PMPs (personal media players) are becoming increasingly popular for their versatility and array of features, but less so for their often over exuberant price tag. So when the new Mintpad from Mintpass was unveiled (after a long enough delay for us to wonder where it had gone) people were definitely interested, and now it’s come across from Korea and has arrived with us in the UK.
Not only does the price tag attract attention, but the interesting shape and design also draws eyes and it in fact looks suspiciously like a modern electronic version of a Post-it note. It’s operated by stylus which instantly creates attractions and problems, but beside that, on the physical side, it is incredibly competitive, with a small sleek design that looks suspiciously like a blend between the Nintendo DS and a square Apple iPod Touch.
Features wise it is packed full of them, which considering the small size and price, is surprising. It (obviously) plays various music and video files which serve as possibly its primary function; but it is also Wi-Fi enabled, which means you can use the inbuilt chat function as well as the blog and Internet equivalents allowing you to browse on the move.
A couple of problems here though: the chat can only be used with other Mintpad users, a number which will probably be very small and regarding the Internet, the QVGA sub 3” screen is inadequate for surfing longer than about 5 minutes due to the cramped nature of the screen and the irritating nature that styluses have of being dropped.
It also has a notes function (not surprising considering what it looks like) and a little camera with 1.3 megapixels capable of taking both videos and stills, as well as a small microphone and speaker… better than the iPod Touch (and arguably all the iPods apart from the iPhone) in that respect. For the more practical of you, a 30 hour battery life for music should satisfy, although only 5 hours for videos isn’t as good; also it has a 4GB hard drive with a microSD slot supporting up to 8GB — although a 20GB version is available.
In fact if you can think of a feature that you could put onto a small device such as this, it probably has it — the only problem being that it could be devilishly hard to use given its size. But to be honest given the painfully stylish looks of the little thing, and the fact that it will be cheaper than most phones/MP3 players/PMPs that are capable of doing all these things will probably mean you’re happy to overlook the slightly fiddly nature for the pure ‘coolness’ and portability.
One of the biggest selling points of the Mintpass over in Korea has been the relatively low price, and the same can be said over here with the prices starting at £139 and the 20GB version being available for £169. But will you really be rushing out to buy one?
Well it definitely has the array of features that are likely to attract you, and the attention given to the ‘memo’ function (designed to not only ‘feel’ like paper, but to act like it to help fuel your creativity) is a nice touch. It even has sleek looks and a nice price, what could be better?
Well, there is one reason that I think will stop people buying it and it’s an odd one: it’s the wrong shape. It’s not a phone shape, a smartphone shape or a MP3 player shape — just a square, which I think rightly or wrongly will be off putting to some people. But I do have a hunch that there will be more than a few that do invest in one of these Mintpad personal media players and that they won’t be disappointed!
Via – Mintpass