iRiver ‘SPINN’ Squares Up To iPod touch

Puts the pressure on ahead of MacWorld.

Here’s some more CES sweeping up…

South Korean company iRiver has caused quite a stir with the ‘SPINN’ portable media player, a compact device with large 3.2in 480 x 272 pixel screen capable of displaying video playback at 30fps. Capacities of up 16GB are mooted too along with proper Bluetooth 2.0 support, an FM tuner and mobile TV courtesy of DMB functionality.

Arguably more interesting than this – quite frankly – already impressive feature set however is the innovative design iRiver has employed with the Spinn (I’m taking an executive decision and dropping the shouty capital letters). Dubbed the ‘hinge’ (it’s the blobby bit on the right), it is there to make one handed movie viewing more comfortable while the analogue twisting knob at its top (the silvery bit (I’m all about the technical language today)) enables iPod Click Wheel-esque scrolling around the Spinn’s menus.

I do have some concern about the outline such a hinge will cause in the average man’s pair of trousers (“Is that a Spinn in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?”) but you’ve got to give it to iRiver for trying something different. It’s also set to be a theme in future iRiver players so we’ll have to accept their rigidity in this area (so to speak…).

iRiver hasn’t given a release date or any indication of an RRP for the Spinn at this stage, but expect it in late Q1/early Q2 at a price prepared to undercut whatever Apple announces at MacWorld tomorrow…


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