The D2+, made by South Korean company Cowon Systems Inc., is not a portable media player that you should feel bad about never having heard of. Now that you have heard of it though, itís one that deserves a little of your time, because itís really a pretty decent option as portable media players go.
Take a look at the D2+ and youíll realize immediately that itís intended as a video as well as a music playback device. Like the iPod Touch it gives you a large touchscreen that dominates the front of the device; in this case itís a 2.5 inch TFT LCD in a 3 x 2.2 inch chassis (which is 0.65 inches thick). The screen is nice to look at, but the rest of the D2+ is pure sturdy functionality, and as a result pretty bland. The top edge is where youíll find the power button, and controls for menu, hold, and playback volume. On the left-hand side are USB and headphone jacks, and at the bottom is a card slot accepting SD, MMC and SDHC.
They say good things come in threes, and that holds true for the D2+. Specifically those three things are sound quality, battery life, and memory expandability.
First to the sound quality. Granted, excellent sound quality is becoming pretty common on todayís portable music players, but still, itís good to know that your tunes will be funneled into your ears sounding pretty much as good as they can.
Second to the battery life: at a tested 40 hours of music playback and 9 of video, the D2+ís battery life is well above average for devices like it. ĎNuff said.
And the memory expandability? Itís great: not only does it support SD, MMC, and SDHC cards, but it also merges all content seamlessly together, whether itís stored on-board or on a memory card. For most users thatís a much better way to organize things than having to browse to a separate folder to access the added content.
On to the less-good things about the D2+. Chief among those are these two: most videos require conversion, and menu scrolling to (for example) finding specific albums or tracks is a tedious experience. Itís possible to put up with both these things, but of course youíd rather not have to.
Ok. Onto price, and at around $150 for 16GB ($120 for 8GB), no-one could complain that the D2+ isnít priced competitively, particularly when you have the option of adding extra memory for a small additional outlay.
The price point also puts the D2+ squarely in iPod Nano territory. So can it compete? Well, it has a larger screen (2.5 inches for the D2+ vs. 2.2 inches for the Nano) without being larger overall, and itís actually better-featured. Where it falls down to the Nano is first of all in the looks department, where the D2+ comes off looking like the dowdy, chubby friend that the cool girls keep around just so they have someone to feel prettier than. Second of all itís in the Ďtricksí department. The iPod Nano, with tricks like Cover Flow, tilt control, and Genius playlists (where it automatically generates playlists of songs that it thinks will complement one that you choose), is simply a more innovative and clever portable music/media player. Does that tip the scales in the Nanoís favor? Only you can decide!