Archos unveils 20GB iPod Mini-sized player

Miniature marvel?

French media player maker Archos has launched what may the world's smallest 20GB hard drive-based music player.

Archos Gmini XS200The Gmini XS200 measures just 7.6 x 5.9 x 1.9cm and weighs 120g. That's comparable to Apple's iPod Mini, Dell's Pocket DJ 5 and Creative's Zen Micro - all of which offer a storage capacity that's a quarter or a fifth of the size of the XS200's.

The downside is that it's less attractive that the other players, the display's a basic 2in, 128 x 128 job and the UI aesthetics aren't anything to write home about, but you can't argue with the capacity and the size. Or the price: €300 (£206/$371) - €29-49 less than the 20GB iPod, depending on which continental European country you buy it in.

However, the device's rechargeable battery is capacious enough for only ten hours' continuous playback.

Supporting MP3, WAV and WMA files, the XS200 hooks up to a PC or Mac via a spare USB 2.0 port. The device supports on-the-fly playlist creation, and even sports an on-screen virtual keyboard for renaming files and folders.

Archos did not say when the XS200 will ship beyond the fact that it's "coming soon". ®

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