By Andrew Liszewski
Samsung announced their P3 touch-screen portable media player at their press conference yesterday, but the only unit they had on hand at the time had a dead battery. Thankfully their booth had a small collection of them on display this morning, and I got to spend a few minutes playing around with it and snapped a couple of photos; though apparently that was a big no-no. Oh well. The P3 comes in 4, 8, 16 and 32GB capacities and features a 16:9, 3-inch WQVGA touch screen with Samsung’s EmoTure touch interface plus haptic feedback. In other words, it vibrates in response to certain button presses.
The die-cast metal housing comes in silver or black matte finishes, and like most touch-screen devices, the screen collects more fingerprints than a CSI. (As is apparent in the photos I took.) It’s also got an FM tuner and a voice recorder, and for some reason it can connect to a mobile phone over bluetooth and be used to answer calls. Not really sure why though. But the feature that Samsung was really pushing at their press conference (and another ‘CES2009 buzzword’) was the P3’s widgets. This includes touch-friendly mini-apps like a calendar, world clocks and games, but the ones they had running at the booth were kind of lame. You see that mini-gingerbread man? When you touch him he breaks up like a shattered cookie, and then resets. Hopefully that’s not as good as it gets, but with no wi-fi, it’s not like you’ll be downloading new ones every day. The UI however was rather nice, if a bit slow, and if you’re looking for an alternative to something like the iPod Touch, you can get your hands on the P3 sometime in the first half of 2009.