by artist, genre, etc. and use playlists, but you can then drag and drop files directly to the 'audio' directory and the playback application will see them.

The mPack PC program itself is functional, but far from intuitive. What really got to us though was the fact that we could copy a hundred MP3s to the player in less than two minutes using drag and drop, but transferring these files 'properly' to the player using the software took closer to ten minutes.

Video Playback

The PQI mPack P800 shines in this category. Initially we copied a large (700+MB) DivX version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail directly onto the player at it's original resolution of 624x352 just to see how the mPack handled it. The result? The movie played flawlessly at full frame rate with excellent sound. We continued testing with various other DivX movies and experienced excellent results every time.

During video playback, the right hand joystick can skip through movies in 20 second increments. If held, you can scan continuously through the movie. Pressing the center (M) button on that joystick brings up a context menu similar to that of a DVD player or computer media player, offering a settings screen and a host of other options including fast forward and reverse and the ability to switch between full screen and letterbox mode. Simply excellent.

Other thoughtful design features include the ability to resume movies at the point you stopped watching them. Simply put, the mPack P800 is an excellent movie player which would make a priceless addition to any long, boring trip.

Copying a video to the mPack P800 for playback simply involves dragging and dropping the file to the 'video' directory on the player's hard drive.

Photo Viewing

The PQI mPack P800 includes a photo viewing application which displays a file list as well as a tiny thumbnail and details about each picture.

The player's software will automatically resize each photo to fit the screen space. pressing the right joystick left or right while viewing the full-screen image cause the image to rotate 90 degrees in that direction. The up and down controls of the left joystick can be used to zoom in and out of the photo.

When you are in 'zoom' mode, the right joystick can be used to pan around the photograph. Combined with the excellent screen and its ability to view RAW format files, this can make the mPack into a fantastic photoviewer. Our only wish was that the pan controls moved faster around the screen.

The zoom actually lets you go extremely far 'into' the picture. In our tests, we were able to fill the screen with a legible (though blurry) image of a tiny Ebay logo on a shirt one of our staff was wearing in a typical portrait photo. Very impressive.

Options in the photo viewing screen allow you to create a quick slideshow and view your photos as a page of thumbnails instead of a list. Copying photos to the player requires dragging and dropping them to the 'photo' directory.

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Contents of Article: PQI Memory mPack P800
 Pg 1.  PQI mPack P800 Portable Entertainment Centre
 Pg 2.  First Impressions and Setup
 Pg 3.  Examining the mPack P800
 Pg 4.  PQI mPack P800 Accessories and Remote
 Pg 5.  Compact Flash Card Reader
 Pg 6.  — Companion Software
 Pg 7.  TV-out of Photos and DiVX Movies
 Pg 8.  Battery life and Conclusions

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