updated 04:30 pm EDT, Mon October 27, 2008
Cowon O2 Comes to US
Cowon today has quietly launched an Americanized version of the O2, its most recent video-oriented touchscreen player. The device is a close cousin of its Korean original and carries a 4.3-inch, 480x272 display as well as the processing power to decode 720p video in some formats. Although it denies the use of the T-DMB TV tuner that would only work in Korea, the O2 continues to support relatively exotic formats that include Monkey Audio and OGG as well as video formats like Matroska and MTV. Several common formats are likewise supported and include both AAC and H.264.
Like many larger Cowon players, the O2 also has a microphone for voice recording and has a document viewer to read PDFs, PowerPoint files and other content without a full-fledged PC. Macs and Linux PCs are supported alongside Windows but are limited to direct drag-and-drop file transfers to load or extract content, though any operating system can use the built-in SDHC card slot.
In the US, Cowon is selling the O2 in its black, pink and white colors with capacities of 8GB ($219), 16GB ($249) and 32GB ($299). The company takes orders from its website but hasn't yet announced retail plans, which are less common for its newer players.