More details of the iRiver U10 emerge

MP3 players, Personal video players

As promised here’s a recap and some extra
info on what is probably the coolest flash media player to emerge in recent
times. The iRiver U10 sports a 2.2″ 320 x 240 pixel screen capable of showing
JPG and MPEG4 media along with a variety of audio formats. Interestingly,
iRiver is one of the few companies to actually boast of the audio quality of
its player which will probably serve to put it in good stead with the
audiophiles out there. The U10 also has an integrated FM tuner and voice
recorder and there are no buttons on the body of the device; everything is
controlled through an innovative not-quite-touchscreen system that disposes of
the need for styli. It weighs in at 70g with dimensions of just 69 x 47 x 16 mm
and will be available from mid August at £179 for 1GB or £159 for 512MB memory.

It’s probably worth forking out the extra
twenty quid for the increased memory which is already a little limited by the
fact that you may be keeping videos on it. If you want the really cool docking
station it will set you back a further £49. The real risk is that this pricing
puts the U10 in pretty close competition to the PSP that is launching soon after. It
can also support up to 1GB memory capacity and though you’ll need to buy this separately
it does level the playing field as a portable media player. Sure the U10 can
play Macromedia Flash games but it will never compete with the scale of the PSP’s
gaming capabilities, but at least it is a lot easier to carry around in a pocket
than Sony’s device. You can also use Windows Media Player to synchronise your
music with the U10 which is better than relying on Sony’s software, although
you can actually use a much simpler drag-and-drop system on both. I guess it boils down to the question whether you are looking for a portable media player that can also play games or a games console that can also play media…

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