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iRiver’s M:Robe

If imitation really is the highest form of flattery - and personally, we prefer sycophantic compliments - then Olympus's M:Robe must be blushing scarlet at the arrival of iRiver's new U10

No, we’re not trying to pass the Olympus M:Robe off as a new gadget. Though that is one of our favourite parlour tricks.

What we have here is the iRiver U10, a 512MB or 1GB touchscreen MP3 player that bears a striking resemblance to Olympus’s MP3 debut.

Despite the physical and touchscreen similarities, iRiver’s newbie is smaller than the MR-500i – in both capacity and dimensions – and has a 2.2″ colour screen instead of a monochrome one. It also has an FM radio, a mic and support for MP4 files converted to iRiver’s 320 x 240 Simple Profile format.

It’s certainly a cute-looking beastie. Its killer feature could, however, turn out to be an accessory – an optional £50 dock with stereo speakers, snooze button and a line-in socket. iRiver’s touting it as a replacement for your bedside alarm clock.

The U10 goes on on sale in mid-August: the 512MB will cost £160 and the 1GB will cost £180.