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MP3 Players

Philips GoGear SA9200: Go, go MP3 rangers!

Can Philips nuke Apple's happy pipe? Or is the new GoGear just another faceless MP3 player on the road to nowhere?

As the iPod teeters on the brink of apocalypse, the forces of darkness gather. This is the Philips GoGear SA9200, a nano-like 2GB flash-based MP3 player. The marketing team clearly thought they were naming a nutritious breakfast bar, but the GoGear has no edible parts.

The inevitable absence of a scrollwheel does take the thrill out of the GoGear's punch, but the player's 'SuperScroll' system sounds like a perfectly fine alternative for iPod haters. Its 40mm colour screen will show pictures, although as with other multimedia players you may struggle to see much detail at that size.

Playback time is rated at 14 hours, provided you're playing back MP3s at low bit rates (128kbps), and will decrease as the bit rate increases. The GoGear is compatible with Microsoft's PlaysForSure digital rights management system. The GoGear will be available in October for €199 (£135). A 1GB version, the SA9100, will cost €149 (£100). Expect a full review soon. -CS