Feeds

Ten... sub-£50 budget MP3 players

Sound choices

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Creative Zen Style 300

RH Numbers

While the Style 300 has much room for improvement, it’s a fairly nifty MP3 player for £40. Positively inundated with features, the menu is reasonably quick to grasp and the sound is impressive. Combined with one of the best voice recorders I’ve tried and a slick case, my initial impression was hugely positive, but the Style 300 is let down by what seems like buggy software.

Three times now I’ve had to reset the device after it froze - a common problem, according to web forums. Video support is limited to a proprietary format that can only be encoded through the bundled PC software. However, even though the headphones are weak and the speaker has a tinny phone-sound to it, the huge array of features and superb battery life balance things out. If it wasn’t for the freezes, the Style 300 would have scored much better.

Creative Zen Style 300

CreativeReg Rating 65%
Price £40 (4GB) £60 (8GB) £80 (16GB)
Format Support MP3, WMA, Wav, Audible
More Info Creative

Philips Go Gear

RH Numbers

This clip-on, thumb-sized MP3 player offers fairly basic controls to skip tracks - or music folders - shuffle, repeat and to alter volume. There's an FM radio too, but the storage and format support are limited.

The stainless steel shell has slick written all over it and is available in a variety of colours too. However, the buttons can be fiddly and, apart from a coloured LED behind the play button, there is little communication between user and device. Out on a jog, none of these issues matter, but loud background noise could be a problem, and the cheap headphones supplied with it don't help matters.

Philips has incorporated its FullSound technology, a post-processing algorithm designed to restore losses in dynamics and frequency range that are inherent in compressed audio. Indeed, the sound reproduction seemed quite smooth, but it wasn’t spectacular and could benefit from a higher output volume. Alas, the radio reception wasn’t great, as it struggled to get a perfect signal even on the sixth floor of our central London office building. Still, for simplicity and a long battery life of approximately 12 hours, the Philips GoGear Clip is a fairly decent iPod Shuffle alternative, and a rugged player that is unlikely to see damage easily.

Philips Go Gear

htc logoReg Rating 70%
Price £25 (2GB) £45 (4GB)
Format Support WMA, MP3
More Info Philips

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next page: Samsung TicToc

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.