Toshiba also announced the launch of its new Gigastyle range of products. The first product to appear in the Gigastyle range is the Gigabeat, a hard disk based digital audio player that marries style with functionality.

The fascia of the Gigabeat is dominated by the 2.2in full colour screen which sports a resolution of 240 x 320. The screen can be used to display jpeg digital photos or album cover art to go with the music you’re listening to.

The “Plus Touch” navigation tool is a + shaped touch sensitive pad and it makes navigation quick and simple. Apple fans will no doubt see it as inferior to the touch wheel, but it worked pretty well when I played with it.

The Gigabeat will be available in four capacities – 10, 20, 40 and 60GB. It will playback MP3, WMA and WAV files, but there’s no support for more obscure codecs like OGG. All Gigabeat variants ship with a docking cradle that features a line-out port, allowing you to make the Gigabeat your home jukebox as well as your personal one.

The battery can be charged either via USB or with the supplied charger and will give you an average life of 12 hours. US prices for the Gigabeat start at $299 for the 10GB version and peak at $549 for the 60GB model.

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