The player itself is a very angular oblong with a small three line display and only a single joystick to control it. On the opposite side is a headphone socket but this will only fit the supplied in ear headphones with integrated remote. On another side is a pin sized reset button.
The remote is quite stylised and features volume and skip controls as well as a power off and a hold slider switch. It also offers two headphone sockets- one the reduced sized for the bundled headphones and a regular 3.5mm socket. This means that you can use your preferred headphones but only with the remote. The remote does feature a clip for attaching to a shirt but considering that the player itself is so light and also has a very effective clip that the relatively bulky remote seems almost redundant. It's therefore a shame that you have to use a remote to use your own headphones as I just don't get on with any in-ear or bud style headphones of any type. However the two ports mean that you can share your music with one listening to the supplied headphones and another using a regular pair.
The player only weighs 32g, and thanks to a arm strap and holder can easily be used while jogging. SwissBit has added traveller appeal by including a very nifty universal travel adaptor. You plug the player into a USB extender cable, which plugs into a USB port in an adaptor that in turn attaches to the travel adaptor. Also supplied is a UK adaptor which can be used instead of the USB port enabling the travel adaptor can to be used with anything – a very handy addition.
For such a small player, with a tiny joystick I was fearful that it would prove to be a very awkward device to control. However, it proved to not be the case. The volume and skip functions do exactly what they say on the tin, but it took me a few minutes to work out how to get to the control menu. Holding it down will turn the player on and off but double pressing the joystick brings up the menu. From here it’s a fairly conventional layout, although it’s a tad hard to read on such a small screen.
Getting tracks onto the player is quite straightforward. It hooks up via USB and you don’t have to use any kind of media manager – though with the latest firmware flash it is recognised my Windows Media Player so you can use that if you wish. You can browse tracks on the player by the file structure as you put them on the player, but if you use the ID3 tags you can also view by Album or CD as it’s called on the s.Beat, Artist or Style, more commonly known as Genre. The player actually sorts the tracks out itself, but if you’ve added new tracks you’ll have to wait as it scans though the contents. If you’ve got a full player this will take some time. There’s also a Book option for AudioBooks.