Thursday, November 13, 2008

Review: Hello Kitty MP3 Player!

One of the little fringe benefits of blogging is that people occasionally send stuff in the mail in the hopes that you'll like it and write about it. I figure it's simple enough to do so, though I'll be honest in writing it up and if it sucks then so be it.

There's a pile of recent arrivals waiting for writing up, including a Hello Kitty themed MP3 player, a Star Wars themed digital camera for kids, and three different books. I'll get to the first of those here:

Sanrio Hello Kitty MP3 Player

This is basically a generic 1Gb flash-based MP3 player. The "Hello Kitty" theme is entirely in the 3 snap-on face plates and the pink earbuds. It comes with some software to manage your music collection, etc, but it's not necesary that you use it, as plugging the device into the USB port makes it appear like a USB flash drive. 

The good:
  • It's cheap ($40 list (street probably $30-35?))
  • Functioning as a flash drive doesn't mean you have to use proprietary SW like iPod or Zune
  • Backlit display
The bad:
  • Faceplates add bulk (see pics in this review comparing to the thickness of an ipod)
  • included earbuds are *awful* quality
  • The user interface is horrendous. 
The last point above is the real issue. To be fair, this is the same as you get with almost ALL generic mp3 players. The menu system to navigate folders, settings, etc is just cumbersome. I owned several pre-iPod and they all had a different flavor of this issue. The question is whether you want to deal with that to save a few dollars (over something like a nano or mini-zune). If so, then a generic player is fine, and if you want one with a Hello Kitty theme, then look here.


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