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
15,670 Reviews

Packard Bell Vibe 360

£120

Manufacturer: Packard Bell

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

Say it quietly, but this is the most attractive audio player we've reviewed.

This reviewer's last taste of Packard Bell's foray into the world of portable audio didn't go well. The AudioStar player was ugly, slow and a nightmare to use. So has the firm learned its lesson? Er, yes.

The Vibe 360 instantly wipes memories of its ill-fated predecessor with a stunning silver-and-black exterior, complete with convenient buttons and a decent-sized screen. Say it quietly, but this is the most attractive audio player we've reviewed.

The user experience isn't bad either. There are still minor navigation niggles – for example, after selecting 'music' or 'photos', you still have to pick the correct folder for that sort of file, needlessly introducing an extra tier into the procedure. And for some reason, there's a folder called 'trashes'. But problems are now at the level of harmless eccentricity, as opposed to the maddening inconvenience of the earlier model.

The 360's range of functions includes MP3 and WMA support, along with picture viewing and a video playback function. Before uploading pics and clips you have to use bundled conversion programs, and this is unfortunate, since Magic Picture and Video Toolbox are both rather clunky, and the former has the irritating habit of disappearing into the depths of your computer after installing.

The hardware layout lacks a dedicated volume button, but is otherwise impeccable. It's nice to see a maker think outside the scrollwheel box, and the Vibe's neat controls are a pleasure to use. The screen is 1.8in (compared with the 1.5in deployed by the second-generation iPod nano) and produces a crisp picture.

And as for the all-important battery life, Packard Bell has declared a 15-hour figure that pretty much tallies with our real-world findings. Refreshingly honest, and not a bad performance – even if it is dwarfed by the new nano's impressive 26-odd hours.

Packard Bell Vibe 360 Expert Verdict »

2GB capacity (1GB version available for £90)
supports MP3/WMA/WAV
picture and video playback
battery life 15 hours
1.8in screen
conversion software bundle
  • Build Quality: We give this item 10 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

What with Apple's iPod announcements, the timing of this truly beautiful player couldn't have been worse. The Vibe 360 is now £20 more expensive than the equivalent nano, and its moderate battery life is made to look rather weak. But this remains a high-calibre product, marred only by a fiddly software bundle.

  • V-Moda Vibe Modafones in-ear headphones

    V-Moda Vibe Modafones in-ear headphones

    At £50 the V-Moda Vibe headphones aren't exactly cheap, but you could spend a lot more than this on headphones and not hear any better audio.

  • SanDisk Sansa Fuze 4GB MP3 player review

    SanDisk Sansa Fuze 4GB MP3 player

    SanDisk’s Sansa Fuze may look like the iPod Nano, but this flash-based MP3 player packs in more functionality.

  • Packard Bell dot m/a review

    Packard Bell dot m/a

    Bigger than your regular netbook, the Packard Bell dot m/a offers AMD processors and an 11.6in screen.

  • Apple iPod nano

    Apple iPod nano

    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.

  • 2nd-generation iPod nano

    2nd-generation iPod nano

    How else can you describe the second-generation nano but as the resurrection of the iPod mini?


IDG UK Sites

Nexus 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comparison: What's the best Android phablet?

IDG UK Sites

The iPhone is doomed. Doomed to be marginally less successful than a very successful thing.

IDG UK Sites

How to prototype native mobile apps without writing code

IDG UK Sites

How to prepare for and update to OS X Yosemite: Get your Mac ready to download & install Apple's...