updated 07:55 am EDT, Mon August 25, 2008
Cowon S9 O2 and L3
Cowon as of Monday launched a concerted campaign to improve its touchscreen players with three new models. Headlining the move is the S9 Curve; the device is the first narrow-format touchscreen player from the Korean company and also the first to use an active matrix OLED (AMOLED) touchscreen. The switch from LCD both improves color output (up to 16 million colors) and also battery life: despite a 3.3-inch display, the S9 is capable of 40 hours of continuous music while remaining slim.
The S9 is also a full video player with both prerecorded clips and, in Korea, a T-DMB tuner for live digital TV. An accelerometer and a dual-core processor are also said to make Cowon's new entry more responsive to user input than other devices.
A second entry, the O2, joins the company's more traditional models; the device has a much larger 4.3-inch touchscreen and similarly advanced media playback support, including seldom-supported formats such as Apple Lossless or True Audio. It also has the same T-DMB tuner as the S9 but adds voice recording and a dictionary. The larger and more traditional screen reduces battery life to 18 hours but keeps eight hours of video; it supports up to 32GB of flash storage with an SD card slot for more.
The L3 as Cowon's final introduction is the true GPS device and has a 7-inch, 800x480 screen that suits it primarily to use either in-car with a dash mount or else at home. It too supports T-DMB, audio, and video, though Cowon doesn't mention formats or storage outside of an SD card slot.
None of the devices have received set release dates, though Cowon has announced the devices at Europe's IFA event and frequently releases its smaller devices in North America without the T-DMB support.