One of the rules of World Cup year is that all your new gadgets must have a footie theme. Sounds difficult, we know, but this MP3-playing football is a good place to start.
Fortunately, Shiro’s AS isn’t a size 5 foot-breaker – it has a tiny 38mm waist, made possible by the now epidemic OLED screens which offer good contrast even in sunlight.
Beneath the fantastic hexagonal buttons, the AS is a fairly standard flash player. Available in 256MB, 512MB and 1GB guises, it supports file formats aplenty including MP3s and DRM-ed WMAs for regular Napster shoppers.
If you’re unlucky enough to find yourself in a remote field during one of England’s games, the FM tuner will let you tune in to Five Live’s melodramatic commentary, which you’ll be able to record for posterity with the on-board recorder.
The battery, which can be charged via USB, will last a so-so 10 hours on a full charge according to Shiro, which has something of a penchant for eccentric flash players judging by its website.
Throw in some handy graphic equalisers and playback options – including Apple’s favourite dance, the shuffle – and you have a useful weapon for your World Cup armoury. Sadly, there’s no pricing as yet, but the AS should be available over here in April – keep an eye on Shiro’s website for updates.