updated 04:05 pm EST, Fri November 9, 2007
Packard Bell media players
While Packard Bell has largely disappeared from the North American market, it is still very active in Europe, where it has introduced two new media players. At the fore is the Eclipse (right), the company's first player that handles both music and video. Aside from MP3, WAV and WMA audio, it supports MP4, WMV and XviD movie clips, which are played on a 2.2-inch screen with 65,000 colors. A lithium-ion battery should last through 22 hours of audio, but no video figures are available. The Eclipse comes in 2, 4 and 8GB sizes, and sports other lesser abilities such as voice recording and FM radio.
Aiming to be one of the cheapest player options possible, the Fresh omits video or any sizable display, while also shrinking memory down to 1 or 2GB. Battery life is likewise scaled down to 12 hours, but this length is accomplished using a single AAA battery. WAV support and FM radio is generally absent, but the latter is an option on one of the 1GB players. The Fresh is retailing for prices between €30 ($44) and €40 ($59); prices for the Eclipse are unknown. [via Notebook Italia]