Samsung YPK-5 MP3 Player
My Review: 7.5
The Samsung YPK-5 rules. The biggest problem is really the name of the device – no wonder Apple’s iPods are kicking so much ass. YPK-5 vs iPod. Shit.
So, the obvious cool feature is the slide out speaker. It really does sound great. If you are in the kitchen, outside smoking a cigar, or taking a shower in your hotel room, this portable mini-Boombox is awesome. And the device feels solid in your hands. There is no cheap, plasticky vibe. It feels solid, has some mass, and the speaker slides in and out perfectly time and again. The player is available with a 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB capacity.
The interface is really cool. There are little animations as you switch between functions (music, photos, alarm, etc.) and they are neat. It is responsive as well, not a long lag time between sections as you navigate. There is obviously a music section, as well as a photo section, alarm clock, FM radio, and the user settings area.
The interface is intuitive and easy to use. When a song is playing in the music section, if you slide out the speaker it continues playing without a pause or a hitch. The headphones included with the player are bass enhanced and really comfortable.
The FM radio is a neat feature as well. You do need to plug in some headphones – the metal in the plug acts as an antenna. Without it the device will not pick up a radio signal. You can still use the speaker though. As soon as the speaker slides out it takes over regardless of whether there are headphones plugged in. Cool.
Pictures look ok. Not great, but they look ok. It can be a fun diversion while you’ll sitting on the john, but it’s not a fantastic picture viewer.
The alarm is another thing I really like. You can set multiple alarms, and set them for particular days of the week (or to only run once, etc.) You can also designate a song on the device to play as the alarm tone. I wish you could pick multiple songs (or random) but it will only let you select a single song as the “alarm song.” Still, I like the option. And you do not need to open the speaker for the alarm to work. It will still play the song (pretty loud too) or regular alarm tone audibly, even if the speaker is closed.
The battery life also kicks ass. They list the battery use as 6 hours with the speakers open, and 18 hours using the headphones only. I have found those numbers to be very accurate. It’s got a strong little battery.
You have to use the USB cable to charge it; I’d prefer to have a wall charger as well, but I can deal with it. the bundled software (on CD-ROM) is ok, but nothing special. On most machines you can simply dump songs into the pre-set folders (MUSIC, PHOTOS, etc.) using Windows Explorer. I haven’t plugged it into a Mac, but I believe it the same basic story.
I think this is one of the coolest MP3 players on the market. The FM radio is nice, the alarm is rad, and the speaker kicks ass. For ultra-light / slim fanatics, Samsung has another version with the same features and interface sans speaker, which cuts the depth about in half. As is, with the speaker, the device still fits comfortably in your pocket and is easy to carry. And, you can plug it into any computer and add/remove songs, which in my opinion is a huge advantage over Apple’s iPod DRM madness.
Bottom line – this thing kicks ass and you should buy one. Solid 7.5
The 1st link is to the YPK-5 section on the Samsung site. The second link is to J&R Electronics, they sell the YPK for a decent price.