Epson P-2000 Multimedia Storage Viewer


      In summary

      Epson’s P-2000 combines personal entertainment with data storage in a portable device with plenty of appeal to photographers. It has the largest, best-looking screen we’ve seen so far. The display has VGA resolution and shows three colours per pixel image, at a density of 212 pixels per inch, which is double the resolution of most competing products. . . [more]

      Full review


      Rating (out of 10)

      Build: 8.5
      Ease of use: 8.5
      Versatility: 9.0
      Storage capacity: 8.0
      Value for money: 8.5

      Epson’s P-2000 combines personal entertainment with data storage in a portable device with plenty of appeal to photographers. It has the largest, best-looking screen we’ve seen so far. The display has VGA resolution and shows three colours per pixel image at a density of 212 pixels per inch; double the resolution of most competing products.

      Inside the ‘box’ is a 40GB hard disk drive, of which 36.5GB is usable for data storage, making the P-2000 an effective substitute for a notebook PC for storing and checking image files on location. Slots for CF (Type I and II cards and Microdrives) and SD cards are located on the upper edge. You can use both slots simultaneously and other card formats can be played via optional adaptors. The P-2000 also has a user-replaceable lithium-ion battery which, according to Epson, provides enough power to download up to thirteen 1GB memory cards – or 2.5 hours of video playback.
      The P-2000 is wonderfully versatile and, thanks to a straightforward control suite, it’s easy to transfer and play stored files. As well as image files, the P-2000 can also hold MP3 and AAC music clips and video files, although only AVI (MPEG-4 or Motion JPEG), MP4, MOV and ASF files are supported. You can play back the music files via the built-in speaker or optional stereo headphones.

      One neat feature is the ability to create named albums from individual groups of image files and name them using the Text Input function, which calls up a keyboard on the screen. Letters are selected with the four-way ring controller. Unfortunately the file management system is basic and file names are limited to eight characters plus a three character extension. Longer file names can be truncated when downloaded, which can lead to some confusion.

      Other restrictions also exist. Although it showed the thumbnails, the test unit couldn’t display RAW files created by an Olympus camera (Canon, Nikon and Epson RAW files are supported) at full screen size. Epson says other RAW files may be supported in the future via firmware upgrade. In addition, the RAW files supported can only be displayed at full screen size by using the JPEG stored in the RAW header, which will reduce the value of the P-2000 as a viewer for some users. TIFF files can’t be displayed at all and JPEGs are limited to files between 160 x 120 pixels and up to 8.9 megapixels. However, JPEGs can be rotated and you can call up Exif data for any image file and zoom in on full-screen images until you run out of resolution (over 700% with an 8-megapixel file).

      The P-2000 can also be connected to a TV set or video projector using an S-Video cable (not supplied), allowing users to play stored movies or view photos on a large screen. Direct printing is also supported – but only to certain Epson printers because the P-2000 is not PictBridge compliant. This is a pity as its screen is one of the few good enough for this purpose.

      On test, the P-2000 took just under seven seconds to power-up and roughly three seconds to shut down. It took one minute and 43 seconds to copy 234MB of image files from a 256MB SanDisk Ultra II card. This is tolerable – but far longer than the blindingly-fast speed of 90 seconds/gigabyte that Epson claims (we’d love details of their test methods). Creating an album when you transfer image files roughly doubles the transfer time because the files are copied twice; once to the Card data folder, then to the new album. Transferring the stored files to a computer with the supplied USB 2.0 cable took just over 45 seconds.

      As noted, the P-2000’s image display is superb, with outstanding colour, sharpness and detail and excellent image contrast. It’s easy to run slideshows on screen and you have five transition options plus the ability to add background music using saved MP3 files. You can also adjust the display times for pictures.

      As a music player, the P-2000 is mediocre, lacking tone controls, playlists and sorting/searching facilities. It also suffers from limited volume control and detectable background noise. However, it’s a great portable movie viewer! An AVI movie clip from a VGA-capable digicam looked and sounded great when played back on both the P-2000’s screen and via a TV screen.

      The P-2000 comes with a plastic stand that positions the screen for desktop viewing plus a wrist strap, AC adapter and power cable and software CD.




      Storage Capacity: 36.5GB usable (40GB HHD built-in, FAT 32 compatible)
      Supported Media: CF and SD memory card slots
      Supported File Formats: JPEG, RAW (all leading camera brands), MP3 and ACC music, MPEG4 and Motion JPEG video
      Display: 3.8-inch Epson Photo Fine super-high density TFT display with 640 x 480 pixels/RGB
      Interfaces: USB 2.0 (Mass Storage Class), A/V Out connector, Headphone out
      Power: User-replaceable EU-97 lithium-ion rechargeable battery
      Charging Time: approx. 3 hours
      Dimensions: 147 x 84 x 31.4mm
      Weight: 415g (battery included)
      RRP: $899
      Distributor: Epson Australia; 1300 131 928;





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