<%-- Page Title--%> Info Tech <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 138 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

January 16, 2004

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Apple iPod Mini

At Macworld, Apple anno-unced a new, smaller iPod, just as many experts predicted. Apple included a 1-inch, 4GB hard drive instead of the flash memory many assumed it would use. The iPod Mini holds an impressive (for its size) 1,000 tunes at Tk.14,750.

Upside: The original iPods came in any colour you liked, as long as it was white. The new Minis come in hues that spread across the rainbow: silver, gold, blue, pink, and green. But the biggest breakthrough is that the 'clickable scrollwheel' now doubles as play/menu/fast-forward/rewind controls; pressing against the wheel activates each of the four functions, as labelled. Some things haven't changed. You get the same in-line remote found in the larger iPods, as well as a sharp, scaled-down version of the GUI found on its older brother, fitted for the Mini's 1.67-inch, white-backlit LCD. Apple also throws in a snap-on holder with a belt clip; for extra you get an armband for the gym.

Downside: Even at its reduced size (3.6 by 2.0 by 0.5 inches; 3.6 ounces), the iPod Mini is larger than Rio's competing Nitrus, which will also ship in a 4GB version later this month. The Mini uses a smaller, non-replaceable battery that Apple claims to have optimised so that it provides eight hours of juice. The device's US $250 (Tk.14,750) price tag is still out of reach for some consumers and depending on Rio's pricing of its forthcoming competitor, Apple could face stiff competition in this emerging market.

Outlook: Inevitably, mini hard drive-based players will be a big story in 2004, thanks to the availability of one-inch drives. But the iPod is still the king of the larger devices, and unless Rio or someone else attacks it on a price level, we see the iPod Mini following in its footsteps.

Source: CNET.com



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