Today I will be reviewing the Ainol V5000HDR with a 4.3" touch screen and 480x272 resolution. The reasons I went with this particular model is that Ainol seems to be well liked on these forums, it is a low cost entry-level model and portability, I felt a 3.6" was a tad too small while a 5" would be slightly too large, so 4.3" would be a good compromise, and it is small enough to fit in most people's pockets while still giving a good viewing experience. Packaging
The V5000HDR comes in a cardboard box, inside is the player itself, manual, usb cable, earbuds and TV-out composite cables.SpecificationBuild Quality
The player is made from plastic but it looks really well made, it certainly does not look cheap to me. It is lightweight, yet at the same time it feels solid when held in the palm of your hand.
The resistive touch screen is what I would call average, I can't really expect much since this is a low-cost PMP. Sometimes, the touch screen responds well, sometimes not, it is not very sensitive, it needs a good push on the touch screen to perform well. The touch screen performance was better when I used my thumb instead of my index finger.
Viewing angles are quite good from the sides, and from the top vertically, but once you tilt the player backwards the viewing angles from the bottom is quite bad, colors and visibility will start to fade out. From what I have read, this is quite common for a lot of Chinese branded PMPs, unless it uses one of those high quality Samsung panels.Video Playback
I encoded some of my DVDs using the Handbrake software to MKV/H.264/AAC using the Normal settings, plus some downloaded 720p test files like movie trailers and a few animated short films like Elephant's Dream, Big Buck Bunny and Sintel.
I have to admit I thought the image quality was extremely good, even on a 4.3" screen with 480x272 resolution. Colours are vibrant, they don't look at all washed out to me, there was no noticeable blurring during fast action scenes, and the F15 chipset was able to play all my test files without a hiccup. If I had to say one negative, I wished the player could be a bit brighter, in darker scenes you may not be able to see all the details.
I also scaled down a few videos to the player's 480x272 native resolution to see what impact it had on the image quality. Sure enough, you will lose some detail and there can be a graininess in parts of the picture, but it is still very satisfactory for viewing, and you will also save some storage space with the smaller filesizes.
The sound is actually quite good assuming you are using a pair of your favourite earphones, it is clean and clear, and there is plenty of volume. I wouldn't recommend using the built-in speakers, they give off a tinny sound, similar to what you would expect from a pair of cheap computer speakers or a laptop's built-in speakers.The PMP's Other Features
I don't want to go into too much detail about the PMP's other features as I bought it primarily for videos.
I've only listened to a few songs so I can't give an in-depth view, the SQ has a nice balanced sound, there is no user-definable EQ although there are several presets. The music player's UI is quite basic, one thing that annoyed me is that files are not always sorted in sequential/alphabetical order.
Very basic text reader, you can change the font size from 16pt to 24pt, and read the ebook in landscape or portrait mode. It's ok, but nothing special.
There are other features which I have not touched on such as the FM Radio, Voice Recorder, Photo Viewer and there are even some built-in games.Other Thoughts
USB 2.0 write speeds are not the best and quite inconsistent, the transfer rate averaged from 2.5-4.5MB/s.
The player is Linux friendly, it is recognized by Ubuntu 11.04 as a mass storage usb device. However, it does not disconnect when you "eject" or "safely remove", instead just hit any button on the player except for the power button and it will cut the usb connection and continue charging.
No memory integration between the internal memory and the microSD slot. It does have file management functions for you to copy files from microSD to the internal memory and vice-versa.Battery Life
According to Ainol's spec, the V5000HDR comes with a 1800MhA battery, let's see what it is capable of.
Videos scaled down to 480x272 = 5h30m
720p videos (1280x720 or similar) = 4h
Recharge time is about 3hrs.Conclusion
This is my first Ainol PMP, and despite some shortcomings with the touch panel and viewing angles, consider me impressed. I will be using it primarily for watching videos and it performed this task admirably, overall I would say the V5000HDR is a nice introduction to low-cost PMPs, I would give it a very good 8/10.