Rio's iPod mini challenger

MP3 players

We haven’t yet seen a serious competitor for the iPod mini, though the Rio Carbon could get close. It is a similarly sized yet slightly better specified player with 5GB of storage, 1GB more than the Apple players, and a battery life of 20 hours, more than twice the staying power of the iPod.

Due next month the Carbon also sports a metallic finish, an LED backlight display and compatibility with MP3 and Windows Media Audio formats. At £200, the player is £20 more than the iPod mini.

Rio has also unveiled a new Flash memory player – the Rio Forge. Available with either 128 or 256MB, the player boasts 20 hours of playback from one AAA battery.

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