SanDisk’s versatile Clip+ may have outranked Apple’s latest Shuffle in just about every practical sense, but it takes a special kind of player to oust the Cupertino giant in the style department. That said, we may have spotted a device that could do the job: iRiver’s new N20.
After bubbling out onto the Internet as a rumor back in 2006, the tiny N20 will finally become reality, according to the Chinese blog iMP3.net. The player, which looks like the offspring of a cologne bottle and 9-volt battery, features a greyscale, 128-by-56 pixel passive matrix OLED screen (PMOLED) beneath its reflective skin. And despite that description, we find it quite attractive.
Besides the unusual shape, the N20 is also designed to be worn as a pendant around the neck, rather than clipped onto a piece of clothing or tossed in a pocket. The 35-gram player (which is heavier than both the Clip+ and Shuffle) should offer five hours of battery life, and play the standard MP3, WMA, APE, FLAC, OGG, and WAV file types.
The 2GB and 4GB variants of the N20 will sell in China for the U.S. equivalent of $95 and $110, respectively. Unfortunately, iRiver hasn’t yet revealed whether they will make the trip across the Pacific, or like many iRiver plays, stick around solely in Asia.