To describe the Swiss army knife as a multi-talented little tool is virtually tautology but it’s certainly true of SwissBit’s s.beat MP3 player. Riyad first encountered this player way back in the mists of October 2005, but as you can see, it took a long time for a review sample to get to us than the couple of weeks that Riyad predicted.
This player takes SwissBit’s previous melding of army knife and USB memory key to the next level – by adding an MP3 player. So if you’ve ever hankered after owning a device that contains two small knives, a small pair of scissors, a USB memory key and an MP3 player with integrated FM radio and record function, with a remote control, all in one pocketable package, then your dreams are fulfilled!
I must admit that the concept of an MP3 player that also sports a knife, (or vice versa if you prefer), is something of a worry, especially in today's climate with a spate of stabbings being reported recently in the news. This player should not be given to children and should always be used responsibly.
Of course an MP3 player with a knife attached presents something of problem if you want to use it on a plane, unless you enjoy spending the whole flight on your own in the hold. SwissBit has thought of this and the MP3 player can easily be removed from the housing that contains the exceedingly sharp knife. Alternatively, you can but a tool-less version of the player, without the knife.
Our review sample was a 1GB version, with this number imprinted on the USB connector but a 2GB version is also available - and a 4GB version is also promised. The player can handle MP3, WMA and WAV, but also OGG Vorbis. This is up there with ATRAC as one of the best audio codecs around but it’s not that widely supported.
When taken out of the housing the USB connector at the end is exposed and SwissBit provides a cap to protect it. However, the cap could easily be lost but cleverly there's a hole though one corner so you can hook a detachable part of headphone remote cable to the cap so you can keep it handy.
When housed inside its army knife frame the whole thing measures just 74 x 22 x 24mm and has a clip so you can easily attach it to a belt. The housing exudes solidity with a solid metal frame, as you'd expect of a Swiss army knife, the logo of which is featured on one side.