Taz I: The future of portable media players?

The Taz I from Tight Systems LLC. is the first portable multimedia player resembling a tablet PC (a bit smaller then a VHS tape) that fully integrates with home media options. It uses a removable/swappable 60GB hard drive and has a removable mini-Taz fully functional, stand-alone MP3 player that uses SD/MMC cards. The mini-Taz docks into the side of the Taz I and disappears. MP3 files can easily be transferred to the mini-Taz via the Taz I 60GB hard drive.

The 4-inch diagonal transflective TFT LCD with 640×480 resolution and 4:3 aspect ratio screen can display DivX, MPEG and many other formats. Tight Audio LLC. is trying to secure a 5-inch version for production, but as of now the 4-inch has been chosen. It also has capabilities to decode high-definition video signals via on-board component video inputs. Tight Audio Systems also integrated a Tivo type feature, which allows you to record TV programs with an additional adapter. As for audio playback, the Taz I supports MP3, Monkey’s Ape, and OGG Vorbis formats.

Winning a 2004 Best of Innovations Design and Engineering Award is a big step for Tight Audio Systems LLC, a small California startup established March of 2003. The company is taking on two major manufactures in the portable media player market. RCA has the RD2780 and Archos with the AV320, both of these devices are available to consumers but have shown many faults in design and operability. Microsoft last January announced the Media2Go platform and expected devices to be available this past holiday season, no manufacturers have yet to release anything.

Pricing has not yet been announced, but Tight Systems LLC. is offering a $425 gift certificate that costs $379 which is expected to be used on April 15, 2004 towards the purchase of a Taz I (Most likely a release date, if not it will be refunded).

Specifications
Storage: 60 GB 2.5 inch hard drive; SD/MMC card slot
Screen: 4 inch diagonal transflective TFT LCD with 640×480 resolution; 4:3 aspect ratio
Audio Inputs: On-board microphone; line in (stereo)
Audio Outputs: 2 headphone jacks; digital optical out; line out
Video Inputs: composite video
Video Outputs: composite, S video, component (Y Pr Pb)
Video Output Formats: SDTV (480i); HDTV (480p, 720p, 1080i)
Photo Formats Supported: JPG, GIF, TiFF, BMP v Network/Connectivity
USB 2.0
On-board 10/100 ethernet
Power: Internal XV DC battery; approximately 9 hours video playback, 20 hours audio
Accessories: Sennheiser PX-200 headphones; hand-made leather carrying case;
Dimensions (approx.): 6.3” x 4.2” x 1.5”


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