Life! LXPI (4GB) review: Life! LXPI (4GB)

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The Good Heaps of features. Two-year warranty. Great battery life.

The Bad Videos suffer from audio sync problems. Touchscreen buttons are teeny. Using stylus feels awkward.

The Bottom Line The LXPI has a heap of features for its low price, but dodgy video and teeny touchscreen controls bring the score down.

6.7 Overall

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The LXPI is the first media player from Australian company Life! Best known for its laptop luggage, camera cases and beanbags, the brand has also been venturing into the realm of iPod docks and speakers. This places the decision to release an MP3 player slightly in from left-field, but Life! still has quite the task ahead if it's going to take on iPod Nanos, Clixes and the latest models from Samsung.

The 4GB and 8GB LXPI players are priced identically to the equivalent-capacity iPod Nanos at AU$189 and AU$249 respectively. There's also a 2GB version for AU$159. With all players incorporating expansion slots, FM radio and voice recording, it looks like Life! is hoping to draw an audience away from Apple by offering more features at the same price point.

The 120-gram LXPI is a landscape-oriented touchscreen player with a 2.4-inch colour TFT display. At 78mm by 54mm by 15 millimetres it fits comfortably in a palm and has the same basic layout to that of the iRiver Clix -- but the screen is recessed rather than being submerged beneath a layer of smooth plastic.

A silver band decorates the perimeter of the player and houses an array of ports, buttons and slots: mini USB, hold switch and headphone socket up top and SD/MMC slot, volume keys and power button down below. The mini USB and memory card slots don't have protective covers, so watch that they don't become receptacles for dirt and discarded chewing gum at the bottom of your bag.

As you might expect from a company that made its name with a range of funky bags, the LXPI includes a protective wallet-style case and lanyard for slinging the player around your neck.

On paper, the LXPI's features list is impressive. The SD/MMC card slot, voice-and-radio recorder, video playback and 45 hours of rated battery time place it far above the iPod Nano and among such esteemed company as Creative's Zen media player. Add a six preset equaliser, lyric and audiobook support and a multi-year calendar and you have quite the formidable specs list.

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