More boom, less box

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 September, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 September, 2006, 12:00am

In the 1980s, boom boxes were all the rage. These 'portable' stereo systems were the size of a desktop computer, and people carried them around so that they could take their music with them.

They're back.

What made boom boxes cool was that you could share your music with others - in the park, in the playground, or on the football pitch.

The problem was that they were fairly big machines. You had to be strong to carry them far.

The good news about the new 'boom boxes' is you don't have to be heavy on muscle.

Samsung's new music player is easily portable, while still giving you enough decibels to fill the room with music.

The Samsung YP-K5 shrinks the boom box down to somewhere between a regular iPod and a nano. However, the 4GB MP3 player is several times thicker than these iPods because it has its own speaker system built into its back.

The speaker slides out and stands at an angle. It also acts as a stand for the player.

In this position, the usually vertical 4.34cm Organic LED screen automatically turns itself horizontal.

This way, it becomes a convenient information display for the player.

According to initial reports, the speaker is impressively loud for its size.

However, some distortion may occur when the volume is turned on full blast.

You can also use the YP-K5 with headphones.

The player supports ASF, WMA and MP3 audio formats, as well as JPEG photos.

It should be available in the next couple of months. No prices are available yet.

PROS: built-in speaker system, good sound, size of the nano, long battery life

CONS: no video support, small display, no recording

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