Solar Powered Portable Media Player Hits the Market

eMotion has released a portable media player (PMP) that is charged by solar panels on the back of the device. At first glance, this gadget seems poised to strike a blow for battery curmudgeons everywhere. It's easy to see the list of things that the device claims to be able to do and get excited. Upon further inspection, however, it would seem that this device leaves lots to be desired.

The EM-SOL1GIG PMP has an impressive list of capabilities. You can listen to music, watch video, read books, play games in an emulator-like environment, and transfer files on and off using the built-in SD card reader. The device supports a maximum SD card size of 2GB and allows you to load it with your own music, TXT format books, AVI format videos, and even ROMS for older video game systems like the NES and SEGA. Perhaps one of the most intriguing features is the ability to charge other portable devices you own off of the EM-SOL1GIG - that's right, use a charger adapter to power your other devices from the Sun!

The disappointments roll in a few minutes later after you've had time to digest the features list and see the glaring holes. Why not support a 4GB SD card? Why not provide playback for other popular music file formats like OGG and FLAC? No DivX support could also be a major issue for many people. No PDF file support for reading books means many of the digital books I have purchased will not be able to be viewed on this device. The screen, coming in at 320x240, is a bit small too - especially for how big the actual device is.

This device was a good attempt at making a really useful PMP. The price tag isn't too bad either - $169. While the features list may have some holes, overall, this device is very intriguing.
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