Now hold on just a minute...
That's rather an unfair slating of the Cowon iAudio 9, and in some instances inconsistent with the "reviews" of some of the other devices.
I realise some of this is subjective opinion, but...
> The casing is extremely lightweight
Being light means it doesn't disconnect from my earphone lead under the force of gravity. Whilst it's not the usual mode of operation, this is a /good/ thing.
> The diagonal-scrolling menu system is illogical.
The diagonal orientation gives a longer swipe than up/down or left/right would. The direction you swipe on the front panel is the same direction the cursor moves. Illogical how exactly? Compared with running your thumb around a donut to move up and down?
> EQ settings bring a needed oomph to the audio, which is mild without the bass boost
Do you want it to apply an artificial bass boost as default, with more EQ on top or play the audio as the artist intended and offer myriad EQ options you can use or not as per your whim?
> [audio is] average at best
Absolutely not the case. Tried some decent earphones?
> This becomes irrelevant when you use the built-in speaker, which rivals the irritating noise of a hungry mosquito.
What were you expecting? At least it has a speaker, unlike most (all?) of the rest. Useful for playback of voice recorded directly onto the device. Oh, didn't you mention that?
> Limited file support
Audio support WMA, MP3, Flac, Ogg, Ape, Wav
Video support Xvid, WMV
Limited to every popular codec except Apple's DRM nonsense. Is that what you were trying to say? Needless to say this device isn't aimed at iTunes users.
> video remains a predictably poor option on its 2in screen
Not an option at all on the Nano you reviewed, you even griped a little about it's lack of inclusion. Doesn't seem like you're happy either way.
> To top it off there’s no memory card expansion
A feature present in very few devices (when buying recently, I looked ... hard) so hardly a fair "down mark" for any of them.
> It’s poor value for money really
£100 delivered for a 16GB on a popular specialist site. Oh wait a second, it's the same one you've linked to in the article.
> for that price I’d expect something with a more robust feel.
Doesn't feel remotely tatty to me. Are you basing this solely on weight? Just tape a pound coin to the back. Bling.
Oh and as you also failed to mention it, the battery life is great. Not timed it end-to-end, but I managed a 8 hour journey on <25%.
And a built in FM radio. Which you can record from.
And a picture viewer.
And Flash support (though I've not tried it).
And a text file reader.
And it mounts as a mass storage device.
Did you actually use the thing for more than 5 minutes before launching into this invective?