E-commerce company Yodigito have launched the new Gadmei P83 PMP which they claim is the world’s first glasses-free 3D player. Available in pure white, this PMP gives an initial impression of being a touch-screen tablet with its size; but, it's a 3D portable media player. The most important USP of this product, however, is its 3D feature. But does 'glasses-free 3D' also pertain to 'migraine-free'? Read on to find out if the Gadmei P83 Player is worth your money.
The front panel
Design and build quality
The first thing we realised upon opening this product is that, it's weight is 516g. Or, we’d rather put it this way, half a kilogram! Now that’s quite heavy for a PMP player. It has four directional buttons on the front side along with a 2D-to-3D transition button, a ‘power’ button which behaves more like a home button and the 'M' (option) button. The 8-inch LCD screen tends to display a lot of fingerprints along with the content it plays. Also, there seems to be some kind of sensor and LED which didn’t seem to work or turn ‘ON’ when we reviewed the product. The power button is located on one side, whilst the other side consists of a USB OTG connection, Micro SD card, 3.5mm headphone jack and the charging port. The back side has a 4000 mAh removable battery and a stand. However, the player does seem to lack a heat dissipation slot. Wait, does a PMP even require heat dissipation? We'll cover that in the performance section.
The back panel with removable battery and stand
The unit comes bundled with an adaptor, USB cord and a USB pen drive connector. Surprisingly, the PMP we reviewed came with no headphones. Besides the weight, which we believe is due to additional hardware required for 3D rendering, the build was decent, at best.
Upon turning on the PMP, we're greeted with a rather dull UI that tries hard to please with its ‘3D effect’. But the home screen seemed to provide more of a headache than anything. The 2D-to-3D button doesn’t work on the default screen either, so the only option is to quickly choose the tab you want to go to. The user interface is plain simple with dedicated icons for favourites, audio, video, explorer, photo, e-book and settings. Transition between the few available tabs was laggy and we experienced occasional flicker while changing tabs.
The 3D home screen
Plugging in a pen drive makes it available immediately on the home screen interface, which is definitely a plus point. Our player had the English language turned on; however, the Help section was completely in Chinese with no option whatsoever to change the language. So people looking to get more out of their tablet, er... PMP, we mean, will have to figure it out on their own.
As far as 2D video playback is concerned, the player is capable of playing MKV, MPEG1/2/4, Real Video, DivX & Xvid, M-JPEG, H.264 / TS, TP, RM, RMVB, AVI, MPG, MPEG, VOB, DAT, M2TS, MTS and MP4 and supports the Left and Right 3D video format (H.264 / AVI) with 1080p full HD video decoding. It indeed has support for quite a lot of formats! However, the 1080p file we tried on played with terrible audio-video sync. The inbuilt 4GB memory will barely allow storage for more than a single HD video file and users will probably have to shell out a few extra bucks to grab an 8GB or 16GB memory card. As far as the audio is concerned, keeping this device primarily for audio seems a little weird as any kind of portability is negated with its massive size and weight. It has 5 preset equalizers (no customization) that didn’t really bring any change in the audio effect. The available play modes are standard with Shuffle, Play Once, Repeat Track, Shuffle Repeat, Repeat All and Normal.
The USB OTG (On-The-Go) feature deserves special mention. It allows instant playback from USB drives and Hard Disks. While we had no qualms running videos from our pen drives, the Gadmei P83 failed to detect our 1TB and 500GB hard disks.
The first major flaw we noticed is that the player suffers from intense overheating. The player would get extremely overheated during both – charging as well as playback. Besides, the 3D seemed more of an annoyance and a headache-giver than a feature. The maximum threshold we could sustain with the 3D feature on was a playback of ten minutes. The screen itself was quite grainy and provides barely an average 2D experience, at best.
The power button
The audio quality was decent via both – the speakers and ‘our’ headphones, but it’s definitely not something to write home about. The player doesn’t seem to have an option of creating a playlist, and with the Help feature in Chinese, it didn’t really ‘help’ our case. With such a huge screen, carrying it in the pocket is impossible, so it would have been a much better option to bundle in Bluetooth for wireless music.
Another problem was key mapping. The volume can be adjusted with the side buttons on the directional keypad, something which every player maps to fastforward or rewind. Also, no 3D depth slider bar is provided, so whether you like it or not, the amount of 3D to be displayed will always stay constant. The M button provides extremely limited options – no feature to create a playlist or sort songs. Also, including both a ‘power’ (read: home) button and a back button beats us. Generally, a home button is included to immediately go back to the home screen incase a user goes deep into a particular tab or application. The device doesn’t really have many tabs or sub-tabs to go into and a simple press of the back button gets us onto the home screen anyway!
With a massive 4000 mAh battery, we believed the Gadmei had the guts to beat the competition with the combo it provides- massive screen and a massive battery. However, we were more than disappointed. Firstly, the battery took exactly five hours to reach full charge. With that, we got a video playback of only 2 hours, and a separate audio playback time of 5 hours 20 minutes. Those are definitely poor ratings for a PMP.
Trying to play a 2D file with the player's 3D function
The Yodigito Gadmei P83 retails at an MRP of Rs. 19,999. Extremely expensive for a gadget that falters miserably in its USP - 3D video playback. Also, it is notable that a PMP will not allow Internet access, installation of applications etc. and hence a smart phone would definitely be a better buy. If it operated on the Android OS, provided at least a decent-ish 3D playback and had a better battery life, our verdict would have drastically changed. But, with the current features, this one should definitely be skipped, unless of course you’re a fan of Yodigito’s products. And, the last time we checked, 8-inches is a touch-screen tablet.
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