Luxpro shows new iPod Shuffle-like players

Taiwan's Luxpro Corp. unveiled two new digital music players bearing a superficial resemblance to Apple's iPod Shuffle player at the Computex trade show in Taipei this week.

The Top Tangent and EZ Tangent are new versions of the company's Super Tangent, which first appeared at the Cebit show in Germany in March and caused a stir because of its similarity to the Apple player. All three Luxpro players are small, thin and rectangular in shape and have rounded corners. The navigation controls are arranged in a circle on the front, with settings switches on the reverse. A cap covers the USB (Universal Serial Bus) connector.

They are compatible with MP3, Windows Media (including digital rights management protected files) and WAV files.

Unlike the previous model, the new players have an OLED (organic light emitting diode) screen. The Top Tangent has a 64 pixel by 48 pixel screen and the EZ Tangent has a 128 pixel by 64 pixel screen. The player can display track information drawn from the ID3 data in MP3 files. Other differences include the ability to record from the built-in FM radio and a digital voice recorder.

Like the original version they will be available in 512MB and 1GB capacities, said Mavis Lee, a specialist in Luxpro's sales department.

The two new models are slightly larger than the Super Tangent. The original model measures 25 millimeters by 86.7 mm by 10.2 mm, while the new players measure 26 mm by 89.7 mm by 12 mm. The Super Tangent weighs 24 grams, the Top Tangent 28 grams and the EZ Tangent 29 grams.

Battery life has been reduced from 12 hours on the first player to 10 hours on the two new models. The new players will be available in white, black and red.

Both models are scheduled to enter production in late July, said Lee. Pricing details were not available but Lee estimated the addition of screens would add about US$5 to $10 to the bulk purchase price of the players. The Super Tangent costs about $64 in bulk and sells to end users for about $100, she said.

For more on iPods, please visit the iPod Product Guide .

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