Is the iPod Shuffle just a little too boring for you? If you like your MP3 players small, cheap, and stylish, but prefer actual buttons to Apple's odd headphone-clicker voice navigation, the iAudio E2 from Cowon ($64.99) may be just the thing.
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The enigmatic circles and square arithmetic on the bottom of the E2 makes no more sense in person than it does in photos.
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Compared to the rounded Apple iPod Nano, the E2's squared-off design is a night-and-day difference in aesthetics.
The bottom of the E2 includes a headphone jack that doubles as a USB connector (cable adapter included).
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Here we see the buttons on the left edge of the E2. The rocker controls volume and the small button toggles the shuffle mode with a long press and flips through JetEffect EQ presets with short presses.
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Graphics on the E2's box try to make sense of the whole circle + square design motif. I still don't get it.
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The back of the E2 includes a reset hole, along with visible mounting screws for the solid metal ring.
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The right edge of the E2 offers a small square power button along with a rocker switch for track skip control.