ViewSonic VPD400

Last Updated
May 17, 2010

Editor's Rating
3.5 Out of 5

  • Inexpensive and small
  • microSD expansion
  • TV video output

  • Difficult to use navigational buttons
  • Poor internal speakers

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Portable media players have become increasingly popular, especially with the Apple iPhone & iPad and the Zune HD, but the ViewSonic VPD400 MovieBook HD offers what those done: a cheap price and a multimedia options. The VPD400 allows you to connect it to a TV to display content, has a microSD expansion slot, and supports a whole bunch of media content.

The widescreen ViewSonic VPD400 weighs around 4.75 ounces and has a 800x480 resolution display that measures 4.3-inches diagonally. The device is available in three colors: white, black, or pink and each is made out of the same sturdy plastic. Along the top edge are the playback controls, the left edge has the power port, speaker, and microSD slot. The right edge is where the 3.5mm headphone jack, HDTV-out port, speaker, microphone, a volume toggle are located. The power button is rather oddly placed along the bottom edge of the device. The top navigational buttons are not the traditional four-way directional pad that you'd expect and each direction has its own dedicated button, but they aren't placed in their cardinal locations. Because of this, navigating through the device's menus are rather difficult and annoying.

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The VPD400 allows you to choose from several different categories, such as Video, Photo, Music, Voice Recorder, and eBook. Choosing a particular category, like Video, changes the display to show where content is stored, either on the device itself or on a microSD expansion card.

The ViewSonic VPD400 supports many different file formats, including MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, APE, FLAC, and OGG for audio and MPEG, DivX, XviD, H.264, AVI, MOV, FLV, and more for video. The device also has 8GB of internal storage, but you can add on using a microSD card.

The video quality of the device was decent, but fast-moving parts of movies were pixelated and sometimes blurred, but not terrible enough to make it unwatchable. During most scenes, however, picture quality is pretty good and colors are fairly accurate in tone and brightness. Sound quality thru a 3.5mm headphone set is very good and similar to an Apple iPod. Sound through the built-in speakers, however, is weak and poor. The device comes with audio-out and RGB video cables to connect to a TV to view content through.

As an eBook reader, you can download non-copyprotected eBooks to the VPD400 and read them right on the screen. Text quality is fairly decent as well and is definitely readable.

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