The P-2000 is a sleekly modern unit that's around twice the size of an iPod in every direction, but still considerably smaller than a paperback book. The front of the unit is dominated by the stunning 'PhotoFine' 3.8-inch TFT screen. Nothing but actually seeing this screen 'in the flesh' does it any justice; the figures from the spec sheet - 640x480 x3 (RGB) pixels, 212ppi - simply don't prepare you for what must be the sharpest, brightest, most saturated LCD screen on the market. As a way of checking your images in the field it's second to none - as a way of impressing everyone you meet it's darn near unbeatable. The unit feels very well put together and is - inevitably (it's got a 40GB hard disk inside) - fairly weighty at around 415g (0.9 lb) without the battery. I'm not sure how resilient the P-2000 will be when it comes to the knocks and bumps of everyday use, and the plastic screen looks like it would scratch easily - fortunately Epson supplies a case in the box. Basically you're going to have to look after this little baby and not leave it rattling around at the bottom of your camera bag.
Situated a long the top edge of the P-2000 are the CompactFlash and SD/MMC card slots. The CompactFlash slot supports type I and II (including MicroDrive), and both CF and SD slots can be used simultaneously (if you've got a card in both slots the P-2000 asks which to use when copying to/from cards). You can use other card types (xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick and so on) only by the use of an optional CF adaptor (we successfully used a 5-in-1 CF adaptor to copy files from a Memory Stick Pro).
The left end of the P-2000 (viewed from the front) is home to the four connection ports; AV out, stereo headphones, AC adaptor and - under a flexible plastic flap - mini USB (for connecting to computers and direct-print printers).
The first thing you notice about the P-2000 is the screen. It's got 921,600 pixels (that's 640x480x3) crammed into a 3.8-inch diagonal, giving a resolution of 212ppi at 262,000 colors. You certainly can't see any pixels with the naked eye, and the quality is simply amazing. A protective plastic facia covers the screen (and most of the front of the unit). It works fantastically in most lighting (though inevitably contrast drops when you try to view it in direct sunlight).
Round the back things are fairly plain - aside from two 'feet' and the labels for the various ports and slots, the only other feature is the small speaker, bottom left.
The P-2000's power comes from a Rechargeable Li-Ion battery (3.7V, 2300mAh). The battery takes around 3 hours to fully charge. In our tests a single charge was enough to copy 9 1GB CompactFlash cards (a total of approx 8.8GB of data and 5,200 files), with some playback between. The P-2000 warns if there is any danger of the power running out mid-transfer, which is a nice touch. We managed to get around 3.5 hours of continuous playback out of a single charge.
The CompactFlash slot accepts both Type I and Type II cards (including MicroDrives) and seems perfectly happy with other card types used with a CF adaptor. The only niggle here is that the cards are inserted label-down, which takes some getting used to. The cards push completely into the P-2000, and are ejected using the button you can see to the left of the card.
The SD/MMC slot is fairly standard stuff - it's a spring-bound 'click-in, click-out' type, and again, cards go in face down.
The main power switch is located on the right end of the unit and has a 'lock' position that disables all the P-2000's buttons (useful for avoiding accidentally turning it on when in transit).
The majority of the navigation of images, icons and menus is done with the four directional keys arranged in a ring around the main 'OK' button.