Linophir International BC-688
- Cheaper than an iPod
- Appalling video quality, tiny screen, poor quality audio playback, frustrating interface
A substandard MP3 player with support included for video files, its tiny screen and poor audio quality leave the Linophir BC-688 flailing in the wake of the competition.
Price$ 120.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 6 stores)
Possibly one of the worst products we've reviewed, the Linophir BC-688 Digital MP4 Player delivers performance that ranges from substandard to almost useless in each of its numerous functions. After several days of continuous (and frustrating) use, we were unable to identify even a single redeeming feature on this product.
Video playback is awful. Developers of future portable media products take note - a one and a half inch screen is not enjoyable to watch, even if it's only meant for music videos. Portability and convenience be damned, this is simply ridiculous. Video is so cramped and pixilated that support for it would have been better left out of this player.
We might have been more inclined to look favourably on video playback on the Linophir, if getting it to work wasn't such an ordeal. The documentation that came included with the player was flat-out wrong about several of its features, and proved to be thoroughly confusing at best. After extensive experimentation, we were able to determine that the Linophir uses a very obscure file type for video playback - .amv. A minidisk, included with the player, contains a program to convert video files. After crashing our PC several times, the program reluctantly installed itself, and converted one of our .wmv files to .amv format. We found that quality was reduced to the point where it was unwatchable. The screen simply didn't have enough space to render the video properly, and we were left with a hazy, distorted mess.
MP3 playback was fairly similar; functional, but of poor quality. A frustratingly linear navigation system means that finding a track takes almost as long as listening to it, a problem exacerbated by the lack of playlist support. A built in equaliser offers seven presets and no options for customisation. Sound quality is so poor that only the most ambivalent and undiscerning of users will be able to abide listening to the BC-688 on the provided headphones. We noticed a slight improvement when using our own preferred headphones, however there was still a dull buzzing and occasional crackling present in the audio.
The story was the same with peripheral features. E-books were only supported in .txt format, and needed to be edited first to avoid line breaks in the middle of words. Voice recording was barely audible, and highly directional; certainly not suitable for anything apart from personal use. FM radio is probably the best feature on the player, mostly due to its simplicity - the fewer features there are the less can go wrong. Unfortunately, the poor sound quality we experienced during mp3 playback was a trend continued by FM playback.
Finally, a confusing, unresponsive and laggy interface ties all these threads together to create a worse than average product. The controls are some of the most illogical and poorly laid out we have come across. A total of five buttons are present on the Linophir, and as far as we could discern, their functionality in different contexts appeared to be entirely random. Sometimes the menu button was needed to make a selection (a process which had to be precisely timed, since holding it down for too long returns the user to the main menu, while not long enough elicits no response), other times it was the combined play/pause/stop button. Volume adjustments, track skipping, track fast forwarding and rewinding, menu selection, and radio tuning all suffer horribly from a one to two second lag, making adjusting settings a tedious process. Even after several days' use, we were still battling with the interface for effective control of the player.
Linophir's website proclaims that their products "will be distinguished from competitors by quality, sophisticated interfaces, advanced industrial design, and accelerated market entry." The BC-688 has none of these, let alone to levels comparable with competing products. A thoroughly unimpressive device, the Linophir proved to be an overly complicated and frustratingly confusing product. Its small size renders video next to useless, while even its peripheral features performed poorly. Even with its incredibly cheap recommended retail price, the Linophir BC-688 struck us as a most unwise purchase.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker 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.
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- HTC U Ultra 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
- CCVirtualisation Engineer - IP NetworksVIC
- CCPega DeveloperNSW
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTNetwork Security AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)WA
- FTTest Advert Software EngineerSA
- FTSenior .Net Developer (Silverlight)VIC
- CCBig Data Developer - Government - 12 Month Contract - SydneyNSW
- FTOracle Forms PL/SQL Analyst ProgrammerQLD
- CCVMWare Automation ArchitectACT
- CCIT Business Analyst - UX DesignNSW
- CCPMO Analyst - Financial ServicesNSW
- CCTechnical Business AnalystVIC
- TPIT Project ManagerNSW
- FTMicrosoft Designer / ArchitectVIC
- FTSolutions Architects - 10 roles availableACT
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- FTTechnology Portfolio Investment AnalystQLD
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- FTSenior Functional Consultant - Data Analytics - TelcoVIC
- FTWeb Developer/ReportsNSW
- CCService Desk Analyst - TelcoTAS