20g MP3 player skims in to view

Stuff exclusive Gadget land is full of design trends and fads. Recently we’ve had the fickle switching between white, silver and black, gratuitous ce

Stuff exclusive

Gadget land is full of design trends and fads. Recently we’ve had the fickle switching between white, silver and black, gratuitous celebrity endorsement - Franz Ferdinand, U2, Gwen Stefani - and dogged attempts to make our toys as thin as physically possible.

Well, the new movement – kicked off by the Moto PEBL and its eye-popping adverts - is clearly gadgets that look like stones. We’re not sure we fancy a telly that resembles a Brighton beach pebble, but beautiful MP3 players such as this new 1GB Advanced MP3 Player Pebble certainly rock our world (boom-boom).

The Pebble is the UK outfit’s first own-brand MP3 player, and a tremendous start at that. We’re already smitten with the smooth, shiny design and the eminently portable dimensions – the thing weighs 20g, the same weight as four Stuff biros. It’s actually smaller than Apple’s miniscule iPod Shuffle, too, and manages to squeeze in a tiny OLED display so you can pick songs, much as we love the fact that Life is Random (TM).

Also cool: the headphone and USB 2.0 port are combined in one input, the 12 hour battery can charge via USB, and there’s a voice recorder and FM tuner/recorder.

The only things to take the shine off the Pebble’s gloss are the lack of support for shop-bought DRM-ed WMA tracks and – more importantly – the excessive nails on the Pebble’s hand model. Surely fingernail care is the first thing cadets learn at Hand School?

This fine alternative to the Sony NW-E507 is on sale now for £100 at Advanced MP3 players, although it’s currently out of stock.

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