Sunday, June 24, 2007

Review of the Sorell DN10 PMP / DMB / GPS

Friday night I was walking through a department store downtown, looking at mp3 players like I usually do these days (getting my two friends' iRiver Clix working on Ubuntu piqued my interest). There in the middle of the pack was something different. More of a PMP than an mp3 player, it had a large LCD screen and claimed 1GB of flash RAM for under US$100. The SD card slot in the side promised perfect Linux compatibility, but I was still dubious.

I don't make these decisions lightly, so it took me about thirty minutes of fiddling around before I bought it. The specs are as follows:
  • 3.5" LCD color touch screen
  • 1 GB Flash (as USB mass media)
  • SD card slot for expansion
  • Audio player which supports .ogg in addition to other formats
  • Video player which supports 640x400 XVid at least
  • Image viewer supporting all major formats
  • E-book viewer
  • DMB radio and TV receiver
  • GPS map system
  • Battery pack
When I opened the box, I found a surprise that I wasn't prepared for and hadn't thought to ask about: there was no charger -- only a car mount system and car AC/DC converter. Luckily, the unit appears to charge via USB.

After adding the necessary .is_audio_player file , I am able to use Rhythmbox to drag music from my DAAP server to the music player. Rhythmbox will also play music directly from the DN10.

The music and video interfaces are not the best in the world, but there are a large number of acceptable formats. The music player doesn't keep an artist database or anything, but does support playlists and favorites. The 1GB of flash won't store many movies, but with up to 2 GB of SD expansion, you can have 2-3.

For under US$100, this purchase was definitely worth it.


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