updated 08:50 am EDT, Tue July 24, 2007
Toshiba Gigabeat U in US
Toshiba this morning launched its first American flash-based music player today in the form of the Gigabeat U202. An import of the most recent Japanese version, the device is small at just 3 inches tall and 1.4 inches wide but includes Toshiba's characteristic PlusPad controls and a 1.1-inch OLED display bright and clear enough for JPEG photos. The device also keeps features typically reserved for the Japan market: line-in recording lets owners record CDs and other albums directly to the player rather than wait to sync with a PC, while an FM tuner can both listen to and capture radio. Battery life is estimated at 20 hours but takes less than 2.4 hours to reach a full charge.
The new Gigabeat ships in a brushed black or silver aluminum shell with 2GB of flash memory good for 500 songs in MP3, WAV, or WMA formats; it currently requires a PC with Windows Media Player 10 for loading tracks and should be available immediately from Toshiba's online shop and major retailers for $99.