Review: iRiver S10 – stylish shuffle contender

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iriver_s10.jpgThe propaganda

iRiver is muscling in on Apple’s territory with its titchy S10 MP3 player. Measuring a mere 30x42x10.8mm the S10 is almost the same size as the shuffle, but where the latter just has a ring of control buttons, iRiver has squeezed in a full colour display.

In addition to your standard MP3 and WMA support it’ll also playback OGG encoded files and capacity-wise it goes up to 2GB, when the shuffle can only manage a single gigabyte.

The good

iRiver’s decision to include a full colour display means there’s not much room for navigation buttons – but that’s not a problem as you move around the menus by clicking down on the edges of the screen. It’s an incredibly simple and natural way to operate the player.

Hook it up to a decent pair of headphones and the audio quality is very good. It can also display images too – although the screen is a bit small for holiday snaps – and it there’s a built in FM tuner.

The bad

The bundled headphones feel a little on the cheap side and they’re particularly poor at bass reproduction – push the volume too much and everything goes a bit tinny.

Perhaps more annoyingly, they’re looped into a circle and attached to a strap that’s meant to go around your neck – so you have to have the S10 dangling in front of your chest all the time.

Battery life only stretches to around eight hours, which is a little on the low side. The software side of things is pretty basic, but does the job of getting music onto the player.

Geek Sheet

Capacity: 2GB

Audio formats: MP3, WMA, OGG

Display: 1.5in OLED

Battery: 8 hours

Dimensions: 30x42x10.8mm

Weight: 17.5g

Overview

If you like to be able to choose what tracks you want to listen to, then the S10 has one up on the shuffle. The clickable screen is intuitive to use and it’s capable of impressive audio from something so small – although you’ll probably want to replace the annoying bundled earphones.

Its asking price of £89 is reasonable for a 2GB player, but it could be a bit better on the battery life front.

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Related sites: iRiver S10 at Advanced MP3 Players

Will Head

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