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Toshiba debuts smallest HDD MP3 player

Cooler than iPod shock

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Toshiba has launched what it claims is the thinnest, lightest and smallest hard drive-based portable music player yet to grace the market.

And, looking at the pictures the company supplied, we have to say, probably the sexiest one too.

The player, the Gigabeat G20 MEG200J is just 1.27cm thick, a smidge thinner than the 1.55cm iPod. It measures 8.95 x 7.65cm and weighs 138g - the iPod is 10.25 x 6cm and weighs 158.76g.

Inside its limited edition dark "sapphire" blue or standard aluminium shell, the Gigabeat packs in a 20GB 1.8in hard drive. More square than the iPod, the Gigabeat resembles a miniDisc player rather than an MP3 player. The device will play MP3s, but Toshiba is touting its support for Microsoft's Windows Media Player 9 format, which presumably means its DRM'd to the hilt.

The G20 features a small, 160 x 86 backlit LCD screen. Tracks can be transferred to the device via its USB 2.0 port, which can also operate as a USB 1.1 connection for older host computers. The built-in Lithium-ion battery provides enough charge for up to 11 hours of playback - more than the iPod's eight-hour battery life - though that's likely to be much reduced when the machine has to decode WMA9 files.

The Toshiba player has a built-in equalizer, but it seems limited to off, enhanced bass, even more enhanced bass and loud settings.

The Gigabeat G20 M200J is due to go on sale in Japan in October. It will ship with a recharge/connectivity cradle and stereo headphones with remote control pod. ®

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