I got to spend some hands-on time with Slacker's prototype portable device, so now you can take an up-close and personal look at the first player to work with Slacker's fabulous new radio service.
The unit I looked at had a rather shoddy look and feel, but then it was only a prototype. You can kind of see where the plastic coating isn't quite affixed. Never fear, though; the final unit will be double-shot and pleasantly textured.
There's quite a mass of controls on the right edge of the device: a power switch, track shuttle keys, a play/pause button, a scroll/select wheel, and what appear to be home and back buttons. Some are a little difficult to activate because of how close together they are, but this might be addressed in the final unit.
Considering it's a flash device, the Slacker radio player is comparatively huge. It measures about the same as a Motorola Q--roughly 4 inches by 2.7 inches by 0.5-to-0.8 inch. Gotta love the giant 4-inch screen, though.
The Slacker Portable Player isn't quite as pocket-friendly as many flash devices, but it will still fit in a shirt (or sweatshirt) pocket. But the smart phone-esque size is a small price to pay for the pleasure of built-in Wi-Fi.
The main menu of the Slacker device is very straightforward, with options such as now playing, stations, presets, library, playlists, and settings. The playback screen (shown in the first slide) offers a variety of options. You can even pull up a biography of the artist whom you're currently playing to read on the device.
If you're not taken with the Slacker Portable Player, you'll be pleased to note that Slacker intends to make both its free and premium personalized radio services available to other devices in the future.