Sony throws magic Beans at Shuffle

Not content with overtaking the iPod Shuffle on sales, Sony is upping the flash player ante with the 'Beans' series, four cute 'n' curvy numbers with monster 50 hour battery and built-in USB connectors

Meet Sony's newest and cutest Shuffle assassins - the 512MB/1GB NW-E200 Beans series.

As well as coming in four colours - black, blue, pink and white - to the Shuffle's one, the Beans best Apple's neck-hanger for specs. Battery life is an incredibly long 50 hours, and the series has a quick charge function that gives three hours playback from three minutes' charge.

The other crucial advantage over the Shuffle is the Beans' top-notch OLED displays. There's also a built-in retractable USB connector for loading the players up with MP3s and ATRACs from Connect.

The 512MB model costs £80, the 1GB's going for £100.

They're both out next month.