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Photos: Slacker Portable Player

I got to spend some hands-on time with Slacker's prototype portable device, so now you can take an up-close and personal look at the first player to work with Slacker's fabulous new radio service.

Jasmine France

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1 of 8 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
The unit I looked at had a rather shoddy look and feel, but then it was only a prototype. You can kind of see where the plastic coating isn't quite affixed. Never fear, though; the final unit will be double-shot and pleasantly textured.
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2 of 8 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
The left side of the player features the heart and ban buttons, which helps Slacker determine how to personalize your music. There's also a mini USB port and an SD card expansion slot, a nice touch.
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3 of 8 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
Looking at the back of the Slacker player, it seems like it's going to come with a handy removable battery. Unfortunately, the final device will have a sealed back with an unremovable battery.
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4 of 8 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
There's quite a mass of controls on the right edge of the device: a power switch, track shuttle keys, a play/pause button, a scroll/select wheel, and what appear to be home and back buttons. Some are a little difficult to activate because of how close together they are, but this might be addressed in the final unit.
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5 of 8 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
Considering it's a flash device, the Slacker radio player is comparatively huge. It measures about the same as a Motorola Q--roughly 4 inches by 2.7 inches by 0.5-to-0.8 inch. Gotta love the giant 4-inch screen, though.
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6 of 8 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
The Slacker Portable Player isn't quite as pocket-friendly as many flash devices, but it will still fit in a shirt (or sweatshirt) pocket. But the smart phone-esque size is a small price to pay for the pleasure of built-in Wi-Fi.
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7 of 8 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze
The main menu of the Slacker device is very straightforward, with options such as now playing, stations, presets, library, playlists, and settings. The playback screen (shown in the first slide) offers a variety of options. You can even pull up a biography of the artist whom you're currently playing to read on the device.
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8 of 8 CNET Networks
If you're not taken with the Slacker Portable Player, you'll be pleased to note that Slacker intends to make both its free and premium personalized radio services available to other devices in the future.

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