Interface and music service
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 station name and a battery meter takes up a fraction at the top; the track name, artist, a time-remaining bar, and the next artist are laid over in small text at the bottom. Scrolling to the very bottom of the screen automatically pulls up the last menu you were in, pushing the song info up and mostly out of sight at the top. The main menu is unsurprisingly sparse given the G2's relatively few functions. There are selections for stations, library, playlists, and settings. There's also a connect option, which lets you update firmware and refresh the songs on your saved stations anytime you are in range of a Wi-Fi connection that is open or for which you have the key.
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, supported by advertising rather than a subscription fee. Users must deal with about 3 minutes of audio ads per hour and a skip limit of six tracks per hour. The limit also applies to Bans, which prevent a song from playing on a station when applied; contrarily, Hearts mark tracks as favorites, which then play more often on the given station. In this way, you can personalize the stations as you listen to them. If you elect to sign up for Slacker's Premium Radio service, which costs $7.50 a month, you can personalize your listening experience even more with the ability to save songs to your library on the device, which then automatically adds it to the library attached to your account online and in the software. (Premium users also do not get ads and have no skip or Ban limits.)
Performance and extras
Somewhat unfortunately, the Slacker G2 doesn't really include a lot of extras, aside from the ability to support playlists and choose between 10 preset EQs. There's no voice recorder or FM tuner (not that you would want or need the latter on such a device) and no support for photos or videos, which is a bit of a shame given the bright and relatively large display. However, Slacker does make use of the screen by providing artist bios and album reviews, which display as white text on the black background.