- Review Price: £59.99
Think of a touch screen MP3 player; any touch screen MP3 player… the iPod touch – am I right? Maybe you thought of Samsung’s gorgeous P2? Okay, so I admit it, it’s not exactly a tough trick to pull off, but even if I was wide of the mark, I’m pretty certain you didn’t think of Sumvision’s ICE 1000, the latest player to try to come to the touch screen party.
Before you put your hand to your mouth and yawn, consider the ICE 1000’s price. My trick may have been nothing more than cheap chicanery, but the ICE’s low price is pure magic – available in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB versions, the largest capacity one will set you back a paltry £60. Compare that to the whopping £180 the 8GB iPod touch will cost you, and the 8GB Samsung YP-P2, which will set you back £130. It even manages to undercut SanDisk’s ludicrously good-value (but non-touch screen) Sansa View, which costs around £90 for 8GB’s worth of capacity.
In fact at £39, the 2GB version of the ICE 1000 is almost as cheap as a 1GB Shuffle, which is really going some. Impressive stuff, but it’s not much use bagging yourself a great bargain if a) it lasts ten minutes b) you have to hide it away under your jacket because it looks so ugly and c) it’s so difficult to use that you’d rather cart around a portable CD player. But the ICE 1000 confounds expectations. Crack open its diminutive, hinged box (a nice touch in itself) and the player that emerges is a pretty handsome one. Sure it’s no iPod, and the shiny black plastic back doesn’t look very nice, but the chrome-effect trim and the brushed black metal fascia on the front lend the ICE a sense of sophistication normally absent from an MP3 player with such a budget price tag. Give it a twist and a prod and there’s an impressive lack of creakiness too; nothing falls off, nothing rattles.
The good news doesn’t end there, though. It’s also very pocketable – much more so than the bulky iPod touch and Samsung P2 – and despite accommodating a sizeable 2.8in QVGA (320 x 240) TFT screen, the ICE weighs an inconsiderable 62g and is a stick-insect 12mm thin. The rest of its dimensions are equally compact, at 56 x 90mm – it feels tiny in your hand as a result, and will slip into pretty any pocket or handbag completely unnoticed.