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Cowon A3-60SL 60GB Portable Media Player (Silver)

3.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

Currently unavailable.
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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: A3-60SL
  • Digital Storage Capacity: 60 GB
  • Color: Blue
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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

Product Dimensions 6 x 4.5 x 9 inches
Item Weight 2.2 pounds
Shipping Weight 2.4 pounds
Manufacturer Cowon
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
Item model number A3-60SL
Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #4,670 in Electronics > Portable Audio & Video > MP3 & MP4 Players & Accessories > MP3 & MP4 Players
Date first available at June 12, 2004

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
I'll have to admit, there were a few things said in reviews about this player that made me reluctant to purchase it in the first place:

* The size. Well, it's certainly no larger than a CD player ever was, so I see no issue. If you can manage a CD player, then you can manage this with no problem at all.
* The Toggle Switch. I really wanted this not to be a problem... and it doesn't have to be... it just makes it difficult for player operation to become mindless; you have to be sure you're pushing straight down to select things. Though I'll admit that the context menu eliminates 75% of the need to ever 'press' OK. Other than that, navigation is easy and really user-friendly without being stupid.

Other things reviewers would say about this player were just silly. For example, the lack of tag-based browsing. Listen, I keep my music organized in folders and am quite used to going through 2 or 3 folders just to get to the file I want. So I can't browse by genre on the A3. Why would I want to? Heck, half the music I listen to is always put in the 'Rock' genre anyway. The on-the-fly playlist function more than makes up for this in my opinion.

The other complaint I saw was its lack of DRM-protected file support. If you really need to buy DRM-protected media, then you obviously don't know that there are many MANY ways of acquiring DRM-free files. In other words, this player is a torrent pirate's dream. Not only will it play pretty much every file you can find on the internet, but plays it beautifully without transcoding a single thing!

The Cons:
* VOB (DVD video) files seem to have trouble with multi-chanel audio and subtitles. An anime series I loaded on to the player would only play in japanese and not recognize the subtitle tracks at all...
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Angered with my old iPod, I was on the lookout for a PMP that would actually play the types of media I wanted to play. My brother had a video iPod, and there was just too much work involved with encoding and all of that. Plus, I hated iTunes.

It eventually came down to being between the Archos 605 and the Cowon A3 for me. I went the the A3, and my brother went with the 605, so I've had the experience with both of these.

The A3 is a great PMP. It will play almost anything you can throw at it, and it will play it well. The screen is very crisp (although it is glossy, so there are some reflections sometimes). It shows up as an external hard drive, so you don't need any software to put anything on it, which is great, because it works with Linux, OS X, windows, and anything else out of the box. I have found the video quality to be superb. The picture is top notch for cartoons like futurama and anime. For real video, it is still good, but not perfect.

Video can be stretched depending on the ratio. The A3 will either show it as it's original size, or stretch it to take up the whole screen. It's a nice option since the screen is not exactly 16:9, and no matter what the source is, there would be black bars on some edges.

It does video out right out of the box. I don't personally own an HDTV, but my relatives do. When I went over, we all watched star wars on the HDTV. The quality was good, just like watching a DVD. Sound was alright, but it was good after I turned off the 3d sound. The 3d sound can muffle the vocals, I'm assuming because the vocals are usually center track and the 3d sound probably does something with sounds unique to each channel.

The video player is awesome.
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Verified Purchase
After couple of hours testing A3 I am quite impressed with its sound and video quality.

1. Sound quality: I owned about 6 other mp3 players - A3's audio is the best I've heard.
2. Image quality: Screen resolution is quite impressive - it is so good that 4" stills and videos feel much larger. I would strongly prefer to watch videos on this player than on most portable DVD players with 7" or 10" screen sizes.
3. File transfer: It is reasonably fast - in 10minutes I've transfered around 4 gigs of files.
4. Built-in Mike and voice recording quality: Again, I am impressed.
5. Compatibility with existing file formats: so far it played 95% of the video files that I've downloaded and 100% of audio files.

1. Proprietary USB file transfer cable. Why Cowon? A2 model worked just fine with generic one.
2. Somewhat delayed response (slower than in A2) when switching between mp3 files and pausing videos. I hope they'll fix it with the future firmware upgrades.
3. Poor zoom function in Photos - it interpolates rather than zooms.
4. You have to convert PDF files into different format to view them.
5. Mediocre interface and nearly identical to A2, many buttons remain unassigned on multiple screens - with the upgraded processor Cowon could've added some additional functionality to the device.

In all - very good PMP gadget.
3 Comments 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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If you are interested in videos that look stunning, with excellent contrast, vibrant colors and crisp detail, you must consider this player. If you are also interested in audiophile sound, whether to accompany your videos or for your varied music collection, you must consider this player. Moreover, the A3 provides you with more video and audio formats than any other player I've auditioned, therefore saving you from having to re-rip or convert your audio or video collection. (I should mention that the A3 has a very useful feature: pan and scan. This allows you to fit your videos to the size of the A3 screen without changing the aspect ratio. Changing the aspect ratio can sometimes stretch or compress a scene, which results in video deformity, an unacceptable visual experience.) I have compared the A3 against other fine players, but touchscreen players produce inherently grainy pictures and simply cannot compare with the A3, which is a non-touch screen player.

The A3 is not without defects or shortcomings. It has no wifi, it cannot copy or play DRM-restricted music or videos, it will not sort music by file tags, it has a quirky toggle switch that does not always actuate the proper function, its battery life is only average, and it runs warm to hot. (For a time, many A3s contained defective batteries which would often leak and warp the device, rendering it inoperative. My understanding is that Cowon has corrected this problem.)

I, for one, am willing to accept the A3 with these shortcomings, because it excels as an exceptional music and video player. Do yourself a favor and audition the A3; you will be pleasantly surprised.
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