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Hands-on with the TrekStor blaxx

TrekStor has ditched its racist-sounding i.Beat blaxx name and unveiled the freshly monikered blaxx MP3 player at IFA -- we got to have a play and we have to say we rather like it

MP3 Players

One thing's for sure: TrekStor has a habit of attracting attention with its product names. Its vibez MP3 player made us smile, though we never could get our heads around why anyone would want a rubber scroll wheel that's larger than the player's screen. More recently, though, it got the world talking when it named one of its products with the potentially racist name, i.Beat blaxx.

Despite the i.Beat trademark having been used for a long time by the German company, it decided to rename the product, and unveiled the freshly monikored TrekStor blaxx at IFA last week. Much better.

We got our hands on the blaxx and were instantly surprised at how similar it was to the YP-K3 from Samsung, with its touch-sensitive controls and similarly sized colour LCD screen. It comes in 2GB and 4GB capacities, plays videos encoded in the SMV format and supports DRM-protected content. Also in the mix is support for the lovely MP3-rival format OGG, the lossless WAV format and a built-in FM radio.

It's a very lightweight player and the touch-sensitive controls are a little tricky to use as there's no tactile feedback -- this means there'll be no blind operation while the player's still in your pocket. Sound quality is excellent though, and despite the screen being small, videos play fairly well. There's also direct line-in recording and an integrated voice recorder.

The battery life is just 15 hours, which is frankly a lot lower than we expect these days, especially when Cowon is producing players that claim up to 60 hours of playback time.

The 4GB model will retail for around £99 and the 2GB model will go for about £79 when they become available later this year -- we'll keep you posted as we get more details. -Nate Lanxon

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