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Christmas Gift Guide
MP3 Players

iubi Blue: A reason for cheer?

Here it is, the first Bluetooth-enabled MP3 player we've seen. Goodbye fiddling about with USB cables, hello banging your head against the desk as Bluetooth falters

Anyone who's used a portable video player will be familiar with the obscure interfaces they tend to use, but there's no reason to continue this tradition. Four hundred years ago we shamed traitors by putting their severed heads on the spikes of London Bridge -- do you think you'd get away with that today?

So why does iubi think its Blue will get away with putting the contextual menu key in the middle of the directional pad? Yes friends, in the middle! This is where the select key should have been. This has to rank amoung the most ludicrous decisions of recent history, narrowly eclipsing Napoleon's invasion of Russia.

Interface gripes aside, the iubi Blue's Bluetooth credentials are impressive -- you can transfer files from your computer wirelessly. It has a 30GB hard drive and a 109mm (4.3-inch), 480x272-pixel widescreen LCD. Codec compatibility is extensive (MPEG-1, 2, 4, DivX 3.x, DivX 4.x, DivX 5.x, Svid, WMV9, 8, 7, H.264, AVI, OGM, Mov, Real Media, MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, AC-3, ASF, AAC-LC and G.726).

iubi claims 8 hours of video and 15 hours of audio playback from a single charge. You can also record live television using the built-in video input. The Blue is available now for £249. Expect a full review soon. -CS

Update: a full review of the iubi Blue is now live, along with more images.