So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Compact design, multi-tiered folder organization, drag-and-drop functionality
- Basic bundled software, clunky interface
The YP-F2 does everything a basic flash player should - but nothing particularly outstanding.
Price$ 209.00 (AUD)
Samsung's YP-F2, dubbed "the Pendant", has the look of a miniature clamshell phone. Too pretty to be a techie gadget, and too obviously wired to be a fashion accessory, the YP-F2 seems to be caught uncomfortably between two worlds.
The thumb-sized, 20.5 gram player boasts 1GB of storage and a 12-hour battery life. On the 28.1mm x 52.5mm front panel is a tiny three-line monochrome LCD, on which white text is displayed against a black background. While this proves to be effective in maximizing battery life, the size and brightness of the screen can be a strain on the eyes. Navigational buttons, volume control and connectors are kept to the edges of the unit, so there is nothing to distract from the screen and the silver Samsung logo printed proudly above it. There are four buttons on the right face of the unit: menu, play/pause, forward and back. The left face features a hold switch and volume controls.
Headphones plug into a 3.5mm audio out jack at the top of the unit. Supplied headphones are integrated into a necklace-like cord, with the player dangling off like a bizarre piece of technological jewellery. While the pendant design is a convenient way of carrying the device, the look may not be pleasing to all users. Samsung has included a clear plastic cradle that attaches firmly to the device and acts as a belt loop. In rebelling against the pendant design, however, you'll have to either supply your own headphones, or get used to carrying the player in a shirt pocket, since the necklace is not long enough to reach anything below chest-height.
Sound quality is good, and the player's five-band equalizer can be either tweaked manually, or tuned to one of seven preset settings: normal, rock, classical, jazz, house ballad, R&B and dance.
Disappointingly, navigation is clumsy at best. Holding down the top right "menu" button gives access to all the major functions, including the playback screen, file/folder navigation, playlists, FM tuner and settings options using the volume controls. All these are scrolled through using the volume control buttons, with both forward and menu buttons acting as select tools. The play/pause button takes you back to the playback screen. It was difficult to figure out the buttons initially, especially since the 10-page manual is no big help, and while you do get used to them, the experience could still use improvement.
The YP-F2 does not support sorting by artist, title, album or genre, and displays songs by filename only. Like its sibling the YP-U2, it does offer the very useful ability of organizing files into multi-tiered folders and navigating that way.
The FM radio feature was unable to produce a satisfactory sound from any of the radio stations tested. While the sound was clear, the constant interference quickly got annoying and gave the impression of holding a seashell to the ear. The unit stores six preset radio channels, and switches between them with the press of a button. Scanning for radio channels can be difficult however, as the device had a habit of skipping over prominent stations from time to time.
A proprietary USB 2.0 cable is used for data transfer, and doubles as a charging mechanism. It takes only two hours for the battery to fully charge.
The device is drag and drop, although Samsung Media Studio is also included, and can be used as an alternative. The software allows music to be sorted by artist or genre, and a search function allows the user to call up files by title, artist or album name. The software is basic and unpolished, and as an added annoyance, some menus appear in the Korean language, making the program quite difficult to navigate.
All in all, the YP-F2 is a decent unit that does what any basic portable music player should do - load music, and play it.
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