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MSI P610 and P640: MP3 players named after tax forms

Two new MP3 players from the world's motherboard king. Will they fight a dirty war like toxins dispatched from a stuffed bunny? Or flounder and vanish in a puff of smoke?

Excitingly, MSI has used tax codes to name its two new MP3 players -- the P610 (employee retiring on a pension paid by employer) and the P640 (claim for tax rebate where one or both partners weigh over 58 stone). The MSI P640 is a flash-based 512MB/1GB/2GB player, and the MSI P610 is a microdrive-based 8GB player.

Both MSI players support MP3 and WMA (DRM), JPEG images and M-JPEG video. They feature 46mm (1.8-inch) TFT screens at a resolution of 128x160. There's also an FM radio with optional recording functions and TXT file support. A UK price and release date for the players is yet to be confirmed.

At first glance, the MSI designs seem a little underwhelming, with shades of Toshiba's Gigabeat line. Where's the joie de vivre? Where's the passion? The MP3 player market is flooded with these identikit players, and Crave can't help asking: why make the world that little bit more disappointing by adding to the monotony?

Once they're in our hands we'll let you know if, like so many other MP3 players at the moment, they force us to perform the belly flop of utter nonchalance onto shards of glass. -CS