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Pendantlike iRiver S10 sneaks onto the Web

Pendantlike iRiver S10 sneaks onto the Web

What is it about the middle of September that compels every tech company and its mother to announce new products? In any case, while I was busy reviewing the new Nano, quite a lot of details surfaced on the iRiver S10, though I can't figure out from where exactly, because iRiver currently has no info on its Web site. No matter--plenty of other sites have info and pictures galore.

The pendant-style iRiver S10 borrows its design and interface from the larger iRiver Clix, though the S10 is quite the diminutive counterpart, measuring just 1.6 by 1.2 by 0.4 inches. Thanks to the innovative D-Click interface, the S10's navigation should be much less cumbersome than that of similarly small devices, since you won't have to rely on tiny buttons. The flash player will be offered in capacities up to 2GB and unfortunately is rated for only 8 hours of battery life (the downside to a teeny body). Unlike its larger sibling, the S10 won't play video, but it does support a variety of audio formats: ASF, MP3, Ogg, and WMA. The player will also have a photo viewer and a built-in FM radio.

So how does the S10 stack up against the new iPod Shuffle? (And do you suppose iRiver strategically planned this leak to coincide with the Apple announcement?) The S10 is nearly as small as the Shuffle, yet it offers a design-dominating color screen as well as many more features. However, the Shuffle is almost certainly cheaper, and it offers better battery life. Which one would you get?