If you thought it was clever when Swissbit combined a USB memory key with a Swiss Army knife, you ain't seen nothing yet!
The s.beat will be available in capacities of 1, 2 and 4GB and will be able to playback MP3, WMA and OGG – I’m always glad to see the latter, since so few players support this superior codec. There’s a built-in lithium polymer battery that charges directly from the USB port of your computer and gives approximately eight hours of use.
There’s also a built in FM tuner with six presets and despite its diminutive size there’s a three line, high-contrast LCD display. The player is removable from the knife body and a protective cap for the USB port is also supplied for when you use it without the knife – in case you want to take your music with you on an aeroplane.
You also get a cool red remote control in the shape of the Victorinox logo, while a set of headphones, a USB extension cable and a rubber arm strap will also ship in the box. Of course the beauty of the s.beat is that you can still use it as a USB memory key, but you’ll have the added functionality of a music player in your pocket all the time.
The 1GB and 2GB versions of the s.beat will be available from the 15th November with retail pricing of €156 and €235 respectively. The 4GB version will hit shelves in Spring 2006, but there’s no price yet confirmed. Obviously I’ve already requested a sample, so expect a full review in the next couple of weeks.