Nano nano. Once a comedy catchphrase in Mork and Mindy, it now adorns, bizarrely, a pair of audio players by Creative and Apple. The coincidence is utterly shazbut.

The first thing to strike you about Apple's nano is its tiny size. Not that unusual for flash players, but what's really impressive is its excellent colour screen and 4GB capacity.

Take a standard business card and rip off a quarter lengthwise, and what you're left with is about the size of the player. It weighs 42g and measures about a quarter of an inch thick - you can barely tell you've got the nano in your shirt pocket.

The screen is only slightly larger than a postage stamp, and on many MP3 players that would mean you'd lose the end of lots of album and track names. But the nano's screen resolution is high enough that it can fit as many as 27 characters across in type that's perfectly readable.

The other remarkable aspect of this product is its capacity. Most flash-based players top out at 1GB, but the nano is firmly in the mid-capacity range that has been the domain of the hard drive - and its flash memory should make the Apple more rugged and appealing to joggers and cyclists than hard-drive players.

Apple has taken its signature scroll wheel and shrunk it to microscopic proportions - but our clunky-handed reviewers had no navigation troubles at all.

The sound was good, too. Like other iPods, the nano uses a rechargeable battery that you can't replace.

On the down side, it lacks a line-in for making recordings and a means of showing your photos on a TV. And like all iPods, it won't play WMA files or accept music from subscription services.

Apple iPod nano 2/4GB: Specs

  • 4GB flash memory
  • 1x rechargeable lithium battery
  • 16-320Kbps MP3, WAV and AAC files
  • JPG and TIF images
  • built-in microphone
  • 38mm 176x132 colour LCD
  • 40x6.9x90mm
  • 42g
  • 4GB flash memory
  • 1x rechargeable lithium battery
  • 16-320Kbps MP3, WAV and AAC files
  • JPG and TIF images
  • built-in microphone
  • 38mm 176x132 colour LCD
  • 40x6.9x90mm
  • 42g

OUR VERDICT

If you're already an iTunes devotee, or you want a featherweight and fashionable MP3 player, you'll find plenty to love about the iPod nano. It's worth the extra cost for its small size, decent storage and great colour screen.

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