updated 11:25 am EDT, Wed October 25, 2006
Hydra takes on Nano
Ultra has previewed the Hydra, a new splash-proof music player designed to withstand use at the beach or by the poolside that stands to compete with Apple's iPod nano. The new player is encased in rubber trim with a tight seal to prevent the occasional contact with water from damaging the electronics inside, and the rubber serves as a shock absorber when the player is accidentally dropped. The Hydra features MP3 and WMA playback, FM radio, and voice recording capability. The device is powered solely by rechargeable AAA batteries for up to eight hours of playback, according to Electronista, and is compatible with both Macs and Windows systems with drag-and-drop music transfers. The Hydra is expected to ship in 1GB ($40) and 2GB ($60) capacities next month. In contrast, Apple's 2GB second-generation iPod nano is priced at $150.