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HARDWARE

Taking the Show On the Road

With a tuner and the ability to play movies, this new media player just may trump the iPod.
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It seems like every company has the chutzpah to call its portable media player an "iPod killer," but Toshiba's new Gigabeat S Series is the first contender likely to last one round against Apple's juggernaut. The device, which benefits from Microsoft's easy-to-use Portable Media Center software, even outshines the iPod in areas. For starters, it works with TiVo's new TiVoToGo service. That means you can get your CSI fix on the run by transferring shows from your TiVo.

The S Series can even play full-length feature films. Subscribe to Vongo, a movie downloading service, and for $10 a month you'll have access to 1,000 flicks. (It's an extra $4 per film for pay-per-view releases.) The high-resolution 2.4-inch display is a tad smaller than the iPod's 2.5-inch screen, but the S Series promises up to six hours of battery life when it's showing video, versus two to three for Apple's player.

For music, the device works with all the major Windows-compatible online stores, including Napster, Rhapsody, and Yahoo. Or just kick it old school with the integrated FM tuner.

$299 for 30 GB, $399 for 60 GB; www.gigabeat.com

Last updated: May 1, 2006




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