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Philips HDD1850: the microdrive isn't dead

Philips HDD1850: the microdrive isn't dead

At least not yet. Taking a cue from the Creative Zen Micro Photo, Philips has expanded upon its 6GB HDD1630 with 2GB of additional storage. Enter the 8GB HDD1850. The drive isn't the only thing that's bigger--Philips wisely increased the size of the color LCD as well. The screen, which displays photos and album art, is pretty big, but it seems long and thin. Not a big deal, but I prefer a wide screen. With its shiny black casing and neon blue-backlit touch controls, the HDD1850 has the same design style as the HDD1630 and the HDD6330. Not everyone will be fond of this MP3 player's touch strip, but it is cool watching the blue LED follow the movement of your thumb. Plus, if you want to speedily scroll through songs, all you need to do is hold your thumb at the top or the bottom of the strip for accelerated scrolling--no need to swipe over and over. The HDD1850 will be available in May 2006 at the same price that the HDD1630 is now: $199. Other features include on-the-go playlist creation, an FM tuner, a voice recorder, and Janus compatibility for use with subscription services such as Rhapsody To Go.