updated 08:30 am EDT, Mon March 19, 2007
Toshiba Gigabeat U
Toshiba on Monday launched its brand new Gigabeat U. Although a pocket-sized flash player, the device stands out for its FM music sharing feature: a combination of an FM radio and transmitter let the U series stream music wirelessly from one Gigabeat to another just by matching frequencies. The new jukebox also continues the Japanese tradition of direct audio recording and has its own line-in jack for recording from a CD or tape deck directly to MP3s.
Audio quality is stronger than one would expect for the class, according to the electronics giant, with a 1-bit DAC cleaning the signal for playback. A 96x96 battery-efficient OLED screen helps the tiny player display JPEG photos as well as keep its MP3/WAV/WMA playback running for 20 hours.
Two models will go on sale within the next few weeks: both the 1GB U101 and 2GB U201 will be ready on March 28th at prices of $118 and $144 in white colors; blue (for the U101) and orange versions will ship on April 7th at the same prices.