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Home > Hardware Reviews > Consumer Electronics

Monday, November 28, 2005
Teac MP-400 MP3 Player

2. A Closer Look

- Retail Package

The MP-400 comes in a small box. We will be testing the 512MB version of this device.

In the small retail box, you will find the MP-400, a quick user's guide, the TEAC installation disk with the USB2.0 drivers for Windows98 and software video converter to create MP4 video files, a USB2.0 cable, headphones, a strap-on belt, a line-in cable to connect the TEAC MP-400 to another media device, a handy case, and a charger. We would like to say that all components included in the box, appear to be of good quality.

You may notice looking at the table of specifications, that the TEAC MP-400 uses no external batteries. It has its own built-in battery, that can be recharged with the included charger. But that's not all. If you don't have the charger with you, you can connect your MP-400 to any USB1.1 or USB2.0 port. The device will draw power from the PC port to charge its battery. This is why there's a USB port on the charger (see photo above). In order to charge the MP-400, you need to connect the provided USB cable between the device and the charger, then plug in the charger to a power outlet and charging will begin.

- The device

The MP-400 is exceptionally small and light weight. On the top side of the device, you can see the small 0.96" 65K LCD display.

In order to make it easier for users to operate the MP-400, TEAC engineers have thought out a very clever approach. Almost all the buttons on the MP-400 can be used for more than one function. Pressing a button for few seconds gives it a different function on the media player from a regular press.

On the side, you can see the Menu/Navi key that can be used to navigate through the folders on your MP-400 and perform basic operations, like delete or copy a file (press and hold Menu/Navi key). You can also see an options menu, depending on the file you are viewing/listening (press once on the Menu/Navi key). For example, when listening to an mp3 file, you can access the equalizer or the sound effects menu with this key.

The A-B/Speed key is used to mark a section for repetition (press once) or control the playback speed (press and hold).

You will also find a good slide-switch that is used to perform all playback operations, like changing tracks, FR/FF and pause. When you press and hold this slide-switch, the MP-400 will turn on and off. This slide-switch is also used for navigation when in folder view.

On the other side of the device, we have the volume keys, that can also be used for navigating through the folders, the REC/Mode key which is used to start recording from a radio program or you can use the TEAC MP-400 as a voice recorder (press once). With a short keypress, you can change the playing mode (that is, video, music, recorder etc). When a mode list appears on the device's screen, you can press the mode key one more time and the mode list will change to an icon list.

This is the USB2.0 port that is protected by a plastic cover to prevent dust and other materials from entering.

And finally, here you can see the line-in/earphone connector and the internal microphone.

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