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Pure Sensia review

Alan Lu
13 Jan 2010
Pure Sensia
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
248
inc VAT

Pure's Sensia is a feature-packed network audio player, but it's seriously hobbled by its sluggish interface.

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Pure's Sensia may look like a high-tech rugby ball, but it's actually the first network audio player we've seen with a touchscreen. It can not only play audio streamed from your PC or NAS, it's also an internet, FM and DAB radio, plus it can run a small range of apps too. Such a huge number of features could be confusing and complicated to use without a simple and responsive interface. Unfortunately, you won't find one here.

The 6in touchscreen is large, bright and sharp. The menus are logically organised with the main screen divided into three sections. On the left are the menus for browsing your audio content, while to the right are the current apps and the track or station playing. Below these is a taskbar giving quick and easy access to the settings.

Unfortunately, the touchscreen interface is often sluggish to respond, and occasionally it completely froze up for a handful of seconds. Scrolling through long lists of songs or radio stations is a frustrating chore as the menu struggles to keep up with your finger swipes. This is a great shame, since the onscreen keyboard and large-scale menus would otherwise make it far easier to find content and bookmark it for later listening, when compared to the fiddly buttons on other network audio players.

Oddly, apart from a pop-up volume slider, there are no playback controls on the main menu screen. Instead, you must go into full screen mode, minimising all the menus, to get access to them. Alternatively, there's a small remote with basic playback controls. It's possible to use Pure's online web interface to browse, search for and bookmark internet radio stations, which are then synchronised with the Senisa. It can't control audio streaming, though, so it's not a complete replacement for the touch interface.

Only three apps are currently available. none of them bring audio-based. Neither the Twitter client, photo viewer or weather program provide any particular incentive to buy the Sensia. More apps are supposed to be coming soon and we hope to see more audio-related programs, such as the last.fm app available for Logitech's Squeezebox Radio.

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