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Cowon A3-80SL 80GB Portable Media Player (Silver)

by Cowon
14 customer reviews

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  • 4" Wide LCD, 16 million color, res. 800x480, ultra portable
  • Play all your digital entertainment: movies, TV shows, photos and music
  • Record video from camcorder, TV sources; programmable PVR function for television programming
  • FM tuner with record capability and voice recorder; line-in recording to MP3
  • Internal rechargeable battery; compatible with Windows operating systems
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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Cowon
  • Model Number: A3-80SL
  • Digital Storage Capacity: 80.0 GB
  • Color: Silver
  • Display Size: 4 inches
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Product Description

Introducing the most versatile portable multimedia experience for digital media enthusiasts, the COWON A3 delivers a full range of high-end video/audio capabilities. The successor to the top-rated A2, the A3 PMP features HD video output (1280x720) for movie playback on HDTV and direct recording from external A/V devices (TV, VCR or camcorder) for viewing on a 4-inch widescreen color TFT LCD. The COWON A3’s digital video performance is optimized by the latest Texas Instruments DaVinci DM6441 digital media processor – and an expanded hard-drive capacity of 30GB or 60GB provides maximum digital media storage. Designed for the best digital video experience, the A3 features HD video output via component, s-video or composite connections. The COWON A3 also boasts the industry’s most expansive digital media format and codec support, including popular lossy and lossless audio codecs True Audio, Monkey’s Audio, Musepack, WavPack, Matroska, FLAC and Ogg Vorbis; and video codecs DivX, XviD, MPEG-4 SP/ASP, WMV, H.264 MP and M-JPEG. Additionally, the A3 comes equipped with an FM radio and recorder, voice recorder with internal microphone, built-in stereo speakers, and it functions as a full-screen photo and document viewer. With its high-speed USB 2.0 interface and USB host functionality, the COWON A3 also doubles as a data storage and high-capacity photo backup device for digital cameras with support for JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIF, BMP and RAW image formats.

Product Information

Technical Details
Brand NameCowon
Item Weight10.2 ounces
Product Dimensions6 x 4.5 x 9 inches
Item model numberA3-80SL
Number of Items1
Additional Information
Best Sellers Rank #327,158 in Electronics (See top 100)
Shipping Weight2.4 pounds
Domestic Shipping Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Date First AvailableJune 12, 2004

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Bayko on November 11, 2008
Verified Purchase
As the title suggests the battery is going in my 15 month old, gen 5, 80G IPOD Classic and there's problems with the click wheel. I had numerous MP3 players before the IPOD; Creative Nomad, Creative Jukebox Zen, Archos 400 series (this was my favorite, until now,)and I switched to the IPOD because it was light, easy navigation, good sound, and nice screen, and the Itunes Music Management software worked so well. I had heard the sound was "decent" and that was good enough with my Sure E500s. But the downside, was that I travel, work across at least 1 work PC, and 2 personal ones, and it was a struggle to work with music and maintain my digital library, when I was 80% on the road and tied to an authorized PC at home. However for the aforementioned reason I went to buy a 6th generation IPOD classic; only to read in the forums that Apple dummed down the audio chip in the 6th generation, and there was poorer sound then my old one. I reviewed all the competition; and picked the Cowon A3 because; it wasn't as expensive with all the add on's and things I didn't need than the new Archos 5; it didn't have the Hard Drive noise of the new Microsoft Zune 120; it had more storage, and edged out the Creative Zen Xfi according to reviews. I will not address all the things that have positively been said about the Corwon, look at the A3 80 reviews and the A3 60. But I will address some issues others have noted. Navigation with the joystick; no big problem you get used to it quickly. Lack of ID3 tag sorting, no big deal, can easily find what I want in the folder structure on my PC and likewise on the Corwon. Heavy like a Brick, just a bit more than my 5th generatin classic, and a big improvement over my old Archos. I think it's a cool device. Old style buttons and connectors, not "sexy.Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Callahan on September 9, 2008
Cowon Products are great. They were years ahead of the Ipod. This gadget is neat. Beautiful color screen is 4 inchs wide and the record direct feature is flawless. I will agree with the other guy and say their service center is horrable. I had e-mailed them about a warranty and it took forever for them to get back to me. This review is not about their coustmer service. The A3 has a bunch of cool features it can pick up radio and TV signals which you can record directly to the device. It hold pictures, documents, music, video. With 80 gigs of Hard drive space you never run out of room.

If you are looking for a great product check out Cowon they are worth it. 1.6 milion color screen with HD like picture you won't want to put it down.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Joseph E. Van Riper III on December 29, 2008
Verified Purchase
I have been using this device now for a few months, preferring to wait until I'm settled in with it before I wrote a review extolling any virtues or deriding any problems.

I typically use this device while commuting to work (about a 1 hour commute, another hour to get home). Although I haven't done so yet, I would also use this while traveling to a job site.

I work as a senior software engineer for a company that does a lot of work with broadcast media, to give a little background to help you decide if I'm a moron who just can't figure out how to work with any device (let alone this one), or just someone who finds this thing challenging to use.

First, the pros:

The Cowon A3 provides a marvelous sound. I could hear nuances in the music that I missed before when I plugged this into my car's stereo. I believe the device's several pre-defined equalization settings also help tweak the sound without having to be a genius at equalization, while still granting the flexibility to equalize to your exacting specifications if desired. I doubt many players could beat this one for the sound.

I also love that this unit works with ogg vorbis files right out of the box. I don't have to install RockBox or some other 3rd party tool to enable ogg vorbis, my preferred audio encoding.

I enjoyed being able to add lyrics to my songs if I wanted, and have those lyrics play back within the device.

The video screen is very large for this kind of device, providing ample room to watch videos you could store in the thing. I created my own little animation and put it in the device, allowing me to show it to friends without having to create a DvD or force someone to download the animation or whatever.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael L. Smiley Sr. on October 6, 2008
Verified Purchase
I 've a A3 for a couple of days and after comparing it to my q5w, I prefer the A3 for a couple of reasons. First it plays my AAC music files, which I needed additional software to do that on the q5. It's lighter than than the q5, and fits in a pocket easier. It can also record my favorite TV shows to watch at a later time. The only thing the A3 needs to be perfect is bluetooth. If music is important to you I recommend the A3, for sound quality it beats my ipod hands down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fat Pigs Fly on April 2, 2009
*Note: It's more like 4.5~~~ than anything

First, let's tackle all the main concerns with this product.

#1) Joystick! Yeah, if you've ever used a joystick like the one on those SE phones or on the Archos model, you'll know what it feels like. You won't see me complaining about these not because they're perfect - far from it - but because my hands are about half the size of a normal person my age (and I am above 13). For chubby hands you might get frustrated, but for me, I'm fine with it.
#2) ID3 tag browsing support. There are two types of people, those who use ID3 tag sorting and those who use folders cause they're a neat freak. I lean towards the latter so I'm not as affected as the frustrated majority of the other half.

Design and Build
Some people say it looks ugly, some people say it looks beautiful. What's not contested however is it's weight and bulk. This thing is half a pound heavy and is big and bulky. Design-wise, I'll leave it to you to decide. I'm not complaining.

Best display ever. AMOLED screens aren't really feasible yet but this would be the next best. The resolution is awesome, the colors equally awesome, and the brightness is great. All in all, if you're looking at this the display would probably be a buying factor.

The interface is actually relatively simple to use, though some steps here and there may be counter-intuitive. Volume is controlled by the up and down joystick instead of a dedicated volume rocker which would help tremendously if you were reading a doc or looking at photos. Also, going back and forth to the music or video is slightly odd. However, none of these are really frustratingly annoying. Just... odd... and kind of annoying.
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