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iRiver U10 media player

The iPod Nano killer?

There are six Macromedia Flash games on the device and while there not exactly PSP quality, they are mildly diverting, including a Space Invaders clone, Sodoku and one where you have to keep a fat man from falling off a log. They're better than the ones on the iPod.

FM radio quality was as good as can be expected and navigating stations was easy. Press up and down to scroll through the frequencies manually or hold the screen down to switch between presets. Recording was easy but there was no way of playing back the recording on the device itself - it could only be accessed once connected to a PC.

iRiver U10 media player

I was as impressed as ever by the U10's sound quality, which is loud, clear and accurate. The screen was also good, with bright, vibrant colours for photos. However, this is only if you look straight on. Angle it either up or down or to the side and the colours immediately become washed out. It could also do with a touch more contrast, and dark scenes in videos are hard to make out.

In addition to the player itself, iRiver has an optional cradle that costs £40. With the U10 housed inside it looks very much like a miniature television from the 1960s. The cradle has a remote control and if you plug some speakers into the line out, you can listen and control your music from a distance. There's even a line-in on the cradle, and the U10 will then encode direct to MP3. A cool feature is snooze button on top of the cradle so you can use the player as alarm clock and wake up to a track or the radio.

Next page: Verdict

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