Slacker’s G2 Player: Smaller, Cheaper

It’s going on a year since Slacker first announced its rather chunky Internet radio player, and in the mean time, it looks like designers have broken out the shrink ray for a second attempt. On Tuesday, Slacker announced the new G2 player, which brings a rounded shape, smaller footprint and several new features to the Internet radio services’ arsenal.

Most notably, the unit has gone from over 4 inches tall to less than 3.5, and slimmed down in thickness as well, now hitting just a hair over half an inch on the calipers. Unfortunately, the large 4-inch LCD also shrinks with the rest of the player, to just 2.4 inches.

While capacity doesn’t increase, one of the smaller options available in the last version of the player evaporated this time around. Instead of choosing from 15, 25 or 40 station capacity, Slacker now offers the G2 in only 25 or 40 stations – which translate to 4GB and 8GB, respectively.

Like Slacker’s first player, the G2 downloads playlists automatically from Slacker’s preprogrammed stations, then squirrels the songs away in storage for play even without an active Internet connection. It also includes Wi-Fi to automatically refresh its content whenever it’s in range of a home network, and includes “favorite” and “ban” buttons to rate songs as they play and help determine future content.

Both players are available immediately from many large retailers, with the 4GB version selling for $200 and the 8GB for $250. That makes them both $50 cheaper than the old versions in the same capacities. Buyers through Slacker.com can have the players preloaded with their favorite stations, and basic Slacker radio service remains free.

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