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on June 1, 2011
This will be a brief review.

I ordered two for my kids. One had a loose battery--you can hear it moving/bumping around the device's insides when shaking it side-to-side. This one worked without issue but I sent it back since electronics are not supposed to have that "feature" built-in. I will keep the second one for one more week and then plan on sending it back because the fully charged battery completely drained after 3 days of non-use. (Note: lithium batteries are supposed to only drain 5-10% per MONTH.)

I am receptive to chalking up these two experiences as "flukes" because, when it worked, the device worked very, very well for a technology product at this price point.

BATTERY: Fully charged, using headphones, and set at its brightest--I was trying to simulate a long drive or flight environment--the device ran for a little over 5 hours before running out of juice. However, after fully charging it overnight and letting it sit 3 days unplugged from the charging cable and transformer, the battery lasted only 30 minutes before the device shut off.

DISPLAY: During the day, anything other than its brightest setting was not acceptable. At night, watching movies at the midway brightness was fine. Movies played without any pixelation. I used HandBrake to convert the movies; compression setting was H.264. File formats were MP4(MV4) and MKV.

SOUND: Sound through the headphones depended on the quality of the headphones. It sounded fine on inexpensive Sony kid headphones. Sounded great on my Bose headphones. Don't expect too much from the built-in speakers.

FILE TRANSFER: The device installed as an external drive. Simple drag-and-drop of files from my PC. A quirk of the Coby MP977 is that there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to how it organized files. Not alpha-numeric. Not by creation time. So I had to hunt down the title that I wanted to play.

OVERALL: The device appears to be a solidly built device. It's about the size and weight of a nice GPS unit. Movies played very well. Music files played nicely without issue. Menu navigation took about a few minutes to figure out. File management: you can't get any more straight forward than drag-and-drop. At this price point, I would have kept the last device. But the battery fully discharging after 3 days of non-use is simply unacceptable.

UPDATE: 2011-June 26
I ended up keeping this video player and I changed my rating to 4 stars and the title of this review from "A novel and ok product" to "A truly family friendly product."

My 3-year old loved this device too much so I kept it longer and now he thinks that it is his "iPad." (This device was purchased for his use so we have his videos on it.) I continued to test the battery life AND I am left with the conclusion that my initial "bad experience" was likely my own fault. Unused, the battery has remained near full for almost two weeks. I suppose it drains a little when I power it up and run through the menus just to see if I can leave a feature hanging. (I suspected that the original bad experience with the drained battery was due to the application not shutting down.)

I would have given this device 5 stars if the software to run it and the navigation buttons were more intuitive. Again, I would have preferred that the display were brighter (like B&N's Nook and iPad's IPS screen) but, then, the price point for this player wouldn't be where it is currently at. So...the only faults I can find with it are the software which is very basic and not intuitive, and the navigation buttons (power, options, menu, etc.) could also be more intuitive--something as simple as different shaped buttons to indicate the differing functions.
22 comments58 of 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 17, 2011
bought this for my mom to have a small, portable, light, inexpensive tablet to have vacation pics & videos handy for viewing. I set it up for her & have messed with it off & on for a few weeks now. Overall, if you are just looking for a very good, basic multi-media player(mp3s, videos, pics, e-books), this gets the job done as advertised.

the good...
* good screen(box says display is 800x480 with 1080p output via hdmi), seems durable. i'm used to touchscreens so many times i've absent-mindedly touched the screen to get it to do something. it has held up well despite my bone-headedness.
* mp3s & pics play well, no problem. plays videos continuously, no need to start & re-start. plays multi-video formats out of the box. some high-end tablets cant/wont even do that. e-book reader and fm-tuner options as well(haven't used either extensively to be honest)
* haven't tested the hdmi-to-tv option yet, but it includes an hdmi cable for it(along with a usb cable, power adapter, protective pouch, stereo earphones, and a remote). instruction booklet included is thicker than the 1-sheet instructions for the big tablets.
* multiple useful features: micro sd card slot for expandable memory(box says max 16gb support), hdmi out, video out, usb port for easy "drag & drop" to your device.

the 'iffy'...
- unintuitive controls. not difficult or complicated, just unintuitive. but you should be able to get used to them.
- mp3s displayed by title(and features album art and basic visualizer), pics show up as pics, but videos are just listed with no indication of which is which. maybe there is a way to name them or better identify them but i havent figured it out.
- battery life is only a few hrs or so for heavy video use. in fairness, it charges pretty quickly and actually charges while usb connected as you're transferring stuff.
- amazon description says "gaming apps". where?
- kinda thick, but very light in its defense.
- no internet, touchscreen, cameras, or apps. not really a con at all, just clarifying.

(note: i bought mine used/like new on amazon from warehouse deals for $68+free shipping. got it in a week. done business with them before and will do so in the future. the coby 4gb 7" multimedia tablet and 'warehouse deals' vendor both recommended)
22 comments22 of 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 24, 2011
this thing is great. It plays everything i threw at it. If you wanna rip a dvd vob files directly to the device and play it, it will play it. No lag whatsoever. Subtitles, great. I really cant say much bc i'm too suprised at it's versatility. I'd ramble all day about hlw great it is. BATT. LIFE.------ SO far on one charge, i have gotten over 5 hours of play and stil have 22 percent left. 33 percent was four hours of watching. Great product
1313 comments23 of 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 25, 2012
I agreee with "Zarifa".

This unit was awesome on specs and on initial use. I purchased this around April 2011 I used this primarily as a player for the kids, bought a mount for the car, loaded up a few mp4 videos, and the kids were happy for long drives.

I was also amazed that this player could decode H.264 MKV format files for playback. (My Motorola Xoom at the time was having trouble with HD content)

However after 4 months of use, the charger / USB port broke, and that was it. Without power, it's just one big piece of paper-weight. I checked the warranty on this, and it's valid for only for 3 months. I originally paid around $100 for this, and spent an additional $50 on accessories like the mount and the Micro SD cards.

I was great at the start, but I feel let down by the the cheap build. I guess it landed up being more like a 4 month rental.
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on September 29, 2011
The product is good - like other reviewers have suggested, and it takes most formats you throw at it, and will play them for you without any hassle. The only problem is, the build feels very cheap, and the buttons look like they will stop working in a day or two. Well, that's exactly what happened with our piece. One of the buttons stopped working, and its just a useless piece of device for us now -- even though we loved it while it was working. I missed the return date BY A DAY! Will return it anyway as it is of no use for me in this state. I would go for something higher-end -- something that's built to last, not something that lasts just the warranty period.
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on February 14, 2013
I wanted a cheap small media player easier to lug than my netbook.

Pro: Cheap as salt. Light. Very decent screen for movies. They look quite good. Plays many types of video: AVI and MKV work smoothly. SRT subtitles (usually) work well. Pile of little accessories included, with wall charger and bag. Usable battery time of 3 hrs video. Sounds good. Handles 16GB SDHC card as expected. 7 inch screen ideal compromise between handiness and viewability.

Con: Control buttons inspire little confidence for durability.

I don't depend on a media player or expect to use one heavily. Higher grade players seem easy to find, but this is usable and very economical, a good deal if it lasts.

Edit: I like it even better after a few days' familiarization. A smooth-working gizmo so far. Increased the rating by 1 star.

More edit: The "back" button did peg out as feared after about two weeks. Still usable, inconvenient. Removed that extra star again -- other buttons will follow down the rathole. Nice device marred by crummy microswitches.
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on March 14, 2013
This is an awesome player! So far I have tried AVI, MP4, and MKV, and they all work flawlessly.

As an ebook reader, it supports EPUB and PDF.

For music, I've only tried MP3.

Everything works great. I've even hooked it up to two different HDTVs using the included HDMI cable, and it works fine. I did notice that in 720p, it takes about 12 seconds for the player to switch video over to the port and display on the TV. For 1080p, it takes about 30 seconds. I've read other reviews where some customers have said the HDMI port doesn't work. More than likely they didn't wait long enough for the unit to transition from the front panel to the HDMI port. While it does take a bit of time (up to 30 seconds) it does switch to HDMI and display on the TV.

I've also read several reviews about missing headphones and the remote. These are tucked away in the side panels of the box. Once you take the Coby player out of the box, open up the side walls on the right and left hand side to find the included remote and the ear buds.

As for battery life, mine lasts just a bit over 4 hours from a full charge. Enough time for 2 full length movies. While it will play and operate normally when plugged into the wall, I have noticed it doesn't work well when plugged into a PC. That is, when you plug it into a USB port, the Coby switches to data mode for transferring files between the PC and the player. You are supposed to be able to hold ESC to get out of data mode and have it switch to charging mode, but I've only had luck with that once. For the most part, if you need to charge and playback at the same time, just use the included wall-wart adapter for charging while playing.

Overall, I love this media player!
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on February 7, 2013
This does a good job with my old standard-definition AVI and MP4 videos, but it has trouble with HD MP4s. It seems to like HD MKV files created by Nero Recode 12. I haven't tried the open source Handbrake video converter program yet, but that might work as well. It does work with Micro SDHC cards formatted with the NTFS file system if you have video files larger than 4GB, which won't fit on a card formatted for FAT32.

A MicroSD card can get stuck in the card slot, and the little spring loaded ejector can be too weak to eject the card. If you use a 32GB Class 10 Sandisk or Samsung card, it won't be so bad if the Coby winds up being its "forever home." You can still use the USB cable to manage the files on the card if this happens.

Be sure to tear the box completely apart before throwing it away! Otherwise, you might not even see the included remote control or earbuds, which are tucked into the packaging on either side.
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on June 10, 2011
We are about to take a 20 hour trip with a 20 month old and this is going to make it possible. I was worried that it might not play while charging because I've read reviews about others that don't, but I just tried it out and it does play while charging. That means non-stop entertainment for my little one. I bought a car USB adapter to charge it and an extra long cord to keep it playing the whole trip. Also, it plays .avi and .mkv files which are the formats that most of our digital movies are in. Not even Windows Media Player does that. With a 4G mini-SD card and the 4G of internal memory I got 8 movies to fit. Oh, and the picture quality and sound are great! I'm not sure if the speakers will be loud enough to be heard in the car but they are pretty loud when just listening to it at home. That's a plus because my kid won't keep ear phones on. I wish I would have bought the case to attach it to the headrest but I'll figure something out. My kid will probably like to hold it while watching too but I'm afraid he might throw it.

This is a great buy! I love everything about it!!! I was just compelled to write a review.
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on September 11, 2011
Here is a short, but hopefully useful review.
Great player, playes High Def video with a higher than expected quality. Plays mkv format, which is the best HD format, with no problems.
Sound was louder than expected, and high quality for such a small speaker, they are on the back of the unit
Battery played HD movies for 4 hours. Some people complained that it did not hold charge, I believe they thought it was off, when the screen turned off. I charged my, let it set for 48 hrs and still had 100% of charge.
The manual says up to 16GB micro SD, but I put a 32 GB in and worked great. Just remember to convert your movies under 4GB, for the standard Fat32 format, unless you plan on formating the SD card to NTFS. It did not except the exFat format.
One other unexpect bonus, you CAN use internal and SD card at same time, many devices like this are one or other.
Headsets work great on this unit
Only CON is that the little case the comes with it is so tight you sometimes turn it on when putting the case on. Also the unit turns on when you hook it up to charge so make sure to turn it off to speed up charging.
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