We've all bought a DVD from the dusty man sat on his blanket outside Farringdon Tube, and we've all haggled our White Stripes ticket off a junkie tout -- but what if you could get something at a knock-down price without the risk of hepatitis? Tesco is the famous purveyor of all things oddly affordable, but this time it's really surpassed its own standards of cheap (price being in no way indicative of quality) with a £18 MP3 player.
Eighteen pounds?! Could this small gesture be the thin end of the hateful wedge known disparagingly as communism? Or is it the thin end of the happy wedge known as free-market capitalism? Only time will tell. One thing's for sure, this MP3 player is 128MB in size.
At the lower end of the low end, there's the Technika 128MB MP-806 (£18), and at the higher low end, there's the 1GB MP-806 (£50). At the low-low end, there is a Tesco value sausage, which performed fairly well in our cursory listening tests. As soon as we get our hands on the two MP3 players we'll test them too.
The interface on the MP range looks prosaic but functional, and the player will accept MP3 (now there's a shock) and WMA files. From what little information we could extract, the player is possibly based on the Sigmatel STMP3503 audio processor, which powers a number of cheaper MP3 players. If you absolutely must have the cheapest MP3 player in the world, the MP-806 is only a bit more expensive than shoplifting. Nice one Tesco, you've saved a few fun-loving rascals from the slammer.