Pocket media rocket offers it all on cheap

Japanese media player lacks little but how does it perform?

Cheap portable media players are ten-a-penny these days and most perform about as well as emotional England cricketers on a late-night pedalo, so it takes something special to stand out, which Sunconnection 's latest Japanese PMP appears to do on paper.

The ¥12,800 (£55) Winbel SC-VP200SD device has a 2.5-inch screen and is billed as an MPEG-4 video player/recorder, but it also packs a 1.3-megapixel camera, MP3 player, photo and text decoding, WMA voice recorder and AV-I/O ports for getting flicks on and off the machine.

Memory of a goldfish

Internal memory is a negligible 128MB, so everything will need to go on an SD card - a 2GB card will hold up to 320 minutes of QVGA video at 30fps or 80 hours of audio, but SDHC is not supported.

Windows-only software for handling media transfers is included, but there's no Mac support, nor is there information on how much transcoding - if any - is needed.

The battery lasts just three hours per charge, but the device's slim-line 110g weight partway excuses that. Best of all for non-Japanese users, video output can be switched between NTSC and PAL for those days when you want to show grainy MPEGs on a friend's jumbo plasma.

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