For several years, Australian brand Life! has been cranking out funky-looking bags designed to hold laptops, cameras and MP3 players. Now the company is taking a stab at creating a gadget to go inside, with the release of its LXPI portable media player.
Specs-wise at least, the device certainly reflects the portable-music zeitgeist -- it combines the minimalist looks of iRiver's excellent Clix with the touchscreen interface of the mega-popular iPod Touch.
The features aren't too shabby either: they include an FM tuner, SD/MMC expansion slot, 320 x 240 colour TFT display and native support for WMV and AVI video.
As for the downers, audio format support is limited to MP3 and WMA, and -- judging by the PDF user manual -- the bundled video conversion software looks a little janky. Still, there are plenty of free options out there for your software needs.
Life! is billing the creation as the "first Australian-designed MP4 player". Given the full-scale consumer avoidance that such true-blue sentiments can invoke (have you seen the box office receipts for Oz-made movies lately?), we hope those words aren't held against them.
The LXPI can be found on the shelves of Myer, JB Hi-Fi and Kmart stores in 2GB (AU$159), 4GB (AU$189) and 8GB (AU$249) versions. Naturally, the box includes a protective case and lanyard.
We'll be putting the player through our standard rigorous tests in the next week, so check back for the review.