updated 06:10 pm EDT, Fri March 30, 2012
iRiver B100 keeps company in media player field
iRiver ended a quiet period on truly new MP3 players Friday with the B100. The MP3 player is unique in having a 3:2 aspect ratio on its 3.1-inch, 320x480 display. The approach gives more space for descriptions and other text without confining itself to a narrower format.
The design can play most common and more exotic formats, including MP3, FLAC, and OGG. Video ranges from MPEG-4, WMV, and MOV through to MKV containers and TS, although support peaks at widescreen 480p (720x480). Text includes the common ePub format for e-books as well as PDF and raw text files. As extras, it has an FM radio for recording and playback, as well as the unusual options of handwriting input and reading comics stored as JPEGs in a ZIP bundle.
In Japan, where it's known to be launching, it costs $142 for a 4GB version and $166 for an 8GB edition. Either has a microSDHC slot to take as much as 32GB more. Although no US date has been locked in, the B100 shows on iRiver's US site and may be available through importers regardless. [via Impress and Anything But iPod]