iRiver Clix 4GB Inverness

The iRiver CLIX is a truly tiny MP3 player. The 2.2in AMOLED screen is uncommonly bright, and at 320 x 240 it's perfect for album art or, as long as you can stand the squint-factor that accompanies such a small screen, the odd video.

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iRiver Clix 4GB

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The iRiver CLIX is a truly tiny MP3 player. The 2.2in AMOLED screen is uncommonly bright, and at 320 x 240 it's perfect for album art or, as long as you can stand the squint-factor that accompanies such a small screen, the odd video.

But while the screen is excellent, the Clix has some even more nifty design touches. There are no obvious directional buttons on the device. Instead, you press each side to get through the menu system - up for scrolling up, left to go forward through the menus and so forth. Our only hardware concerns are the buttons, which feel just a little plastic, and the polished bezel, which shows off your fingerprints exceptionally quickly.

But the balance is redressed when it comes to loading the Clix with music - charging and data transfer is done over a standard mini-USB cable, rather than a tricky-to-replace / easy-to-lose proprietary lead.

WMA, ASF and OGG audio files are supported, but the list of compatible video formats is less impressive - MPEG4 is supported, but only up to 15fps, and Macromedia Flash Lite 2 the only other option. But we do appreciate the FM radio tuner, which we found to provide excellent reception in central London. You can also record audio from the internal microphone. There's a basic .txt file reader, and an alarm clock, plus a couple of included flash-based games. These aren't exactly competition for the Sony PSP, but they're a decent way of whiling away a train journey.

Battery life is strong - the Clix refused to give up the ghost even after a week of commuting, so it's a good choice for long journeys. But there's strong competition in the MP3 player market, and the Clix's achilles' heel is its price. While it's reasonably good value, it doesn't come close to undercutting the superb SanDisk Sansa E270. The Sansa might not have the wow-factor of the Clix's hardware, but it's an excellent small MP3 player, and offers 6GB of storage for nearly half the price.

System Specifications

4GB flash memory; mini-USB interface; supports WMA, ASF, OGG audio; supports MPEG 4, flash video; fixed li-on battery; 27 x 18 x 6mm; 70g

Verdict

Great battery life and desirable hardware are marred by the high price.

Author: Dave Stevenson

PC Pro Online