We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
iPods & MP3 players Reviews
15,610 Reviews

Zicplay SlideKey

£35 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Zicplay

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The inexorable march of technological titchiness sometimes seems to have gone too far, as text-message virgins and the large-fingered generally observe when attempting to work their microscopic audio players.

The inexorable march of technological titchiness sometimes seems to have gone too far, as text-message virgins and the large-fingered generally observe when attempting to work their microscopic audio players.

So here's a (comparatively) novel solution to the conflicting pressures of miniaturisation and usability: the SlideKey from Zicplay, as the name might suggest, features a sliding front-plate that can glide away from the main body of the player, rather like many current mobile phones. This allows the company to incorporate five buttons – forward, back, a general 'mode' key and the volume controls – in a hidden compartment without crowding the exterior with fiddly controls.

And it's not just in this respect that the SlideKey's design is unorthodox. With its abbreviated lozenge shape, the player has the immediate look of a USB storage key, leading one to expect a direct link from the flat end of the device's body – but no. You need to check the other end, where a cable port is protected by a neat cap.

The fact that it could easily masquerade as a mundane storage device (when the Oled screen is unlit, at any rate) reflects the SlideKey's somewhat utilitarian appearance, but it's not totally unappealing for all that; it's also compact and sturdy, and would make an ideal travel accessory, although you should probably remember a spare battery or two.

As well as the usual MP3 and WMA playback functions, the SlideKey can make voice recordings and remember phone numbers. The model we tested can hold around 50 MP3s; 512MB and 1GB flavours are available too.

If we have one grumble, it's that the concealed controls, designed to reduce awkward cramping, are actually quite tricky to use. Well, the rewind button is, anyway – it's slightly too close to the sliding panel.

Zicplay SlideKey Expert Verdict »
Digital audio player
256MB flash memory
supports MP3 and WMA
voice recording
line-in
USB
7 backlight colours
uses 1x AAA battery (supplied
lasts for about 12 hours of continuous playback)
95x32x21mm
35g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Most of the products in the low-capacity MP3 player market are much of a muchness, but you could do a lot worse than this. The Zicplay SlideKey is a nicely designed, neat and portable device with a gimmick that works. What's that all about?

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Nokia N81 8GB mobile phone

    Nokia N81 8GB mobile phone

    The N81's fancy multimedia credentials, excellent connectivity options and well-designed search function will have you rushing out to buy one, but its tacky, plastic front slider, poor excuse for a camera and noticeable lack of a memory expansion slot could soon destroy your lust.

  • SanDisk Photo Album

    SanDisk Photo Album

    The SanDisk Photo Album is a small device that sits on top of the TV, offering the ability to watch photo slideshows, play videos and listen to MP3s, all without owning a PC.

  • WD TV Live media streamer review

    WD TV Live media streamer

    The WD TV Live media streamer supports the streaming of many different video and audio formats, is easy to use and it performs well.

  • Disney Mplayer review

    Disney Mplayer

    Disney has launched the Mplayer, a 1GB MP3 player manufactured by iRiver and shaped just like Mickey Mouse’s head.

  • Archos 405 digital audio and video player

    Archos 405 digital audio and video player

    If you liked the Archos 605 we reviewed recently but felt the asking price was a little steep, the Archos 405 digital media player may be for you.


IDG UK Sites

Nokia Lumia 530 review: £60 smartphone offers decent build and performance, awful screen and...

IDG UK Sites

Apps watch: What the NFL can teach UK sports such as cricket and rugby

IDG UK Sites

Dell adds Intel processor to new Wyse thin client

IDG UK Sites

How to win iTunes Festival 2014 tickets: See Pharrell Williams, Ed Sheeran, Paolo Nutini, Kylie &...