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Creative unveils MuVo 2 MP3 players

Plus: Sharp extends Actius notebook line

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MP3 Player

Creative has followed up its MuVo compact Flash drive MP3 player with a beefier model the MuVo 2. In place of the older ciggie lighter-style case comes a 6.6 x 6.5 x 2cm (2.6 x 2.6 x 0.8in) shell. It weighs 90.7g (3.2oz) with a battery.

The player features 1.5GB of storage. Whether it's solid state or something else isn't clear. The UK press release talks of a "1.5GB micro disk", while Creative's web site doesn't refer to any specific storage technology, but notes that it operates as a "USB flash drive with any PC".

Update Quite possibly the micro disk is Iomega's new Flash killer, the as yet unbranded 'Clik 2' drive.

In either case, music tracks can be transferred to the device across a USB 2.0 connection.

Musically, the player offers a signal to noise ratio of up to 98dB - "as good as expensive hi-fi systems!" claims Creative. It also features a four-band equaliser with four pre-sets.

The MuVo 2 goes on sale in the UK next month for £199.99. In the US it will retail for around $230.

Creative is also preparing a yellow, ruggedised version for joggers. The MuVo 2 X-trainer offers 1GB of "skip-free" storage, so presumably this model is indeed entirely Flash based, something also suggested by the $499 price tag. For the less well-off aerobics practitioner, there's a 512MB model for $270.

All three models have an FM radio receiver option: the standard $70 Nomad remote control/radio unit. Alas none support the recording of radio programming.

Notebook

Sharp has added an extra model to its Actius notebook like. The AV18P offers Centrino-style 802.11b wireless networking, but is based on AMD's Athlon XP-M 1800+ processor.

The slimline machine measures 27.8 x 23.5 x 2.5cm (11.1 x 9.4 x1in) and weighs 1.8kg (3.9lbs). Inside sits 256MB of DDR SDRAM, a 40GB hard drive and a DVD/CD-RW combo optical drive - the latter augmented by Sharp's Sharp fx DVD playback enhancement WinDVD plug-in - and a 12.1in LCD.

Available in the US now, the AV18P is priced at around $1449. ®

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