Epson P-4000 Multimedia Storage Viewer
Review Date: July 17th 2006
The Epson P-4000 Multimedia Storage Viewer is a portable storage device that allows you to download digital photos and movies onto its 80Gb hard-drive and then view them on its 3.8 inch colour LCD screen. The Epson P4000 has built-in card slots for Compact Flash and SD memory cards and it also supports XD, Memory Stick, Smart Media and MMC cards via an optional adapter. The Epson P4000 will be of particular interest to digital SLR camera users as it can show a preview of many RAW file formats as well as JPEGs. You can connect the P-4000 directly to a PC or TV and it will even print directly onto compatible Epson printers. In addition the Epson P4000 can play digital music in the form of MP3 and AAC files. When compared to the older P-2000 viewer, the Epson P4000 offers a larger hard-drive (80Gb vs 40Gb), slightly more powerful battery, and support for larger RAW files (now up to 17.8Mb) and more RAW file formats. Is the Epson P-4000 the right portable storage device for you, and is it worth upgrading from the P-2000? Read our review to discover the answers.
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The Epson P-4000 Multimedia Storage Viewer has a 3.8" Photo Fine crystal clear colour LCD screen which has a resolution of 640 x 480 (VGA), a pixel density of 212ppi and a total of 921,600 pixels. The Epson P-4000's built-in hard drive is a 2.5 inch model with 80Gb of space. 6.2Gb is reserved for system functions and cannot be used for storage purposes. The Epson P-4000 has bulit-in support for Compact Flash (Type I/II), Microdrive, SD cards (up to 1GB*) via two memory card slots. XD, Memory Stick, Smart Media and MMC memory cards are also aupported via an optional CF adaptor. The Epson P-4000 has dimensions of 142mm x 23mm x 91.5mm and weighs 415 grams when the battery is fitted.
A number of different file types and formats are supported by the the Epson P-4000 Multimedia Storage Viewer. For digital photos, JPEG and RAW files can be viewed. There are a number of caveats that you should be aware of though. The maximum image size is 17.8 megapixels and the JPEG within the RAW file header is used for display (not the actual RAW file). The version of firmware that I tested (4.04) doesn't supports RAW files from all camera models.
For digital movies, the Epson P-4000 Multimedia Storage Viewer can playback MPEG-4 (up to 30fps @ VGA) and Motion JPEG (up to 30fps @ VGA) formats. For digital music, MP3 and AAC files are supported at 320kbps max bit rate. A number of other file types are also supported through the supplied Epson Photo 4 v1.92 software.
The Epson P-4000 Multimedia Storage Viewer is USB DIRECT-PRINT compatible, which means that you can print directly on 10 x 15, A4, 5 x 7 or 4 x 6 paper formats on compatible Epson printers, for example the Epson PictureMate. DPOF print ordering is supported so that you can choose which photos you want to print. The Epson P-4000 is not compliant with the PictBridge standard.
The Epson P-4000 Multimedia Storage Viewer uses a 3.7V, 2600mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery that offers a battery life of 3.2 hours when the device is used in continuous slide show mode. You can also power it via the DC Input 5V 2.3A connector using the supplied AC adapter. The P-4000 has a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connection for PC and Mac and an Audio/Video out jack which supports PAL and NTSC televisions. For playback of music the P-4000 has a mono dynamic speaker or you connect a set of headphones (not supplied) to the stereo 3.5mm headphone jack.
The contents of the the Epson P-4000 Multimedia Storage Viewer kit that I received for review from Epson France included an AC adapter, power cable, Lithium-Ion battery, user manual, software CD-ROM, USB cable, strap, carrying case that can usefully be attached to a trouser belt, and a stand. Notable omissions from the standard kit include an AV cable for connecting the P-4000 to your TV and a set of headphones for listening to music.
*Epson have recently released a firmware version, 04.51, which supports 2Gb SD memory cards.