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October 11, 2005

Sub-$200 Portable Video Device in 2006

Ed Oswald reports at BetaNews:

With all the rumors surrounding a possible video-enabled iPod launch this week, at least one company is taking advantage of the heightened attention on portable media center devices.

San Francisco-based Handheld Entertainment announced on Monday plans to offer a PlaysForSure compatible portable media player next year, but remained mum on exact details of the player itself.

The company expects to be the first to offer a PlaysForSure device for less than $200 USD, a key price point for many consumers in the portable media device market.

The unit, dubbed ZVUE, would carry a retail price of between $149 and $199 USD, and will be unveiled at CES 2006, BetaNews has learned. Handheld already sells another device of the same name at select Wal-Mart locations and Discovery Channel stores for a price of $99 USD, however it only plays MPEG video files.

Today’s ZVUE is 4.33 x 2.91 x 1.1 inches with a 2.5 inch (diagonal) 160×240 “bright” display and stereo sound. (Pictures) It does run up to 8 hours on 4 AA batteries, but has no internal storage. Files are stored on SD and MMC cards formatted as FAT or FAT-32. You can nitpick various details, but my big worry would be the size and quality of the display. I guess I’d have to see it, but it seems too small to be much fun. Something to look for the next time I hit Wal-Mart.

Posted at 4:28 pm. Filed under Companies, Handheld Entertainment, Portable Video

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