Apple's celebrity PMP has had plenty of superlatives poured on it – thinnest, highest capacity, most likely to get a judging seat on X Factor – but it's also a tad expensive.

Even so, the new third-gen version’s 64GB solid-state drive might just be enough to convert iPod Classic music hoarders, and should tempt plenty of newbies besides.

Beefed-up processor and graphics

On the surface, not much has changed on the third-gen Touch. But inside that impossibly thin shell, beyond the slick capacitive multi-touch screen, lies a beefy 800Mhz processor and souped-up graphics.

New firmware features include voice controls via a microphone on the headphone flex and support for stereo Bluetooth.

The reason so little has been tweaked is that nothing can begin to compete with browsing music in Cover Flow, class-leading audio, fluid video playback, seamless internet browsing, YouTube support, over 85,000 third-party apps and, of course, native integration with the best media organisation software on the planet, iTunes. Phew.

Touch of class

Multi-touch on the capacitive interface is, as usual, a joy, and the rounded back and tapered edges accentuates its trim proportions. Physical volume controls, a hold switch and that iconic 'home' button all remain, while voice controls have been added for would-be pocket fiddlers.



Not the best of buddies

Unfortunately, though, Apple's white headphone buds still fare poorly.

Not only that, but the addition of volume controls and a mic for voice instruction means you're left with choosing between something like Sennheiser’s MM50s, or sacrificing functionality for better sound. It’s time for the third parties to step up to the plate.

It may not have the screen real estate of Archos' PMPs, but the 3.5 inches on offer deliver an all-encompassing video experience with top-notch blacks. Apple is also clearly angling for iPods to be taken as serious portable gamers in the league of the PSP and Nintendo's DS, and we think it can be.  

If you're looking for a jogging partner, £300 is a bit steep, but if you want the full shebang your cash can't snag a superior PMP.



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