Henry Ford is often attributed the quote regarding the choice of Model T Fords coming in any colour — as long as it was black. Whether the quote is accurate or not, the designers at Yamaha clearly weren't fans of this type of thinking, as the MCR-040 comes in a huge variety of colours. Amusingly — especially for audio gear, when it's far too often the norm — black isn't one of them.
That still leaves you with red, white, pink, orange, light grey, brown, dark blue, dark green, dark grey and light blue to pick from. The MCR-040 is a satellite system with speakers that are designed to be laid flat down; as such, you'll need a little more space for them than with your usual tall, "vertically mounted" speakers. It is a good-looking system, whether you use the supplied speaker cable to position the speakers far away from the core control unit or slap them right up against it.
The remote that Yamaha supplies with the MCR-040 is of the thin, credit card-style. This makes it very portable, but equally very easy to lose inadvertently.
The MCR-040 offers a variety of audio playback options. The iPod docking connector on the top can take any recent model iPod, although annoyingly it's not shielded for iPhone usage, and you will get a pop-up message on any iPhone you plug into it. Having said that, during our testing it happily took in phone calls without that annoying heavy static noise that many unshielded speaker docks suffer from.