Viewsonic isn’t exactly one of the first names that come to mind when we broach the topic of portable media players, but the MovieBook VPD550T expected to be released this coming April may just change that. Bringing to the table a 5-inch LCD touchscreen, 8GB internal memory, microSD expansion, and an HDMI output capable of 1080P HD resolution, this is one sweet device.
Price tag? $199. If you’re a video aficionado, prepare to be thrilled by the 550T’s support for DAT, MPG, MPEG, VOB, MP4, MOV, AVI, DVD Video, ASF, WMV, MKV, TS, and RM/RMVB. In spite of its vid-centric name, the MovieBook shines equally as a portable audio player, supporting MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC ,OGG, FLAC, APE, AC3, and DTS audio formats. Ebooks, photos, and voice recordings are also included.
Viewsonic rates the MovieBook at 20 hours of audio and 4 hours of video playback in terms of battery life – that’s impressive when you account for the larger-sized screen and the HD video codecs. If you can live without 1080P High-Def and fewer video formats, Viewsonic also offers a VPD513 with 720p output ($189) and a 4-inch VPD403 ($139) available in March or April. Glad to see a company focusing on a high-quality mobile A/V experience – The iPod Touches and Zune HDs of late seem to lack that factor.