There's no getting away from the fact that the MSI Mega View 588 is an ugly piece of kit.

It looks as though MSI has used a camera casing, as it has a tripod thread and battery hatch on the bottom, an SD card slot in the front, and the bulge on the front looks tailor-made to be a lens housing. This may be an exaggeration, but it's a pretty unappealing device to hold and look at.

Besides the looks, there are practical issues with the Mega View 588. This is a large PMP, yet the screen is an average size at 3.5 inches on the diagonal, while the resolution is quite low at 320 x 240 pixels.

You might hope that the bulk of the chassis has been used to provide a large battery, but things don't quite add up here. Seven and-a-half hours of music playback is unimpressive, while five hours of video is no better than reasonable. It seems that the 588 could use a bit of work to shrink its size and weight.

While you can simply drag and drop folders in Windows Explorer, you won't be able to find your media files on the player without a bit of detective work.

To do the job properly you have to use the MSI PMPSync software to transfer media, but it is incredibly laborious. Once the software has scanned your drive you need to flag each individual file that you want to transfer.

This gives you control, but takes a huge amount of time and makes the MSI unusable in a practical sense if you want to load the player with music, but is just about acceptable if you want to transfer a handful of movies and TV episodes.

While the Mega View 588 has price on its side, we found it far too much effort to set up and work to be worth regularly using it.