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MP3 Players: Size, Style and Sound

Introduction

Both of these shiny black players have hard drives that you can cram full of content: the Philips GoGear gives you 30 GB, while the Vibez comes in a choice of 8 GB, 12 GB and 15 GB. Both play a wide range of music, display images and record directly. Both also have unusual controls - the oversized scrolling and clicking wheel of the Vibez, and the flush touch-screen controls of the GoGear aren't like run of the mill buttons. Neither is small enough to slip in your pocket and forget, but the large capacities make up for that. The question is whether you prefer a smaller player with a smaller drive, or whether the extra space the GoGear gives you makes up for the extra space it takes up.

TrekStor Vibez

Dimensions4 x 2 x .7"
105 x 50 x 18mm
Weight70 g
Power SourceReplaceable lithium ion battery
Display176x132 pixel 1.5" TFT
Memory8 GB / 12 GB / 15 GB hard drive
RecordingVoice, line in
PlaybackMP3, WAV, WMA, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, WMA-DRM, Napster To Go, JPEG
Screen OrientationLandscape
AV Connections3.5 mm headphone jack line out
InterfacesUSB 2.0 with standard mini USB connector
Battery Life20 hours

Despite the shiny stainless steel back and the curvaceous shape, the Vibez is actually a rare case of form following function, rather than design ruling the roost. The curves make the Vibez comfortable to hold, and the oversized control wheel and triangle of power and volume put all the controls where you can get at them easily.

The glowing amber slice on the control wheel is there to let you know that the wheel is turning, although the smooth clicks you feel as you turn it give you good physical feedback - there's something quite addictive about spinning the wheel 'round and 'round. You can scroll, click in one of the four directions, or click the whole wheel; it's a little too easy to click in one direction when you mean to click on the center, but the menus are logically arranged. This means you can use left and right clicks to select and cancel, so you can control the player whichever way feels more natural.

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