updated 03:15 pm EST, Mon November 13, 2006
Toshiba Gigabeat P-Series
Known in North America primarily for its hard drive-based Gigabeat models that form the foundation of Microsoft's Zune music player, Toshiba today unveiled newer versions of its P-series players aimed at beginning music listeners. The new 1GB (P10K) and 2GB (P20K) models improve controls over their larger counterparts by including a separate selection button below the company's signature touch-sensitive directional pad, reducing the need for side buttons. Users also have the choice of alternate faceplates for each model, as with cellphones: the Gigabeat can swap between green, pink, or white covers to personalize the look. Both versions build in a rare line-in recording feature that captures audio directly from a microphone or stereo without the need for a computer, according to Toshiba. The P10K and P20K are expected to sell for $120 and $150 US respectively in their native country as of December; a North American launch isn't planned but is possible due to English-language menus.