- Lightweight design
- Sluggish operation, opening the menu stops music
A decent but far from outstanding digital music player, while Apacer's AU581 does the basics, there are much better options out there.
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
Absolute My Style. We're not entirely certain what this means, but these are the words that greet you as you power down the Apacer AU581, their first foray into the digital music market. Coming in a fairly standard stick-like design, this player does the job but not much more, and sadly falls victim to many of the issues that plague these budget MP3 player clones that have flooded the market in recent times.
None of the problems are massive in and of themselves, but combined they make for a less than desirable user experience. The interface is the source of most of the issues; it is sluggish at the best of times, often taking a second or more to respond to a button press or skip a track (flash-based MP3 players are typically very fast). It is also far from eye-pleasing or intuitive, with many submenu options, such as when sorting by artist the songs appear one at a time in highlighted block text to the far left of the screen.
Another strange feature of the menu is that as soon as you enter it, your current track stops playing. Basically every other digital music player continues to pump out your tunes while you change settings or queue up another track, but not the AU581. It also falls into the trap of sorting files alphabetically rather than by track number, meaning you'll never be able to play back an album in its real order.
Aside from these issues, the AU581 is fairly standard. It comes with an FM radio as well as a voice recorder, but otherwise it's a little bare in the features department. The radio can save preset stations and has the option to record directly to the internal memory; however, reception was patchy when indoors. Meanwhile, the voice recorder operates as anticipated and will do for the occasional recording but we'd recommend a proper Dictaphone for more regular users.
Our music did sound a little flat at times but it wasn't particularly problematic so most users will be thoroughly satisfied with the AU581's performance. A number of equaliser presets are on offer including rock, jazz and pop, which also help tweak the sound to your tastes. It comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a pair of stock ear buds, however, as usual they aren't of a particularly good quality so we'd recommend grabbing a third-party pair.
Design-wise it resembles Sony's line of flash-based music players, with a thin, stick-like body that is fairly inconspicuous whether you slip it into a bag or pocket or hang it from your neck. It won't win you any fashion awards, but the purple and silver colour scheme looks reasonably good. The controls, however, are a little stiff, not responding as smoothly as we'd like.
The AU581 utilises a simple drag and drop interface, which makes copying files a breeze, although the process was a little slow despite supporting USB 2.0. The unit supports WAV, MP3 and WMA files and comes in 2GB and 4GB capacities.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 3 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 4 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 5 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
Latest News Articles
- Apple TV will serve as hub for remotely controlling HomeKit devices
- Sony Smart B-Trainer headset gives runners vocal advice
- The iPod classic plays its last
- Apple iPod Touch pricing slashed by up to 25 per cent in Australia
- Apple shows off iPod touch, nano updates
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- Subaru XV 2017 review
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTDatabase DeveloperACT
- FTLevel 3 Systems EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Project ManagerACT
- CCWeb Devops EngineerNSW
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - HealthQLD
- FTService Desk OperatorsSA
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- FTTest AdvertSA
- TPBusiness Analyst - AgileQLD
- FTJunior DevOps Developer - TelcoVIC
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!QLD
- FTSAP Data Migration LeadNSW
- CCPeoplesoft ConsultantNSW
- CCNetwork and Cloud SMENSW
- FTProject Manager, FinanceNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst/UATVIC
- CC.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- TPBusiness Analyst - Infrastructure ProjectQLD
- FTSAP Logistics ConsultantNSW
- FTAgile TesterNSW
- CCA/V OfficerNSW
- CCSAP FICO Support AnalystWA
- TPBusiness Change ManagerQLD