In a market filled with Nano clones and wannabes, it's refreshing to see something different--even if that something is a clunky MP3 player with only 256MB of storage and no advanced features. Peapod Toys' SweetPea3 can get away with it because it's aimed specifically at young children. Yes, the design is chunky and the interface nonstandard, but it's also splashproof, not a choking hazard, and easy for children to get the hang of. At $89.95, the SweetPea3 is a solid option for getting your toddlers an early start on digital music.
The SweetPea3 doesn't look anything like your standard MP3 player, and that's just as well because it's not trying to be to the most stylishly compact competitor on the block. Rather, it looks like a baby monitor, with a circular handle shaped out of its top end and a large speaker built into the front. Above that, there are three buttons: two marked with opposing triangles on either side of one marked with a square. The limit to three controls is meant to make the main operation of the device as simple and straightforward as possible, and it does the trick. The square starts and stops playback and also acts as a power key if held down. The two triangles serve to move backward and forward through a playlist. Other physical characteristics include a standard mini USB port on the left edge and a power input and headphone jack on the right. The SweetPea3 does not include headphones; however, USB and power cables are included in the box.