It’s the end of the year and while we thought we almost ran out of PMPs to review, along came the Zebmate Cinema 4.3. No it’s not a big brand, but that won’t stop us from checking it out.

Design and Features
A first look at this player won’t really impress you much, especially because it looks like any ordinary PMP. It’s not too bulky, with dimensions of 121 x 75 x 13.7 mm and weighing in at 128 g it’s not heavy either. A 4.3-inch touch screen adorns the front of the Zebmate. The top has a power button and on the left side you have a standard 3.5 mm audio jack, followed by a micro SD card slot. After the card slot, you can find the TV Out port and the mini-USB slot for charging and transferring data at the end. The Zebmate has an in-built speaker situated behind the player which sounds decent.

Pixelating screens

Pixelating screens

The player supports many file formats, audio as well as video. The audio it supports include MP3, WAV and WMA and the not so common formats like OGG and RM apart from the others. The video formats also have a big range, right from AVI, MP4, MOV to FLV, 3GP, VOB and MPG. It has eight preset equalizer options and run-of-the-mill features like an FM Radio, an e-book reader and a voice recorder. The Zebmate comes in two versions of 4 GB and 8 GB.
 
Interface

Interface options

Interface options

The interface is flash-based and although not very attractive to look at, the icons are big and easy to see. Browsing through the different files and options is very smooth. Switching between files even while your songs are playing doesn’t make the system lag at all. One thing that’s worth mentioning is that although there is a stylus provided, the resistive touch works absolutely fine with your thumbs or fingers.  

Performance
The Zebmate performs well in certain aspects although nothing to ramble on about. In terms of audio performance, the equalizer presets are not too helpful when it comes to customizing the sound as per your ears. The sound quality is not great, as the bundled earphones don't really make you feel the bass and treble in your ears. With another pair of headphones, the sound improves quite a bit. The sound starts to distort once you’ve turned the volume all the way up, but does sufficiently well at an optimum volume.

Plain and Simple

Plain and Simple

When it comes to videos, the Zebmate supports many formats which is a good thing. The thing is that although it does support many formats, all of them don’t really play well on it. Not that it lags or something, but you can see the videos pixelate at certain stages which doesn’t really make for a quality player.

The battery life that it offers is not up to the mark but cannot be called as disappointing. The audio playback is a good 12 and a half hours while you can play continuous video for around 3 hours and 45 minutes.

So as mentioned earlier, the performance is more of a roller coaster ride, with you coming out of it wondering what just happened!

Verdict
Taking everything into aspect, the Zebmate is quite an average player. Let’s throw in another point, the price. Now at Rs. 6,800 for 8 GB, the Zebmate could have made for a good value-for-money PMP. If you are not too choosy about audio quality and are fine with videos that pixelate here and there, the Zebmate can make for a good travel companion.

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