Asono Mica MP3 player

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Another day, another Korean player: But this time there’s a twist – it’s designed in Norway for added Scandinavian Cool. Ideal for the discerning consumer for whom the iPod Shuffle just doesn’t have enough élan, the Asono Mica also tempts with FM radio, 17 hours of low-fi voice recording (although we note that’s more than the quoted 10 hour battery life, so presumably that’s a large number of short memos rather than a marathon poetry recital) and a rather cunningly-concealed LCD display.

The headphones are integral to the lanyard – which is great if you’re the kind of person that usually loses their headphones, but not-so-great if you’re the kind of person that likes to replace the bundled buds with something a little more audiophile. The design also presupposes that you’re a lanyard-oriented, ‘wearable device’ type.

With 512MB (roughly £130) & 1 Gig (£200) flavours available, it’s quite clearly aimed at buyers after just a little more than the Apple product has to offer and, although it’s certainly a rather pretty device, the obvious question is “Is it worth paying extra for a little bit of style?”

Of course it is, don’t be silly.

Mike Moran

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