The Slacker G2 is the ultimate lazy person's MP3 player. Paired with the excellent--and free--Slacker music service, it makes new music discovery and enjoyment a nearly effortless process, but control freaks and audiophiles need not apply.
In true Slacker fashion, the device is only available in one color: black. We appreciate the solid feel, rubberized edges, and metal backplate, complete with a raised Slacker logo.
Unlike the first Slacker device, the G2 is compact--measuring a pocketable 3.5 inches high, 2.2 inches wide, and 0.5 inch deep--and relies solely on a plentiful array of tactile controls. The ample 2.4-inch screen is flanked by Play/Pause and Track Shuttle keys on the bottom and Slacker's signature Heart and Ban buttons on the top.
At $199 for the 4GB model and $249 for the 8GB, the Slacker G2 goes for a premium when compared with other MP3 players--especially considering the lack of extra features--but when you factor in the all-you-can-eat free-and-effortless (and legal) music aspect, it doesn't seem so pricey.
On the other hand, the Slacker G2 onscreen interface is innovative, yet simple. On the main playback screen, huge album art dominates the entire screen. The main menu is unsurprisingly sparse given the G2's relatively few functions.
Arguably, the coolest thing about the G2 is its wireless functionality and partnership with the Slacker Web Player. A more effortless way to get new music on-the-go simply does not exist--at least not at this cost. Slacker's basic music service is completely free, and you can refresh your music anyplace you have a Wi-Fi connection.
A jog wheel on the right spine lets you navigate onscreen and through menus; pushing it in selects whatever is highlighted on the screen. For example, if the album art is highlighted, pressing in on the wheel will pull up an album review. A Home button and Hold switch also reside on the right edge.