A music player that can also play games, but the U10's interface is a bit sluggish
The U10 is the least orthodox music player in our round-up. Instead of having any buttons on the front panel, you push down on an edge of the large colour screen.
This navigates the menus. In theory it’s a great, intuitive idea. However, the interface is a bit slow.
On another player it might be a case of zooming through the menus, here it’s a matter of clicking and waiting. The delay is very small – generally less than a second – but it is irritating nonetheless.
Uniquely among music players, the U10 can play Macromedia Flash files – in fact, the menus are made from Flash files – so it can play downloaded games. Some are included with the player, but other games need to be specially made for the U10.
There are more details on the company’s website, including links to download
The sluggish interface is a shame because otherwise, the interface is very good. It’s a clear and colourful screen, which means there’s no difficulty in navigation.
The size of the display means that plenty of information can be shown on the screen at once. There are several extras, including an FM radio, picture, text and video viewer, and a recorder. The internal microphone makes very good recordings, which is just as well, because there’s no line input.
There is, however, the ability to tilt the screen display through 90 degrees, so the player can be operated either vertically or horizontally, according to your preference.
Sound quality was good, and although the player doesn’t go particularly loud, it’s enough, and there is no clipping at high volumes.
The supplied earbud headphones are very good quality, although the buds were a bit big for our ears, making them a little uncomfortable. The software supplied can be used to transfer files to the player, but this can also be done using Windows’ built-in facilities.
One qualm is that the use of the ‘hold’ function is required, otherwise it’s very easy to accidentally press against the side of the screen and find oneself listening to a different song.
This article is part of a group test of portable music players.
Portable music players
Apple iPod nano
Creative Zen V
Sandisk Sansa e260
A table of features can be read via our pdf download above.
Good points Plays games Clever menu system Bad points Menu system slow to respond Small storage capacity
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