Aiwa’s HZ-WS2000 is an ultra-thin, ultra-light, hard disk-based MP3 player, designed to go head-to-head with Apple’s iPod Mini.

With a capacity of 1.5GB, it doesn’t quite match the iPod Mini’s 4GB storage. But that’s still enough hard disk space to hold about 375 MP3 tracks – roughly 18-24 hours of continuous playback.

While the HZ-WS2000 does have play and volume controls, its backlit four-line LCD remote control offers full control over the player. It depends on accurate ID3 tags in order to select the tracks you want to play – by artist, album and genre.

USB 2.0 is supported, allowing you to transfer a full 1.5GB in under a quarter of an hour. The HZ-WS2000 is recognised as a hard disk and you can, at a pinch, transfer files using Explorer.

At eight hours, battery life is pretty good and a universal mains charger is supplied as standard.

The Aiwa doesn’t support direct encoding and it lacks a voice memo capability. The lithium-ion battery is not replaceable and the supplied earphones aren’t up to much.

  • Aiwa:
  • £199 inc VAT

  • Build quality: 8/10
  • Features: 6/10
  • Value for money: 7/10

    For the full review, see the November issue of PC Advisor, on sale now.